DIY: How to Troubleshoot a Furnace

We have arrived at that time of the year when a non-functioning furnace can cause the most frustration and discomfort. Nothing’s worse than being stuck in a home without a working furnace and no heating, so before you start getting upset, check this out.

(Just remember, if you don’t feel comfortable doing these DIY tips, you should call a professional!) 

  • Check your thermostat 

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how much the thermostat setting gets overlooked. Some thermostats must be set to ‘heat’. Double-check that your thermostat is set up correctly.

  • Take a quick look

Furnaces often have a switch with two positions: Auto and On. This switch is essentially installed as a light switch, so you or someone else may have mistaken it for a light switch. If the technician installed it correctly, the up position is ‘On’.

You should check to make sure that your furnace is getting electricity by briefly switching it to the ‘On’ position. If your furnace comes on, you know it’s not an electricity problem. If it doesn’t, well then it might be time to call a professional.

  • Pilot Light Problems?

Older furnaces usually have pilot lights, unless it’s less than 20 years old. For those who have pilot light furnaces, check to see if it’s gone out. If it has, there are instructions for relighting in your owner’s manual.

If you don’t have a pilot light, then you can skip this step.

  • Change Your Filter

This can be one of the most common problems that occur with furnaces, as filters can be easy to forget about in a furnace. The air filter’s job is to make sure that clean air is being sent into the furnace and throughout your house.

When your filter gets clogged, the heat inside the furnace can build up and start to cause problems. If your filter is noticeably dirty, then it’s time to get a new one. Even if your filter doesn’t look dirty, you might want to buy one anyway. Newer furnaces are a little smarter than the older models. They shut down before the filter can get dirty enough to cause issues.

Important: Our experts advise you to do a professional tune-up on your furnace at least once a year! This will also help with the efficiency of your furnace and reduce costs.

When to Call a Professional?

  1. Whenever you feel uncomfortable performing any of the steps above.
  2. When you notice any gas problem or fire.

Milani has been servicing the Lower Mainland for more than 60 years and we have a team of certified experts to help you. Contact us!

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