Winter is on its way to Orlando, and even though we don’t get the cold weather some other regions of the country experience, Orlando homeowners do need to turn the heat on occasionally. It will probably function well and without mishap when it comes on. However, if you do experience issues with your heating system, here are a few furnace troubleshooting tips that might mean the difference between an expensive service call or a furnace that’s working optimally and efficiently.
If your furnace is on, but producing no heat:
- Check your thermostat. Make sure that it’s set to the Heat mode, and that the temperature is set low enough that your heat should be coming on.
- Check your circuit breaker. It may have been tripped, and you simply need to switch it on.
- Ensure that the pilot light is on. If it isn’t, follow your manufacturer’s instructions for relighting it.
If your furnace starts, but then cuts off frequently:
- Check the thermostat heat anticipator. This small device underneath the thermostat cover controls when the thermostat tells the furnace to turn off. It may need adjusting if your furnace never reaches the desired heat setting, or it cycles off and on.
- Inspect your air filter, which may be dirty. Check your filters every month, for clogs and dirt build up, and replace them as often, or at least every six to eight weeks when you’re running your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system regularly.
- Check that the fan setting is on the Auto mode. In Auto mode, the fan runs to match the thermostat’s temperature setting. Conversely, settings such as On or Low cause continuous fan operation, and off and on cycling.
If you’re seeing flakes of rust:
- Known as scales, these by-products of burning gas can produce moisture and rust, as well as hinder gas flow if they fall on the burners. They’re seen at the bottom of the furnace, inside the housing.
- Clean the flakes from the housing, and hire a technician to clean the burners.
If your furnace is making squealing noises, or high or low-pitched rumbles, you need to be aware:
- Squealing may be caused by bearings needing to be oiled, or a slipping blower belt. Lubricate the oil blower motor ports, and adjust the belt tension so that it gives one inch at the center when it’s depressed.
- Rumbling when the burner is off can indicate that you need to adjust the pilot light. If the burners are on, and you hear a rumble, the gas burners may be dirty. Call a professional HVAC contractor to clean the burners.
For more information on furnace troubleshooting, please contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve been serving residential and commercial customers in the Orlando area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas 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.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock