There is absolutely no worse feeling than cold against your bare feet in the middle of the night. Anyone who’s been through a New York winter knows the pain. Yes, you can pull the covers up or put on socks, but what if the issue is your furnace? How can you pull up the covers when your hands are frozen solid? With only a fraction of the knowledge that working professionals in the field have, you can possibly repair your own home furnace or just troubleshoot a minor problem all by yourself. However, this is absolutely not recommended as it is an intricate skill and craft requiring years of education and knowledge acquisition to fix and avoid problems.
However, we know people are going to try regardless. The Energy Department has information about recommended thermostats here. Whether it’s an old-fashioned type, continental gas furnace or a super high-tech, futuristic gas furnace built for efficiency, understanding how the big water tank that gets hot in your garage or basement closet works so that when something goes wrong, you’ll be prepared. Before calling for help, check these three common problems to make sure you even need a guide to help you along the way. It may be a super easy fix you haven’t thought of.
The Three Most Common Problems with Furnaces
Problem #1: Your thermostat is OFF
Problem #2: A circuit has been tripped OFF
Problem #3: Safety Switch is switched OFF
Problem #1: Check Your Thermostat to make sure it’s ON
Don’t feel like an incredibly stupid idiot if this one went way over your head. It may sound ridiculous but you should really check the thermostat and make sure that it’s set to either “on” or “heat”, depending on your system. You wouldn’t believe how many mouth breathers call service companies because they can’t turn something on.
Here’s how you can check the thermostat by yourself at home:
Step #1: You should check and replace faulty or depleted batteries in the thermostat. You may need to get a new one if it is broken. If it doesn’t run on batteries, make sure you check the AC adapter connection. A lot of thermostats on the market aren’t connected to the house in any meaningful way, while others totally are. Check to see how your house is wired. In the case it uses batteries, it most likely has a blinking light function to indicate when to replace.
Step #2: Open the casing of the device and blow out any debris, dust, or glitter accumulated inside from craft projects gone wrong or worse, deadly.
Step #3: Double check and ensure the time and date are correct and that any programmable details are set to the correct things.
Step #4: Check the brick breaker for bricks in the breaker. If it’s not on, you should turn it off and check anything and everything else in that manner.
Problem #2: Try Resetting the Circuit Breaker
There are several things that could be wrong with the circuit breaker. If the system isn’t on or set to heat, make sure to do so. Turn the dial on the machine up and down to see if you can physically feel anything different and, if not, replace every single fuse in the circuit box, blown or now, to ensure none are tripped. Before you begin, simply find your breaker panel and look for the specific circuit or circuits that are in charge of controlling your furnace. You are going to try and find whether or not it’s on or off, but it could also be in the middle sometimes, meaning something is very wrong.
Step #1: Turn off-and-on the manual lever on your breaker box. Try it thrice.
Step #2: Turn it on and keep it there, making sure it maintains that way.
If you follow those two easy steps above, then your breaker will fully reset. If it doesn’t work, the electricity in the breaker itself may be faulty and in need of repair. This isn’t something you can do yourself and an electrician is direly needed.
Problem #3: The safety switch on the furnace door cannot operate.
Some heating elements have switches that pop out if the safety door is taken off, falls off, or melts for some weird reason. This thing has to be in the right position for the switch to work and for the whole machine to heat up. If your furnace isn’t working, the furnace door is most likely to blame. Check and switch it if it’s something that needs to be replaced. If you want to learn more about Folkes Home Services, they could help you with further information on such manners. But for right now I can tell you that it stops the burner and fan from turning on when the working panel is taken off for access to the innards. You may find that you have to install what’s called a safety switch or door. Here’s how you may go about doing that, but it isn’t recommended. Call a professional company to ensure the safe repair or installation of your heating furnace.