It never fails that every year someone goes to finally turn on the heat for their home and find out that they will be needing to get some extra blankets for the night. The steps you should take to find your fix can depend on the type of heating system you have in your home. For most homes in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex including cities like Plano, Frisco, Irving, Soutlake, Arlington, and Mckinney this should be applicable.
Your home should fit into one of these heating system categories:
- Gas System that uses a gas fired furnace
- Electric System that utilizes a heat pump or air handler
- Dual Fuel System that uses both a gas furnace and a heat pump
Today we are going to focus on the possible quick fixes for a gas fired furnace system. For electric systems like heat pumps or air handlers check this post. Sorry other systems but you will have to check back for a later post or if you want to skip all the hassle and have an affordable professional inspection then A#1 Air is offering a sweet deal. Check out One Hot Special for a complete heating system restoration!
Check #1 - when you turn your thermostat to HEAT and set it to turn on do you hear any type of noise coming from your furnace?? any noise at all?? If not you may not have any power at all. Usually there is a switch (commonly looks like a light switch) located next to your unit. Make sure this switch is turned on. Many times with the holidays approaching people are in attics moving decorations and accidentally turn this switch off. You can also check your breakers and make sure the breaker for the furnace is on. If it has popped and keeps popping upon turning the unit on I would suggest to have a qualified service company take a look at it.
Check #2 - If you do hear a noise you are likely hearing your inducer motor if you have a furnace that is usually less than 15 years old. This inducer motor starts the ignition cycle and should run for approx 30-60 seconds before combustion begins. If your furnace never lights and the inducer motor just spins and nothing else happens you could have a bad pressure switch or clogged inducer port or even a faulty tube that connects the inducer motor to the pressure switch. —- If the main blower motor turns on instead of the inducer motor and nothing else happens then you possible have an open safety switch which usually requires professional diagnosis.
Check #3 - So we have power, the inducer motor is running, and now the combustion is about to happen, or is it?? After 30-60 seconds of successful inducer motor and pressure switch operation you should see or hear one of the following depending on the type of ignition for your furnace: 1. orange glowing from a hot surface ignitor (or) 2. hear a series of very fast quick pops like a spark plug from spark ignition. During either 1 or 2 you should hear the click of the gas valve opening and then the quite hiss of the gas entering the burners. If 1 or 2 is working correctly you should have successful ignition. If you do not see or hear 1 or 2 then you likely have an ignition problem. This can be fixed by either replacing the hot surface ignitor or in some cases the furnace control board.
Check #4 - We have ignition and the furnace starts up and then flames go out after a few seconds of running. This can be caused by several problems. The most common would be a dirty flame sensor. Be sure to check our post on how to clean a flame sensor. Additional faults can come from a series of safety switches that would require a professional diagnosis. In some cases a very dirty filter or evaporator coil could cause the system to over heat and trip a high temperature limit switch.
Hopefully this can help narrow down some of the problems you maybe experiencing with your furnace. However if you are located in the DFW Metroplex and still need assistance take advantage of A#1 Air’s One Hot Special for a complete heating system restoration!
Serving all of Collin County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, and Rockwall County including Plano, Allen, Frisco, Mckinney, Southlake, Irving, Arlington, Carrollton, Denton