If you’re mechanically inclined, you know the satisfaction that comes with repairing your own stuff, whether it’s a simple plumbing repair or something more complicated like auto repair. Some types of repairs usually require a professional expert, unless you’ve had specific training and experience in that particular area. One of those areas is natural gas furnace repair. A fear of being overcharged by overzealous repair companies is one of the major reasons why some homeowners may attempt a DIY furnace repair. This is an area that most homeowners have very little knowledge.
Just because you don’t possess the necessary expertise in natural gas furnace repair doesn’t necessarily mean that you must hire a heating contractor with no knowledge of what’s going on with your furnace. Follow the list below to see some common problems with gas fired furnaces that aren’t working so well, what causes the problems and potential remedies to correct them.
If your gas forced air furnace doesn’t produce heat, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to call an HVAC contractor right away. Before you call a heating repair expert (like Pickerington Heating & Cooling), be sure that your thermostat isn’t set so low that it’s not communicating to the furnace to fire up and produce heat. If your furnace is an older model with a pilot light, be sure the pilot light is lit. (You can find instructions on our blog or on YouTube). If the thermostat is set to the correct temperature, and the pilot light is burning, the next step is to examine the circuit breaker or fuse. Open your electrical panel, find the circuit breaker for the furnace, switch it off and back on. (If it was “tripped” or kicked off, you’ll see a small red indicator. When you reset it, the red will disappear).
Next ensure the natural gas or propane shut-off supplying fuel to the furnace is open. If the valve handle is inline with the supply pipe, it’s open; if it’s perpendicular to the pipe, it’s shut off. Obviously the furnace needs fuel to function, so ensure the valve is open. If your heating system is functional in these four areas, and it still won’t run or produce heat, it may be due to a malfunctioning thermostat. This is especially true if your furnace is still within the normal lifespan suggested by the manufacturer — typically 10-15 years. Cycle the thermostat fan switch off, then turn to auto; and set the thermostat high enough to force the furnace to switch on. If it still doesn’t come in, it’s potentially a bad thermostat.
If you find your furnace cycling on and off frequently, it’s probably because of a dirty air filter blocking or reducing airflow to the heating system. The furnace may also have a problem with its blower motor or heat anticipator (not something for the DIYer to deal with). If the air filter is dirty, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to replace. The filter dimensions are marked right on the edge of the filter. You can pick up a replacement at many grocery chains or big box stores. If you’re not sure how to replace it, check YouTube for videos. If the problem is the blower motor or the heat anticipator on the furnace, you’ll need to call in a professional furnace repair provider. A certified HVAC technician will adjust the temperature anticipator, and examine blower motor belts, replacing or tightening as necessary. Both of these repairs are relatively inexpensive.
If your furnace’s blower fails to shut down, you may not have an issue with the furnace producing heat. However, you’ll probably be stuck with a higher electric bill (because of the constantly running fan). One thing to check if the blower is running continuously: the thermostat. Check to ensure the thermostat is set to “auto” instead of “on” or “continuous.”.
If it’s not the blower, or thermostat, it could be an issue with a faulty furnace fan limit control switch. If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and you experience furnace problems like those mentioned in this articles, we recommend you contact Pickerington Heating & Cooling to schedule our Diagnostic Service Call appointment. It’s normally $99, but check our DEALS page to see if you catch it on sale, usually for $69.
If your natural gas fired furnace isn’t running correctly, as a homeowner there are some steps you can take to try to fix it on your own. Arm yourself with this knowledge, so if you DO have to call a furnace repair company, you can speak about the issues intelligently. If none of these tips work for you, it’s definitely time to contact us. In the Columbus area, we are one of the most experienced HVAC service suppliers, in continuous operation since 1972.
We are one of the most reliable and trusted furnace service companies as well. Our customers love us! Just check our reviews page to see what others have said about us.