This is not the time of year you want to find out you don’t have heat! Your home can feel as cold inside as the outside is when the temperatures drops, and no one wants that.
Your heat isn’t coming on and you realize your pilot light isn’t igniting a spark. Most furnaces now have electronic ignitions. These can quit working for a multitude of reasons, but now what do you do?
Do you smell gas? If you do you may want to get out of the house, call the gas company and have it shut off quickly. If you don’t smell gas, there are various things you can check to start troubleshooting.
Your Furnace’s Thermostat
Check to make sure your thermostat is set correctly and seems to be giving you the correct room temperature. It may be malfunctioning if not. It could be as simple as that.
Your furnace’s air filters should be changed regularly. A clogged air filter can create debris and can cause problems. The reduced airflow that is caused because of a clogged-up filter can lead to burning out the motor prematurely. The simplest thing you can do for your furnace is to change the filters.
Pay attention to what your furnace does when trying to ignite (start-up). If it won’t light up after its combustion cycle, it likely needs the electronic ignition system replaced. If a furnace usually ignites but only fires for a few minutes and then shuts off, it’s probably going to need new pilot light installed.
Dirt can build up on the burners of your furnace, which prevents them from burning evenly. In turn, this can cause the temperature to be lower than expected and require you to use more heating energy. What happens when your burner vents get clogged is that the furnace can’t properly vent the heat. Blowing compressed air on them and wiping the outside of each one should remove any dust and dirt. But make sure the furnace is off when doing so.
Along with the list above, there are various sensors in your furnace. Like your car, a sensor can go bad in your furnace too, and may need to be replaced.
Most furnaces if kept maintained can last upwards of 20 years. So if a part goes bad like the ignitor you have to weigh the expense of replacing the part to the age of the furnace and how many more years you may get out of it. This is when you may need to talk to a professional HVAC technician who can find out what is really wrong with your furnace and help you decide your next step.
This is where Greer’s Heating and Air Conditioning comes in. Give us a call anytime there are signs of trouble with your home heating or better yet, call us to keep your system maintained.