Here’s How to Troubleshoot Common Furnace IssuesIt can be puzzling and frustrating when your heating system is working as it should one minute, and then suddenly it’s not. Before your home becomes frigid cold, use these troubleshooting tips for common furnace problems.

Thermostat and Power

To begin with, furnaces need a signal from the thermostat to engage heating. They also need electricity to operate the blower motor, electronic ignition and other parts. Check to ensure the thermostat is in the “heat” setting. If there’s no display, remove the housing and replace the batteries.

Another common heating snafu is a tripped circuit breaker or a flipped heating switch. Turn the furnace circuit breaker on and off at the panel and check the heating switch next to the furnace.

Poor Airflow

Poor airflow could have several causes. Take a look at your air filter. A dirty filter impedes airflow, increases energy bills and takes a toll on the blower motor. Additionally, make sure that all air vents are open.

If you hear rattling and clamoring from the vents accompanied with weak airflow, you may have duct leaks that are sending your heating into the basement or attic. You may seal loose and fallen ducts with metal tape, or call your HVAC provider.

Sidewall Venting

High-efficiency furnaces use sidewall venting. Check the intake and exhaust piping outside your home for animal nests, ice or other obstructions. If an obstruction did indeed automatically shut down your furnace, you may need to wait an hour before it will turn back on.


Many furnaces use hot-surface ignition or an electronic spark device. These parts last approximately three to five years. You can check your local home store for this part, or call your HVAC provider.

Gas Valve

Check the gas valve to make sure it is open. If the flame is intermittent, you may have a faulty solenoid valve. Rumbling noises accompanied by an orange or yellowish flame indicates the gas chamber needs a good cleaning.

If you need help with troubleshooting your Indianapolis home’s furnace, please contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “lassedesignen/Shutterstock”

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