The first cool days mean turning on the heater after leaving it off for the past few months. It’s been sitting idle, doing next to nothing since it wasn’t needed. Now you go to turn it on only to find it doesn’t work. You decide to do some troubleshooting and poke around the unit, but you’re not quite sure what exactly is wrong. What is certain is that your home isn’t getting warm, and you can’t go without heat for the next few months. Following are three reasons why your heater isn’t working right and what the problem might be.
Thermocoupler Isn’t Igniting Properly
The thermocoupler is an older piece of technology that has been superseded by electronic ignition in newer models. But the chances of your heater having a thermocoupler are high, especially if your home is older. The technology is older and purely mechanical, operating on switches and electrical impulses as opposed to electronics telling the pilot to light. Because it’s mechanical, it’s more prone to failure. Diagnosing the problem is a matter of watching the parts in action and figuring out if they’re working properly or not. If the pilot light doesn’t increase in height or set off the gas ring, it’s not working. Don’t try to fix this on your own; instead, have an HVAC repair person come out to fix the unit. Futzing with it on your own may result in an adverse reaction.
Blower Fan Isn’t Blowing
There is any number of reasons why a blower fan has failed to do its job. The upshot of this issue is the fact that warm air won’t circulate around the home, making it comfortable. The problem may be a fuse has blown or a capacitor exploded on the control board. A fuse is easy enough to take care of. All you need to do is find the offending part, remove, and replace. When it’s a capacitor or something else, fixing it isn’t as easy. Bad electronics need to be taken out completely and replaced with a new unit. And if the entire unit itself is bad, you may as well let an HVAC person do the job as they have experience with this type of problem.
Heater Turns Off Before Reaching Temperature
The furnace is supposed to reach a set temperature before turning off under normal circumstances. When it stops heating before reaching that temperature, there’s something going wrong in the unit somewhere. It may be that there’s a safety switch being tripped and telling the furnace to turn itself off. There are multiple triggers that set off a furnace safety switch including a CO2 monitor. This is something that you don’t want to try to fix on your own.
These are just some of the things that can go wrong with your furnace and cause it to stop working. Sometimes you can fix your own furnace with a simple repair, other times it’s best to have an HVAC repair person come in and do the work.
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