How to troubleshoot common furnace problems


You’ll definitely be caught off guard if you wake up during the winter months and find that your furnace isn’t working. Before you call a repairman, there are a couple quick fixes that might solve your heating woes. Use these troubleshooting tips to find out what’s wrong with your furnace and to figure out if you’ll need professional help.

Check your thermostat
It may seem a little too simple, but we guarantee there have been people who called a repairman and paid the service fee only to find out their thermostat was off. When you notice that your home is a little too chilly, head over to your control panel. Make sure it is switched to the “Heat” setting, and try adjusting it a few degrees to see if your heating system kicks on. If you use preset programs, double-check to see if the thermostat reflects the right day and time. If the power was cut, these types of settings often reset themselves.

Change the filters
If you’ve been neglecting your furnace, its filters might be clogged. Dust and dirt can build up and impede air flow, which means your house won’t warm up the way it should. These filters should be inspected and changed at least once a month during the winter months. Consult your appliance’s manual if you’re unsure of how to check the filters.

Find the shutoff switch
Sometimes the only repair your furnace needs is to be turned on. If one of your family members or pets accidently bumped the shut-off switch, your house will get chilly fast. Check to make sure the switch is in the “on” position. You should also check the circuit breakers that control the furnace. Resetting a tripped switch is a quick and easy fix.

Check the air ducts
If it seems like one area of your home is warmer than another, the air ducts might be the culprit. Check to make sure that the room registers are open and there’s nothing blocking them. Examine any ducts you have access to and look for gaps or cracks. You can easily patch these up with special metal duct tape. If your furnace vents outside, take a quick look at the intake and exhaust to see if there’s anything clogging or blocking them.

If these areas don’t seem to be the problem, it’s probably time to call a repairman. If you have a TotalProtect® Home Warranty, simply call one of our friendly customer care representatives to file a service request. If you don’t have a home warranty, you could end up with an expensive repair bill. Sign up today to protect your home against unforeseen mechanical problems!

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.