A furnace is a complex system with many different components that play into heating your home. If one component is malfunctioning or obstructed, it can cause the whole system to break down. To avoid an uncomfortable and costly heating repair, it is important to know what components can cause furnace issues. In this blog, we will discuss the furnace system as a whole and common furnace problems.
How Do Furnaces Work?
There are four main types of furnaces: natural gas, oil, electric, and propane. The most common type of furnace used is a natural gas furnace, because of its affordability and quick heating process.
To understand what is causing your furnace to malfunction, it is important to be knowledgeable of how a gas furnace operates. Natural gas is connected to the furnace by a gas line. Once gas enters the furnace, the burner ignites it. Cold air from the house is brought into the furnace and warmed by the burning gas in the heat exchanger. The warm air is then sent through ductwork and into your home by the blower fan. From here, colder air in your home is directed into the furnace and the process repeats itself until the thermostat setting is met.
What Can Cause Furnace Repair?
Much like any heating system, furnace problems can be due to many different factors. The best way to identify underlying furnace issues is by scheduling furnace maintenance with a Miller’s Home Comfort technician. However, it is still important to be aware of what causes common furnace issues to actively avoid future malfunctions. Below we have listed seven furnace problems homeowners in the Virginia Beach area experience.
- Dirty Air Filters
- Old Age
- Malfunctioning Thermostat
- Frequent On & Off Cycling
- Leaking Water
- Discolored Pilot Light
- Faulty Blower
Dirty Air Filters
Clogged or dirty air filters are one of the most common reasons for furnace problems, and one of the easiest to fix! Air filters catch pollutants and debris before air enters your home, which maintains good indoor air quality. When filters are clogged, the furnace works harder to push air through the filter pores. Dirty air filters can result in an overworked system, high utility bills, and an uncomfortable breakdown. To avoid this common furnace problem, change air filters in your home at least every 90 days. Additionally, furnaces have their own filters that need to be regularly changed.
If you are experiencing problems with your furnace, consider its age. Most furnaces last 15-20 years if proper maintenance and care has been given. After many years of heating your home, furnaces decline in efficiency and experience wear and tear on components. Older furnaces can struggle to evenly heat your home and should be replaced to save time, money, and comfort in the future!
The thermostat is the brains on all heating and cooling units. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it causes miscommunication and can improperly provide heating. Furnace problems associated with a broken thermostat can include short cycling or the inability to turn on. If you are experiencing any of these issues, first ensure the thermostat is turned on and has working batteries. If so, make sure the thermostat is set to “Auto” instead of “On.”
Frequent On & Off Cycling
If you feel as if your furnace is constantly turning on and off, it is a sign of a furnace malfunction. This issue is likely driving up utility bills and is best to be addressed quickly. The most common causes of frequent cycling are low airflow, a faulty thermostat, or a problem with the flame sensor.
Furnaces help remove humidity and can create condensation from exhaust gasses. If your furnace is leaking water, it is likely a sign of a malfunction with the built-in humidifying system or drain line. To ensure the water leak is correctly identified, give us a call! We are specialists in furnace problems and can quickly identify and repair the problem.
Discolored Pilot Light
Furnaces have a pilot light, which produces a small flame that burns gas to generate power and heat. The pilot light should remain a bright blue color, but can become discolored if there is a furnace malfunction. Yellow, orange, or no pilot light indicates a gas issue and can pose a threat to your health and safety. Without a pilot light, the furnace can not produce heat. It is best to call a Miller’s Home Comfort technician to repair pilot light issues and protect your safety.
Blower motors are responsible for distributing heat into the air ducts. Over time, the blower motor can wear down and malfunction. If the blower fan is broken, the furnace can overheat attempting to distribute heat and meet the thermostat setting. A few signs the furnace blower is broken can be weak airflow, unusual odors, strange noises, and high energy costs.
Repairing furnace issues at home can lead to further issues or broken parts. If you are experiencing a broken furnace in Norfolk, let one of our expert technicians quickly identify the problem! While our experts repair your furnace, we encourage you to try out activities on Norfolk’s Winter Bucket List, such as the Botanical Gardens or a Admirals hockey game!