Furnace repair: It's getting colder, but your furnace isn't working!

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As the weather gets cooler in Atlanta, and there are those phantom cold days that seem to come out of...

As the weather gets cooler in Atlanta, and there are those phantom cold days that seem to come out of nowhere, you may need to turn on your heater. Not a problem, right? That is until you turn your heater on only to find out that it's not working! So, what do you do? Do you call someone for furnace repair? Maybe, but you can first try some easy troubleshooting tips to find out if you can easily solve the problem.

Gas or electric

Do you know what kind of furnace you have? If you don't, the best way is to first check the labeling. If the labeling doesn't give any indication, the next step is to see what kind of pipe connection is going to the furnace. If there is a black, cast iron pipe or a yellow, plastic hose connecting to your furnace, it is most likely gas. However, if you see heavy gauge wiring, it is electric.

Troubleshooting tips

Does your unit fail to power on? If so, try the following:

  1. Blown fuse: Check the fuse box on the furnace. Are there any blown fuses that you can see? Sometimes, there is a blown fuse, and you can replace this fuse and be up and running again.
  2. Switched off: Did the unit accidentally get switched off? Check both the unit and any other switch outlet for the unit and make sure they are both "ON."
  3. Tripped circuit breaker: Check your main panel; is the circuit allocated for the unit tripped? If so, reset the circuit.
  4. Overloaded - If you tried the above without success, try turning it off for 30 minutes and then pushing the reset button. If this doesn't work the first time, try this a few times to rule out an overload issue.
  5. Gas furnaces only: If you have a pilot light, make sure that it is lit and about 2 inches long to stay lit. Also, make sure the gas valve is fully open.

Does your unit fail to provide enough heat or is the air barely coming out of the vents? If so, try the following:

  1. Check thermostat: If it is not already, set the thermostat to at least 5 degrees above the current household temperature.
  2. Check filter: If the filter is dirty, change it, as dirty filters block airflow.
  3. Check blower: Locate the blower in the bottom panel of the furnace. Look for clogs and clean if necessary.
  4. Registers: Make sure that all the vents are free of dust any obstruction preventing airflow.

When is it time to call a professional?

After you have tried all of the above without success, call an HVAC professional for furnace repair if your furnace is still not working or producing enough heat, or if you are having any of the following problems:

  • Intermittent, constant or noisy operation
  • Loose or broken belts
  • Damaged wiring
  • Dirty burners
  • Pilot light or burners that won't light

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