While technology is bound to fail regardless of precautionary measures, it’s still important to keep your furnace system in the best shape possible with regular preventive maintenance to endure Calgary’s harsh winter conditions. However, when a system does fail, it’s also important to know what to do next to avoid the cost of a service call and the potential embarrassment when the problem is a simple fix. Use these furnace troubleshooting tips when you find yourself in a bind:
Check the power
In order to operate, the furnace has to be powered up, and most furnaces have power switches in a few locations. Look first for a power switch located on the main indoor furnace unit. Inside the furnace there is another power switch that automatically shuts down power to the unit if the service panel or blower door is open. Make sure each is tightly secured. Finally, check the circuit breaker, and flip the switch to the furnace on if it’s been tripped.
Assess the thermostat
With power to the system assured, it’s time to check the thermostat:
- Set the switch to “heat” mode.
- Boost the indoor temperature setting three degrees (or more) higher than the current indoor temperature.
- For battery-operated thermostats, try replacing the batteries.
Evaluate the ignition
Only very old furnaces have pilot lights. If yours does, follow the user guide to relight it. Newer furnaces will have either a spark ignition or an intermittent pilot light. If you hear continuous clicking, the system isn’t lighting up and you’ll need to call a pro. Furnace systems also use a hot surface ignitor to fire up the burners, and these should have a red glow. If it’s not glowing, it’s possible that the heating element has broken or cracked.
Keep these furnace troubleshooting tips tucked away for that “rainy day” when you need them, and get your furnace the care it needs. For help with troubleshooting problems or to schedule a service appointment, contact the experts at Arpi’s Industries – the leading HVAC experts in the Calgary area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace troubleshooting and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.