Furnace Troubleshooting: A Few Easy Tips To Get Your System Running Again

Imagine this scenario: Your furnace stops working in the middle of a Portland winter, or maybe it just isn’t keeping your home warm enough. The last thing you want to do is call a repair person, shiver in your home until they arrive and add another bill to your budget, right? The good news is, you may not have to make that call.

Here are a few furnace troubleshooting tips you can try:

When The Furnace Is Running, But Not Heating

  • Raise the thermostat setting by 5 degrees and wait several minutes.
  • Check that the register grilles are open and not blocked by curtains or furniture.
  • Replace the filter if it’s dirty.

When Furnace Isn’t Running

  • Be sure the power switch is on and the thermostat is turned to the heat setting.
  • Check that the circuit breaker is on and look for a blown fuse on the main electrical (and any secondary) panel. Flip the breaker off, then on again, or replace the blown fuse. If the circuit blows a second time, there may be a short and you may need to consult an electrical contractor.
  • Try the motor reset button near the blower motor housing and if there is one, press it. If necessary, wait half an hour for the motor to cool before trying a second time.
  • Check for a blown fuse in the power switch, if your furnace has a fuse there. Turn off the power first. Replace the fuse according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have your owner’s manual, call your contractor.
  • For a gas furnace, check to see that the pilot light is lit and the gas valve is on. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, turn off the gas and power, then use a thin wire to poke and clean out the hole where the pilot burns. Adjust the height of the flame with the adjustment screw until you get a steady 1.5- to 2-inch flame with no yellow.

For more in-depth furnace troubleshooting, contact the experts at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical. Visit our website or just give us a call at (503) 994-9924.