Common Furnace Issues and How to Fix Them

Ontario is currently in the midst of heating season, which means your furnace will most likely be working overtime to heat your home over the next few months. The last thing you want to happen right now is for your furnace to suddenly slow down heat production or altogether malfunction. Don’t let a broken-down furnace leave you and your family out in the cold this winter. Keep reading to learn about the most common furnace issues and how to fix them.

A lot of the time furnace repair services are called in to make simple repairs that you can do yourself at home—this happens more often than you might think. For that reason, it’s important to educate yourself on the most common furnace issues you could encounter and what to do about them. However, if you’re uncomfortable tinkering around with the internal and external mechanisms of your furnace, then you should consider scheduling a service appointment with a heating and air conditioning professional instead.

What Are the Most Furnace Problems in Ontario?

Canadians are all too familiar with the perils of winter and there’s nothing worse than having your furnace break down right in the middle of the season when you need it at top performance the most. Before you reach for the phone and call a repair service, though, look out for these common furnace problems to see if you can fix them yourself.

Furnace Turns On, But No Heat

To fix this issue, you need to first understand the basic mechanical functions of your furnace. Of course, this depends on the type of setup you have and whether your furnace is operated by natural gas, electricity, propane, or oil. If you’re not sure, then you might want to have a professional come and take a look at it.

How to fix: First and foremost, check your thermostat and make sure that the “heat” setting is turned on. You’d be surprised how often homeowners forget to do this!

If your thermostat is already set to “heat”, but your furnace still doesn’t produce any heat, then your next step should be to check the circuit breaker that controls your furnace and make sure that the fuse isn’t blown. It’s possible that the fuse or breaker could have been tripped or accidentally turned off.

You can manually reset the breaker by switching it from the “on” to “off” position and vice versa. Try doing this several times. If your furnace is still not working, then you’ll need to call a repair service because it could be a circuit, wiring, or breaker issue.

Poor or Lack of Airflow

When it comes to an underperforming furnace, poor or lack of sufficient airflow is an entirely different beast. You may notice that certain spaces in your home are consistently toasty and warm, whereas other areas consist of seemingly random cold spots. What this means is that your furnace, for one reason or another, isn’t sufficiently or consistently distributing heat throughout your home.

How to fix: If you’re wondering how to fix your furnace if it’s not heating your home properly or to your liking, then the first thing you should do is check that the filter isn’t clogged. A clogged filter is one of the most common and easily fixable furnace problems. Ideally, you should change your furnace filter approximately every 90 days to ensure optimal functionality, keep your home thoroughly heated, and prevent potential fires caused by dust and debris accumulation.

A clean furnace filter also ensures better and safer air quality for you and your family to breathe in. Identify the exact location of your filter as well as the size and type of filter your furnace requires, so that you can easily replace it as part of your unit’s regular maintenance specifications.

Additionally, you should do a walkthrough of your entire dwelling to check the air vents for dust and debris accumulations or any other obstructions that could be impacting the air quality in your home. Make sure that all of the air vents are open and completely unobstructed by furniture or other objects to maximize hot airflow throughout your home.

Malfunctioning Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace that heats air as it travels from your furnace directly to the vents throughout your home. There are several reasons that your heat exchanger could malfunction.

How to fix: The most common cause for a heat exchanger malfunction is a clogged furnace filter. If the filter gets too clogged and you neglect to change it regularly, then this can cause the heat exchanger to work in overdrive and shut off automatically. As mentioned, you can fix this problem by changing out your furnace filter every 90 days.

Another cause of heat exchanger malfunction is crack formations that happen over time. Crack formations in your heat exchanger are dangerous because they allow carbon monoxide—also known as the silent killer—to enter into your home. Installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and scheduling regular maintenance appointments can help keep you and your family safe while also maximizing your furnace’s overall functionality and longevity.

Circuit Breaker Issues

Sometimes, something can cause the circuit breaker that controls your furnace to trip, or someone may have accidentally turned it off during a regular maintenance check and neglected to turn it back on.

It’s also possible that the circuit breaker might have blown or been compromised, causing your furnace to stop working.

How to fix: As mentioned, you can try resetting the circuit breaker yourself by turning it off and on or vice versa. Just be sure that you’ve identified the correct circuit breaker and you’re not accidentally toying with another appliance’s power source.

If there’s an internal problem with the circuit breaker, then you should contact an electrician or a professional furnace service provider.

MDM Mechanical is one of the leading HVAC and furnace installation, maintenance, and repair service companies in Ontario. As a family-owned and operated business, we’re happy to provide high-quality and reliable services with a smile. If you’re having furnace issues, contact us today to schedule a service appointment.

About Michael Mead

Michael Mead was born and raised in London, Ontario. He spent 5 years in Calgary, Alberta – and furthered his education in Natural Gas. If Michael isn’t working, he is at home with his son and wife or cooking for a large group of family and friends. Michael is extremely passionate about his business, and is constantly looking for ways to better himself as an employer.

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