Check air filter

DIY Furnace Troubleshooting

Maintaining whole home comfort during the winter months is one of the biggest concerns for a lot of people. Sure, you’d like that to extend year-round, but when winter gets its coldest, it feels a little more necessary. The scenario usually unfolds like this: your local the Main Line weatherperson is forecasting the coldest day of the year and your furnace decides to start acting up. Now there’s no need to panic and call a furnace technician quite yet. There are a number of things you can check on your own before making the call.

  1. Ensure your thermostat is set to “heat” – sure, it sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget to set your thermostat to the correct mode. Whether it’s an inadvertent change while cleaning or you had an unexpected spike in temperatures for a few days and didn’t need your thermostat, double check your thermostat’s setting.
  2. Check your filter – one of the most common causes of furnaces turning off unexpectedly is a dirty filter. When furnace filters get excessively dirty, air cannot pass through them as easily. The furnace can detect this and will shut off the system. If you have an older furnace, it may not recognize the problem and cause an even bigger issue. Newer furnaces have been crafted to pick up on this issue and have a better chance shutting the system down before it causes any further issues. Getting in the practice of changing your furnace filter every month can make certain you don’t wake up to a cold house.
  3. Weak or dead batteries – if your thermostat operates with batteries, check it to ensure there isn’t a flashing low battery signal or another indicator that it’s time to replace your batteries. Other thermostats run off of your home’s electrical system and don’t have to worry about this.
  4. Check your switches – find your home’s circuit breaker panel and pinpoint the breaker that controls your furnace. You should be able to see if it is in the middle position or the Off position. If it is, cycle the breaker to Off and then re-set it back to the On position. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the circuit breaker panel, please consult your local the Main Line dealer or an electrician.

The other switch to check looks just like a light switch, which could be the issue. It’s your furnace switch and should be in the Up, or On, position. Because of its semblance to a light switch, it can be easily mistaken for one. Once On, give the furnace a little bit to kick on as many systems operate with built-in delays.

Following these few steps before contacting your local the Main Line technician can help you eliminate the easy things, and if there is still a problem, it allows you to pass on pertinent information to the technician if they end up coming out. Troubleshooting your furnace doesn’t have to be difficult, but ensuring you stay within your comfort zone is important too. There’s no need to take any gambles and potentially do more damage to your furnace, so once you start feeling a little out of your element, give your local furnace technician at O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning in the Main Line a call.