Experiencing problems with your furnace is incredibly frustrating, especially during particularly cold stretches of weather in winter. One of the most effective methods of dealing with these problems is by spotting them early and calling a professional furnace technician to repair them as quickly as possible. Here are the most common furnace problems and their symptoms.

Clogged Filters

The air filter within your furnace has the incredibly important job of removing dust, pollen, hair, dander, and other airborne particulates from the air as it circulates throughout your home. When the air filter becomes clogged, it hinders its ability to filter out contaminants and drastically reduces airflow throughout the system.

Low airflow makes it increasingly difficult to heat your home, forcing the furnace to work harder and longer. While a clogged air filter is one of the most common furnace issues, it’s also the easiest to rectify by replacing or cleaning the filter.

Furnace Isn’t Starting Up

When the temperature in a room with a thermostat dips below a certain threshold, the furnace should kick on immediately to bring the temperature back up to your desired setting. However, it’s a common issue for furnaces to take a long time to start up or fail to start at all when the temperature in your home is low.

A furnace could have problems starting up for several reasons. For instance, the thermostat could be malfunctioning, the wiring could be damaged, or the breaker for the furnace could be tripped. A professional furnace technician should be called to properly diagnose and fix this issue.

Weak or Flickering Pilot Light

Without the pilot light, your furnace can’t produce heat. If the pilot light is weak or flickering, it may still be able to generate some heat, but the temperature will be much lower than it should be. A pilot light may weaken or flicker for a variety of reasons, such as an excessive amount of carbon monoxide in the system, a broken thermocouple, or issues with the gas line.

Working with the pilot light and gas line is extremely dangerous. If you discover a weak or flickering pilot light in your furnace, it’s best to call a professional furnace technician immediately to fix the problem safely.

Odd Noises

Hearing mysterious noises in your furnace is incredibly common, but many of these noises are symptoms of various problems. For instance, a grinding noise is frequently indicative of a damaged or failing blower motor. Whistling noises are often the result of leaking ducts or severely restricted airflow in ducts, vents, and air filters. Loud banging noises may be due to expansion in the ducts, dirty burners, or poor ignition causing small bursts of energy when the gas is finally lit.

While the source of the noise can be narrowed down when you identify it, only a professional furnace technician can fully evaluate the cause of the problem and fix it.

Constant Cycling

When your furnace frequently cycles between on and off, it makes it very difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. In addition, cycling puts a huge toll on your furnace and may cause additional issues.

Constant cycling is typically caused by a malfunctioning thermostat reading the temperature incorrectly, restricted airflow causing spikes in the internal temperature, or a flame sensor issue.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger in your furnace has the vital function of transferring the heat from the ignited gas in the system to the air flowing throughout your house. Heat exchangers can become cracked due to damage, temperature fluctuations, and wear and tear over time. While a cracked heat exchanger is a common furnace problem, it’s also very dangerous. Carbon monoxide can seep out of the crack and cause carbon monoxide poisoning to anyone in the house.

A cracked heat exchanger is usually signified by soot around the furnace, a burning or metallic smell, or the pilot light turning yellow or orange instead of the usual blue. Due to the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s crucial to contact a professional furnace technician immediately if you suspect your heat exchanger is cracked.

Our skilled and experienced technicians at Waterbury Heating & Cooling, Inc. will provide you with high-quality repair services for any problems you’re experiencing with your furnace. In addition to furnace repair, maintenance, and replacement, we also provide installation, repair, and maintenance services for air conditioners, water heaters, generators, and much more. For additional information on any of the services we provide to the areas in and around Sioux Falls, South Dakota, contact us at Waterbury Heating & Cooling, Inc. today.

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