Doing Your Part to Keep Your HVAC System Running

A few months ago, my air conditioner completely died. I woke up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, and I didn't know what to do. The next day, I called an HVAC expert, and they came out to inspect my system. It turned out that it had failed because of filthy filters and a clogged return duct, which made me sick to my stomach. I had caused the problem, and I needed to learn how to fix things. My HVAC professional taught me a few easy maintenance techniques that I didn't know before, so that I could maintain my new system. Check out this blog to learn more about HVAC yourself.

Okay… So It's Not The Filter


If you've been researching furnace problems, then you've probably found yourself reading and rereading the same piece of advice: replace your filter. Dirty, neglected filters are one of the most common problems faced by many forgetful homeowners, so most professional technicians know to check the filter condition first. Of course, you're a dutiful homeowner. You keep to a regular schedule and never let your filter become too clogged, so why isn't your furnace working? If your furnace isn't producing enough heat and you've ruled the filter out, then there are a few more suspects to consider.

Is The Furnace On At All?

Start by listening for the telltale sound of the furnace turning on. The blower motor should engage at roughly the same time, so make sure that it's not the fan that you're hearing. If the furnace doesn't turn on at all, then you've likely got a problem with your igniter. Ancient furnaces use pilot lights, but most modern furnaces contain an electric igniter. You may also be facing a problem with your thermostat or even a tripped breaker.

What About The Blower?

If the furnace kicks on, then it's time to listen for the blower. Blower operation should generally be smooth and relatively quiet, so any unusual sounds should be ringing alarm bells. If your fan isn't functioning, then the warm air produced by your furnace will never make it to the rest of your house. Even worse, a lousy blower can cause your furnace to overheat, triggering a shutdown or damaging the heat exchanger. As always, check your breaker box and thermostats before condemning a non-functional blower to the dustbin.

Does The Air Seem Too Cool?

Furnaces are relatively simple devices: they are either on or off, as demanded by each thermostat in the house. In other words, your furnace is not ordinarily capable of producing heat over a range of temperatures. It simply runs until your home reaches the desired temperature, and then shuts off. If your vents are producing air that's too cool without being cold, then your furnace may not be the problem at all. Often, weak heating is a sign that cooler air is blending with the warm air before it reaches the rooms of your house. This blending can occur as a result of a problem with your ductwork or even an issue with the air handling unit.

While most furnace issues can be solved with a simple filter change, no home appliance is immune from the occasional failure. If something seems wrong with your home's heating, then check that filter first, but prepared for extra troubleshooting — and never hesitate to call a furnace repair service when you get in over your head!


23 January 2020