Waking up on a blustery winter morning to a furnace that is blowing cold air into your home can put a chill on your entire day. Fortunately, you can sometimes quickly fix the problem yourself – even if you aren't a skilled handyman or woman. The following troubleshooting tips may be able to help you turn up the heat again.
Tip #1: Check the fan setting
The thermostat usually has several different settings, depending on your HVAC system. A furnace-only setting typically has "Fan," "Auto," and "Off." A system with integrated AC may also have a "Cool" setting. Verify that the furnace is set to "Auto." A common error is to set it to fan, which means the fan continues to blow even when the furnace isn't actively heating air. This causes cooler air to blow through the ducts. This is often the case if you notice that your furnace is sometimes blowing hot air and other times blowing cool air.
Tip #2: Look for the little blue flame
If you have a gas furnace, there will be a small blue-flamed pilot light on at all times. This is the flame that causes the combustion, which heats the air. Many modern furnaces are simple to light. Some even have a button, and all you have to do is push it. For others, find the gas valve and turn it off for several minutes. Then, switch it to the pilot setting and use a long match, like a fireplace match or a grill lighter to light the pilot. If the light refuses to stay lit or if it burns any other color than blue, turn off the gas and call a heating contractor to check the pilot assembly.
Tip #3: Combat overheating
A furnace can overheat, which causes the heating coils to shut down. In some cases, no heat is being produced but the fan continues to run, which means you have cool air blowing through the house. There are several causes of overheating. First, clean or replace the filter. Next, dust down the furnace itself. Finally, make sure there is plenty of room for air circulation around the furnace.
These issues aren't the only causes for poor furnace performance. There can be internal damage in the burners, broken blower motors, or issues with the igniter that helps fire the heat in your furnace. These problems aren't easy fixes for those with minimal HVAC knowledge. If these simple troubleshooting tips don't solve your issue, contact an HVAC contractor, such as R & R Heating & Cooling of Polk CO Inc, for more help.