how to troubleshoot a heating system

How to Troubleshoot a Heating System

how to troubleshoot a heating system

We understand that not all heating and cooling units can last forever (most last 12 to 15 years with proper maintenance), but we sure as heck want to treat them like they will. Whether it is a DIY repair job or you’re calling heating and cooling companies, you want to make sure the repair is effective.

About the Industry: The United States HVAC industry is estimated to be worth around $71 billion dollars, which makes sense if you think about it. The U.S. is home to some of the most varying degrees in temperature in the world, from extreme heat to extreme cold. However, this net worth is also attributed to rising energy costs, which is why from 2009 to 2014 the industry grew 4.1% annually.

Lucky for us, the heating and cooling industry employs around 301,123 people, so if you ever need furnace repair or A/C repair, there is always going to be someone to call.

It will eventually be that time of year again when the furnace kicks in. Yes, it is always a sad day when the heat turns on, but what happens if it’s cold outside and you’re in need of an immediate furnace repair?

Before you call for a furnace repair service company for your natural gas or propane furnace, make sure to go through these troubleshooting steps to determine what the cause might be.

Check the Thermostat: The first thing to do is head straight for the thermostat to make sure it is actually set to “heat” and is set above room temperature. If not, it won’t turn on. Make sure the furnace fan is on and try setting it to the highest setting.

Check the Furnace: If the fan doesn’t run when you turn it on, check the breaker, fuse, or the furnace switch. You may be able to determine whether or not the breaker was tripped, which signals there may be a loose wire connection somewhere. Check for burn spots as these are a good sign a wire is loose.

Check the Window: If there is no loose wire and the breaker fuse wasn’t tripped, look for a flashing green light inside the inspection window of the blower compartment. If you don’t see a light, this could mean one of many problems — a transformer issue, the furnace control board, the blower motor, or the thermostat.

Check the Pilot: If your furnace has a pilot light, you should make sure that it is lit. If it is, does the flame touch the tip of the thermocouple? If not, you will definitely need professional furnace repair, as fixing this problem can be dangerous.

Check the Side: Feel along the side of the furnace if the pilot is lit but the main burners aren’t coming on. If the side of it is cool, it may be a thermostat issue or a gas valve problem.

Check the Burner: If you have a main burner, is it trying to ignite? If you aren’t sure, listen for a rapid clicking noise — this should indicate whether or not the pilot is working. If nothing lights, the flue may be blocked or the control board could have issues.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your furnace is safe to troubleshoot or you cannot figure out the issue, always call your local heating and air conditioning company.

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