Your HVAC system having heating issues is never fun to deal with, especially during the cold days. Whether it feels like cold air is coming out, or the HVAC system is having airflow issues or ductwork issues, there are common furnace problems that a little troubleshooting by homeowners can avoid unnecessary repair bills.

While there may be issues with internal components, such as the blower motor, limit switch, fan motors, flame sensors, electronic ignition control, to faulty thermostats, compressor, gas valves, heat exchangers or thermocouples, which will typically require a HVAC professional to repair, there are other issues that you can address to get the warm air flowing again.

You never know, it might be that your heating system just needs a couple common heating tweaks in order to return to working properly, and potentially even reduce your energy costs. Have a look at the following things before you call for heating repair.

The Thermostat

The amount of times we’ve been called to repair a heating system, only to find that the “problem” was the result of a thermostat or programmable thermostat setting, would amaze you. Before you assume that your air conditioner or heater failing to start or not performing well enough is the result of a problem, go ahead and check your thermostat to make sure that it’s set properly. It’s possible that someone else in your home set it differently and didn’t tell you, or that it just needs some new batteries. If the thermostat appears to be working fine, you might need to look elsewhere to find the issue.

The Air Filter

Many homeowners aren’t even aware that their heating systems have air filters. If you’re using a centralized forced air heater, though, you almost certainly have one. The air filter is located in the air return duct for the heating system. Locate it, remove it, and see if the furnace filter is clogged with debris. Dirty air filters with lots of buildup on them can cause airflow issues, causing many other parts to work harder than needed to get the job done, Clogged filters are one of the most common heating problems that is easily fixed by a homeowner troubleshooting.

You’ll also notice an increase in energy bills because of the restricted airflow from the clogged filter, not to mention the reduction in indoor air quality. If so, you probably need to replace it to allow the system to circulate air properly. 

It’s also possible to have a reduction in air quality from buildup in the air ducts over time, and as we spend more time indoors during the winter months, it may be a good move to have a HVAC professional who is certified in duct cleaning to take a look at your system.

Another issue of clogged filters can be overheating, as buildup can occur on the heat exchanger, and if there’s no airflow to keep the heated air moving, it can cause an issue where the warm air builds up and can cause overheating. If that happens it may require a HVAC repair professional to come out and service your electric or gas furnace.

If you don’t know how to replace your air filter, contact a professional and they’ll be happy to walk you through it, or schedule for a regular maintenance visit, also called a tune-up, to keep things running smoothly. Lack of maintenance is a common furnace problem.

The Circuit Breaker

Your heating and air conditioning system all run, in part, from the electric power from a circuit breaker. It’s possible that something overloaded the circuit that your heating system was using, causing the circuit breaker to trip and cut off power (also referred to as a tripped breaker). Check the circuit breaker to make sure that everything is set to the “on” position. If so, then the problem is somewhere else. If not, reset any tripped circuits and see if that fixes the problem. If your circuit breaker continues to trip, that could indicate a more serious electrical issue that you need to resolve.

The Pilot Light

If you’re using a gas-burning heating system, then it uses some sort of ignition part to start the combustion process. That could be a standing pilot light, as is the case with many older systems, or some sort of electrical ignition system. If it’s a standing pilot light, you should be able to check and see if it’s still burning. No pilot light, no way for the system to burn gas to generate heat. If the pilot light is out, try relighting it. If the pilot light won’t relight, or does and doesn’t stay lit (intermittent pilot light), then you’ve probably found the issue. You’re going to need to have a HVAC professional take a look at the system if it’s not lighting properly, though.

Climate Control Heating & Cooling offers comprehensive heating repair services in Kansas City, MO. If you need help with your heating system, we’re here for you. Contact us today for an appointment and let the Team with the Bear Provide Comfort and Care!