Correct operation of your furnace is essential if you are to be comfortable in winter, especially during heavy winter storms. When you can’t keep your house warm, it’s time to find out why.
First, verify that the heat is coming on by doing some quick checks:
- Make sure the thermostat is not set too low
- Make sure the thermostat is set to heating
- Make sure that you have electrical power
- Make sure the propane or oil valve is open
- Check that the pilot light is lit
If it is running, but your home is not getting warm, it is possible that the furnace may not be generating enough heat.
- The thermostat may be incorrectly calibrated. Try setting it to maximum to see if the burner stays on and your home warms up. If it doesn’t, you may need a new thermostat.
- The propane or oil burner may be dirty.
- The access door is not properly closed or you may have air leaks.
It is also possible that there is a fault with the hot air distribution:
- The airflow may be restricted; you can get an indication of this by checking the air volume coming out of the ducts closest to your furnace.
- The air filter may be blocked.
- The ducts may be blocked or dirty. It does not take much to restrict the flow of air.
- There may be cracked or broken ducts leaking air into the attic or other unheated spaces.
If there is air leakage into your home, you can lose a lot of heat, and in very cold weather your furnace may not be able to maintain a comfortable temperature. A few points to check are:
- Doors and windows sealing properly.
- Sealing of openings into unheated roof spaces.
- Sealing of wall and ceiling penetrations where pipes and ducts enter the home.
Although some causes for poor furnace performance are easy to identify and fix, in most cases you need the services of a skilled technician to repair and service your equipment. Contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We have been serving the greater Cleveland area for the last 38 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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