How to Tell If Your Furnace Is in Trouble


Homeowners with furnace trouble could be facing a whole range of potential problems. Finding out which one is plaguing your home can be a real challenge and it might take a few minutes of troubleshooting to determine the type of issue you’re dealing with and the best way to solve it. Fixing the problem can be a lot like air conditioning repair, you may need to rule out what it isn’t before you can find out what it is that has your furnace on the fritz.

To help you get through this difficult process, here are some of the most common indications that your furnace is in trouble and you may need to take action. Many of these you can solve on your own, others may require a professional’s expertise to fix.

Thermostat Issues

The thermostat is the main control center of your heating and cooling system. So, if it’s not working properly, your furnace isn’t going to operate the way it should. A faulty thermostat could be something as simple as a dead battery that needs to be replaced or a tripped fuse or circuit. A furnace that won’t turn on from the thermostat or a furnace that is rapid cycling may be facing other more complicated issues so be sure to check the electrical first before moving on to an examination of the furnace itself.

Faulty Doors

The furnace door or the burner door can keep your furnace from operating if either one or both have been left open. If this becomes a common occurrence, the doors may need to be adjusted so that they are no longer allowed to remain ajar. Malfunctions are often frightening when it comes to your furnace because these issues can become costly to fix. But check the doors first and see if these aren’t causing you problems with the unit.

Loud Sounds

While it’s not uncommon for any furnace to make loud noises when they it’s running, a particularly noisy furnace is a tell-tale sign that there is trouble ahead. The trouble is, your problem could be almost anything, from a knocking sound that tells you a belt has come loose or snapped altogether to a high-pitched squeaking noise that is letting you know you have an ignition switch that is about to go bad.

Higher Energy Costs

Ever notice that your heating bills have increased in a relatively short period of time? One of the reasons could very well be your furnace. In most instances, it’s due to the age of the furnace which is not as energy efficient as it once was. It could also be something more complex with respect to other components of your HVAC system and the furnace is the first thing to start showing signs of wear and tear.

Rapid Cycling

This was mentioned earlier as a potential thermostat issue, a furnace that is turning itself on and off in quick succession means that your unit is about to be on the blink. But if you find that your furnace is rapid cycling, the thermostat could be part of the reason or the wiring has gone bad or you may be looking at a bad ignition switch.