Troubleshooting Furnace Problems

When a furnace malfunctions, it usually takes a professional to fix or replace the furnace. If homeowners understand the basics of how a furnace heats a home, they can help ward off furnace problems before they become serious.

Basic Furnace Maintenance

With proper assistance, any homeowner can perform simple HVAC troubleshooting steps in order to maintain their furnace at an optimum level of performance. Here are some tips to give a helping hand finding furnace problems.

Furnace Filter Maintenance and Replacement

furnace repair

At one time or another every heating system, that uses forced air, finds the filters have become plugged and dirty. Just as a vacuum cleaner loses efficiency and vacuum when its filters are clogged, a furnace needs air to flow freely though the filters.

When furnace filters are clogged, they should be cleaned or replaced promptly for optimum furnace efficiency. During the year when the weather dictates the operation of a furnace on a constant basis the filters should be well cleaned or replaced every two to three weeks to avoid problems.

Furnace Electrical Troubleshooting

The wiring that leads to a furnace should be on a dedicated circuit from the electrical circuit breaker box direct to the furnace.

A properly operating furnace will never trip the breakers and cut off power. An occurrence like that is an indicator of incorrect wiring to the furnace.

The steps to take are calling a qualified electrician to inspect the problem. This is an example of good HVAC troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting for Radiator Heating Systems

Heating systems that utilize radiators lose efficiency when air traps in the radiator system.

This air stops water from filling the radiator properly. Incomplete filling of the radiator reduces the radiator surface area available to heat the home.

To drain this water locate the drain valve on the bottom of each radiator, This is called the bleed valve. Opening some valves can be a chore and require a special tool.

However, often there is just a flip cap top to open the valve. Be sure you have something handy to catch the water, as it will come out quickly.

If your heating system is in operation, be cautious because the water can be hot enough to burn skin.

Hot Water Heating Systems Boiler Maintenance

Most hot water heating systems have a boiler.

Over time boilers build up dirt and sediment and need to be drained just as the radiator does.

Draining sediment from a boiler is not removal of air.

The boiler will have a drain valve near the bottom. Drain on bucket of water at minimum.

The water should run until reasonably clear. Do maintenance routinely and the boiler will operate at its at an efficient level.

When performing routine maintenance or trouble shooting on a heating system, do not use force to open any valves that will not open by hand force only.

A professional should correct the problem and any other problems you cannot diagnose with these easy troubleshooting tips.