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Most Common Furnace Problems (and DIY Solutions!)

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Posted December 11, 2019

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with your furnace. But the aim of our blog post today is to teach you which problems YOU can fix with a little elbow grease!

1. Change Your Air Filter

We know…You’re already protesting, “Of course I changed my air filter!” But if your furnace is turning on and then mysteriously turning off way too soon, a clogged air filter is the most common cause. If it’s extremely dirty, your furnace will shut off because it’s overloaded. (It will suck up more energy than usual, which will trip your circuit breaker.) 
And of course it’s safe to change your air filter yourself. The part you can’t do yourself is thoroughly inspecting your system for soot. Soot could be trapped in your heat exchanger if you’ve let your dirty air filter get to the point that the furnace is quitting. It’s better to be safe than sorry: schedule an appointment with one of our techs, so we can check for residual soot.

2. Reset the Circuit Breaker

We mentioned above, if your furnace uses too much energy, your circuit breaker is tripped and the furnace shuts off.  
Usually, the furnace tripping the circuit breaker indicates a bigger problem that you need a tech’s help with. But occasionally, the circuit breaker being tripped is a fluke. It could have been a power surge or other problem with your local electrical grid, especially in bad weather. 
Yes, usually the furnace trips the circuit breaker because it’s overloaded. Or, if the furnace isn’t on a circuit by itself. So if it shares a circuit with another large electrical appliance, that can trip the breaker as well. The problem could also be caused by a hot wire in your furnace touching a neutral wire or ground wire. 
But still, it’s safe for you to just reset your circuit breaker one time. Maybe the breaker tripping was just a one-time issue; you can then assume it was an electrical grid problem! 

In case you don’t know how, here’s the DIY Solution on how to reset your circuit breaker:

Switches in a breaker panel have three positions: on, off, and “center.” When you open up the breaker panel and see all the switches, you can see which circuit tripped. The switch will have flipped to the “center” position. You flip that switch off, then flip it on, and your furnace should resume working again. 
Of course, when working with your circuit breaker panel, make sure your hands are dry and you’re standing on a dry floor…Otherwise, the results will be shocking!  
Now, like we said, if the furnace continues to trip the breaker, it’s because the furnace is consuming more electricity than it should. And that means it’s overloaded, whether that’s due to faulty ductwork, a malfunctioning part, or something else that, unfortunately, you can’t fix yourself!

3. Check Thermostat Settings

Last but not least, if you’re not sure why your heat isn’t working, it may be an issue with how you set your thermostat.  

We know this is the equivalent to asking, “Did you turn it off and back on again?”…But, did you make sure the thermostat is actually set to heat, not “off” or “air”? 

These are some quick DIY solutions that everyone should be aware of…Especially the “changing your air filter” part! But unfortunately, most furnace problems go deeper than the average homeowner can safely fix.

If you tried these solutions and your furnace is still acting up, give the specialists at Air Specialist a call at [csad_phone], or schedule an appointment today. We serve metro Houston with expert heating & air conditioning repair, service and installation.


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