There's never a convenient time for your home's gas furnace to run into problems. However, it seems like the need for furnace repairs tends to happen on the most frigid nights of winter. If you're running into issues with your home's furnace, you'll want to have your heating equipment assessed by a furnace repair professional sooner rather than later.
Still, knowledge is power —and educating yourself on some of the most common causes of gas furnace problems can help you prepare for your service appointment.
Does it sound like your furnace is constantly cycling on and off? Take a minute to listen to its operation; a gas furnace with a cycling problem will typically have a minute or two of fan/blower running, followed by a shorter period where the unit shuts off entirely. This cycle will repeat, with little or no actual heat delivered to the home's vents.
Most often, cycling problems are caused by an airflow problem within your home's ductwork. In other cases, a faulty thermostat or even a clogged air filter could be to blame. If you've checked your thermostat settings and replaced your air filter and the problem continues, you're probably going to need a furnace repair tech to diagnose and address the problem.
Blowing Cool Air
If lukewarm or even cold air is coming out of your air vents, there are a number of possible causes. In some cases, the issue may be nothing more than a pilot light that needs to be re-lit. However, if the pilot light is on and there is still not enough heat coming through your vents, the culprit is more likely to be a bad thermocouple or even a cracked heat exchanger. Both of these are parts that will need to be replaced by an HVAC professional who offers full-service furnace repairs.
Scraping or Banging Noises
Strange noises coming from your furnace can tell you a lot about potential problems. High-pitched squealing noises, for example, can indicate a slipped or damaged blower belt. Meanwhile, banging or scraping sounds are more likely to alert you to a ball bearing that needs replacement or another mechanical problem. If strange noises are accompanied by a burning smell, be sure to shut your furnace off entirely and wait for your furnace repair technician to arrive.
No matter what kind of furnace problems you may be facing, an experienced and knowledgeable furnace repair professional can have your heating system working again in no time.