It’s true that San Diego is one of the sunniest places you could live. Not even this saves local homeowners from winter temperatures and occasional rainfall. We know how annoying it is to come home on a chilly day and not your furnace won’t start up, that’s why we put together this short troubleshooting guide for when your home heating is not working.
Home Heat is Not Working to Clean Air
One thing we’ve noticed during the winter is that indoor air can easily become stagnant. Opening a window and bringing in some fresh air should be the first thing you do if your air feels stale.
After you open the window and let some air in, the next step is to check your air filter. The air filter is responsible for two very important jobs. One is keeping dust and other debris out of your HVAC system.
Without a filter, dust can accumulate in your furnace and cause parts to back-up or break. The second job of an HVAC filter is to keep your home, and your family, safe.
Depending on the strength of the filter, it can trap dust, pollen, allergens, and other indoor air contaminates. When an air filter is properly working, it keeps these airborne contaminates from getting into your home and your HVAC system.
When an air filter is too dirty or too full, it can’t properly trap any of these particles. Therefore, you’re left with home air that smells or feels heavy and stale. You can also blame a dirty air filter if you’ve seen an increase in your utility bills. A furnace needs to work twice as hard to push treated air through a dirty filter.
At ASI, we recommend changing your air filter at least twice per year. Once in the spring before you start using your AC and once in the fall before it’s time to turn on the furnace. It’s important to also remember that you need to regularly check your air filter if you leave close to a construction site, have lots of furry animals, or are dealing with fire season.
- Check and replace the air filter
- Schedule routine maintenance for your furnace and AC
- Dust all registers and vents
These small changes can have a major impact on your home’s indoor air quality.
Home Heating is Not Working to Heat Air
Ever had one of those mornings where you turn on the furnace and only feel a rush of cool air come from the vents? If so, you’re not alone.
As ASI, we always say it’s time to call the White Glove Guys for big repairs, but there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot your system.
- Adjust the thermostat settings to see if anything changes. Start by changing the preferred temperature to be 5 to 10 degrees warmer than room temperature and see if that makes a difference.
- Check all your vents and registers and make sure they’re not covered by furniture, artwork, or any other obstruction.
- Did you have a recent power outage? An energy route disruption could be throwing everything off. Reset the power breaker and see if that helps.
- The last thing you can do is to make sure the gas valves are open and working.
If these solutions don’t’ fix the problem, it’s time to call in a professional to find a solution.
The big thing to keep in mind that if your furnace can’t produce any warm air, it can usually be attributed to a larger problem like a failing motor, coil, or large part.
Home Heating is Not Working at All
We’ve covered what to do when your system is operational, but what happens when the system just won’t turn on? Good news, there are a few things you can try.
The first place you should start is with the thermostat. There are times when all you need to do is change the batteries in the thermostat or just turn it of and back on again.
If you live with other people, it might be a good idea to ask around. There are times when someone will change the thermostat settings to their liking, and they forget to change everything back.
We mentioned this above, but a power outage can throw your system into chaos. No matter the type of furnace you have—gas or electric—you will need to force a restart.
For more serious issues, it may be possible that:
- A safety switch was triggered. They don’t make furnaces like they used to. The newer models have a lot more safety switches. When something causes a safety switch to trigger, there’s no one who can get the unit working again except for an HVAC professional.
- The fire exchanger may be disabled. We talked about how an overfull air conditioner can cause damage to your system, the fire exchanger is a perfect example of this. When too much dust gets into the fire exchanger, the entire system won’t start.
Unfortuantely, there comes a time in every furnace’s life when troubleshooting wont’ work. Most furnaces have a lifespan of 16 to 20 years depending on use and maintenance. Your furnace just might be at the end of its life.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the White Glove Guys if you have any questions about your home’s heating system.