A forced air furnace is the workhorse heating system of choice in New Jersey homes. They deliver reliable and ample heating with regular preventive maintenance and proper sizing at installation. As with any machinery, problems arise on occasion which must be resolved to prevent additional issues and to restore heating performance. If your furnace is acting up, read through these tips for a possible resolution before calling your HVAC pro.

Forced Air Furnace

The four basic functions of a furnace are ignition, heat exchange, heat distribution, and venting. If you can isolate issues to one of these areas, it may be easier to resolve:

  • Power – Engage the heating cycle on the thermostat and set the temperature warmer than room temperature. Check the furnace power switch. It looks like a light switch on the box at the furnace. Check the circuit breaker.
  • Heat exchange – Check the flame if there isn’t enough heat. It should be a sharp blue. If it is yellow or orange, the burner needs to be cleaned. A dirty or clogged burner may also be indicated by a low-pitched rumbling noise. Check the heat exchanger for signs of corrosion or cracks. A damaged heat exchanger can leak carbon monoxide into the home.
  • Heat distribution – Check the air filter. A clogged air filter restricts airflow and increases fuel and electricity consumption. Duct obstructions restrict heating airflow. Check the air outlets. If the furnace is on but the blower is not running, it needs to be serviced. If it is making excessive noise, such as squealing or scraping, the motor may need oil or is failing. Turn it off.
  • Venting – Check drainage. If you have a high-efficiency condensing furnace and it has shut off, there could be a drainage issue that triggered an emergency shut-off. Condensate blockages are common in sagging vent pipes, or ice, snow, animal nests or other obstruction may be blocking the intake/exhaust venting outside the home. An issue with the draft-inducing fan may cause the furnace to shut down, too.

For more information about forced air furnace issues in your northern New Jersey home, contact Pipe Works Services.

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