The furnace in your home is an appliance that has a track record of going an extremely long time in between repairs. As a matter of fact, some people never need anything done to their furnaces during its useful life other than routine maintenance. With that being said, they are a mechanical device and not everyone is so lucky to never need a repair. They are a complicated device that requires a lot of knowledge in order to repair but there are a few problems that you may be able to handle yourself. These are a few ways you can know how to troubleshoot a furnace yourself.
Problem: Low air flow coming out of the vent openings and a wining sound when the system runs.
Troubleshooting tip: This is either a very serious problem with the system or an extremely easy one to correct. Start with the easy one first. Open up the large air intake vent for your furnace where it’s located in your home (it is significantly larger than any other vent). Once you do this you will see either one or more filters behind the door. If they are really dirty you can pretty much rest assured that this was the problem that was cutting down the air flow coming out the system. You can either clean the filters or replace them depending on what type they are and how easy they are to clean. As a general rule less expensive type filters are easier to replace then clean.How to troubleshoot a furnace
You may want to consider adding a higher quality filter at this time such as a HEPA filter because they will trap a much smaller contaminant particle, this will actually much improve the air quality in your home.
If the filter change does not correct the problem it is best to have an HVAC professional come take a look.
Problem: The system comes on and runs but no heat comes out.
Solution: This sounds bad but it might be something simple so do the following easy steps before panicking and calling your HVAC tech.
First of all turn your thermostat all the way up and see if it changes anything. If the heat does indeed come on you may just need a new thermostat. If this does not work and you have an oil or propane gas furnace, then the next thing you should do is go check your tank. Yes this may seem obvious but a system that is running but not producing heat is often just out of gas or oil.
If this is not the case then yet again it is recommended to call an HVAC professional to come out to your home and finish the troubleshooting for you.
Hopefully you have learned enough here to be able to handle these furnace troubleshooting tasks yourself. It is not easy to teach you exactly how to troubleshoot a furnace in a short article so you may be able to learn more online. Remember also, if troubleshooting your furnace seems too complicated for you it probably is and you should highly consider calling a professional HVAC technician to come out to your home to do it for you.