Check air filter

DIY Furnace Troubleshooting

Preserving complete home comfort during the cooler months is one of the greatest concerns for a lot of people. Sure, you’d like that to extend year-round, but when winter gets its coldest, it feels a tad more important. The scenario normally unfolds like this: your local Beaverton weatherperson is forecasting the coldest day of the year and your furnace decides to go out. Now there’s no need to panic and call a furnace technician quite yet. There are a couple things you can check on your own before making the call.

  1. Ensure your thermostat is set to “heat” – sure, it sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget to set your thermostat to the correct mode. Whether it’s an inadvertent change while cleaning or you had an unexpected jump in temperatures for a few days and didn’t need your thermostat, double check your thermostat’s setting.
  2. Check your filter – one of the most common causes of furnaces turning off suddenly is a dirty filter. When furnace filters get excessively dirty, air cannot pass through them as easily. The furnace might detect this and will shut off the system. If you have an older furnace, it may not recognize the problem and cause an even bigger headache. Newer furnaces have been designed to pick up on this issue and have an easier time shutting the system down before it causes any further issues. Getting in the routine of changing your furnace filter every month can make certain you don’t wake up to a frigid house.
  3. Weak or dead batteries – if your thermostat works with batteries, check it to ensure there isn’t a flashing low battery signal or another indicator that it’s time to change your batteries. Other thermostats run off of your home’s electrical system and don’t have to worry about this.
  4. Check your switches – find your home’s circuit breaker panel and find the breaker that controls your furnace. You should be able to recognize if it is in the middle position or the Off position. If it is, cycle the breaker to Off and then re-set it back to the On position. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the circuit breaker panel, please consult your local Beaverton dealer or an electrician.

The other switch to check looks just like a light switch, which could be the root of the problem. It’s your furnace switch and should be in the Up, or On, position. Because of its similarity to a light switch, it can be easily mistaken for one. Once On, give the furnace a few moments to turn on as many systems operate with built-in delays.

Following these few steps before contacting your local Beaverton technician can help you cross off the easy things, and if there is still a problem, it allows you to provide pertinent information to the technician if they end up coming out. Troubleshooting your furnace doesn’t have to be difficult, but ensuring you stay within your comfort zone is necessary too. There’s no need to take any chances and potentially do more damage to your furnace, so once you start feeling a little uncomfortable, give your local furnace technician at Garoken Energy Co. Inc. in Beaverton a call.