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Does Your Furnace Need Repair? How To Troubleshoot Heater Problems

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Your furnace is an appliance that you may not pay much attention to until it stops working. That's why it helps to know the basics of how the furnace works so that you can troubleshoot common problems. This can help let you know if the furnace news to be repaired by a professional or if you can fix it yourself.

Know How Gas Furnaces Work

Start by knowing the basics of how a gas furnace works. The furnace burns up natural gas so that the heat exchanger gets hot. The flue vent releases all of the gas fumes caused by that process, and the blower fan will push the air over the heat exchange so it goes through the ductwork. As you can see, there are several components that must all work together for your furnace to produce hot air, and they can all stop working for a variety of reasons.

Understand The Safety Switches

There are a variety of safety switches that a furnace has that will shut your furnace down if there is a major problem. This prevents gas from being released into your home without going through the combustion process. If you have a modern furnace, there may be a series of blinking lights on the side of the furnace. These lights are related to a code that identifies which safety switch has shut down the furnace. Look up your furnace's safety codes, which will give a clear indication about what system in your furnace has failed.

For example, a furnace will have a pressure switch inside of it, which makes sure there is enough air flowing through the heat exchanger for the furnace to operate safely. If there is an issue with the blower fan that is not causing that heat to leave the furnace and pass through the heat exchanger, there can be a lot of heat that builds up inside the furnace, which is quite dangerous. The pressure switch will trip and shut down the furnace as a result. A professional HVAC contractor should be able to recognize a trouble code with the pressure switch and tell that the problem is likely due to a bad blower motor. 

Of course, understanding how a furnace works may be well out of your comfort zone. If your furnace is not working and you are unsure why, bring in a furnace repair contractor to diagnose the problem and perform all of the necessary repairs for you.