Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Five Gas Furnace Troubleshooting Tips for St. Louis Area Homeowners

If you're one of the many St. Louis area homeowners who have a gas furnace, you're bound to run into an issue at some point or another. Although you might not be an expert in HVAC, there are still some ways you can troubleshoot your unit on your own.

The important thing to know about troubleshooting your gas furnace is what you're able to do yourself and when it's time to call a professional.

Here are five gas furnace troubleshooting tips you can try on your own the next time your unit is acting up. Please remember to take precautionary measures when performing ANY troubleshooting tasks on your gas furnace, in particular when dealing with your circuit breaker.
  1. Check all of your thermostat settings. You'd be surprised how many times someone thinks his or her furnace is broken when the unit actually isn't turned on! If it seems like your furnace isn't running, check your thermostat to ensure that your unit is turned on, is set to heat mode and that the set temperature is higher than the actual temperature in your home. Also make sure the fan is set to "on" when troubleshooting air flow issues.
  2. Check your circuit breaker. Sometimes when you're furnace shuts down, it's actually not your furnace's fault. The circuit breaker may have tripped, which means no power is being sent to your unit. Flip your circuit breaker's switch and see if your furnace turns back on.
  3. Inspect your air filter. If you've noticed your furnace is running inefficiently or is shutting down soon after it's turned on, you might have a dirty air filter. Take out your air filter and check for any large amounts of dust, dirt and debris.
  4. Examine all ducts and vents. Another reason your furnace might be running inefficiently is due to air flow blockages in your ducts or vents. Make sure all the vents in your house are open and clear of furniture and other objects. Also check to see if there are any visible obstructions in your air ducts that could be restricting air flow.
  5. Check venting pipes in high efficiency units. If you have a high efficiency furnace, you might experience clogs or blockages in the PVC pipes that are used for ventilation. In particular, check the pipes outside of your home to see if they are obstructed by snow, ice or leaves.

When you need to consult a professional


If you are unable to determine the cause of your furnace's problems, or if you notice damage to any parts of your furnace, it's best to consult a professional. In particular, you don't want to mess around with anything that could cause carbon monoxide leaks that could affect the health of your family.

If you have any questions about troubleshooting your furnace, or would like to have yours inspected by a professional, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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