Furnace On The Fritz: How To Troubleshoot Your Furnace

Perhaps it’s hard to believe, but about a quarter of the calls for furnace repair are completely unnecessary. It is easy for even the most mechanically challenged of us to learn what to do when the furnace goes on the fritz.

Checking Your Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces have their own needs and you must be careful that they are operating correctly. Check the following carefully. If your furnace does not give you the heat that it should, you likely need a clean filter. If your furnace cycles on and off too frequently, inspect and, if necessary repair or replace the blower fan belt.

Checking and Replacing Worn Belts

If your belt is frayed or looks worn, replace it immediately. Check the tension of the belt. Even if the belt appears to be good, if there is more than 1/2-inch of give, move the motor assembly so the belt tightens and holds properly. Do not over-tighten. Check the pulley alignment. If you see the belt twisting, loosen the pulley mounting bolts and adjust the belt.

Test Rooms That Are Not Heated or Cooled Properly

Sometimes, one room in the house always seems colder than the other rooms in the winter. It is easy to test the room’s airflow to make sure there is enough hot air from the furnace coming into the room. You can test this with an unused plastic garbage bag. Measuring the time it takes to fill the bag with air with this simple test:

  • Tape the mouth of the bag around a coat hanger or piece of cardboard to keep it open.
  • Crush the garbage bag flat and place over the register opening or exhaust hood.
  • Count the number of seconds that it takes to inflate the bag fully.

If it takes longer than 10 seconds to fill the bag, the system needs to be inspected to find the reason. This test is also handy if you made renovations and have changed your heating or cooling systems.

Take Care of Your HVAC Systems Before Trouble Shows

Heating and cooling systems are large, expensive and sometimes complex. There is no reason to ignore them until they break completely. Taking care of the systems means taking care of your family. Finding a good, reliable company to call in case of a breakdown is a wise idea. Check into local HVAC companies to find the best fit for you with the service you want and need.

Information Source: Academy Mechanical Services Inc.