With Ottawa’s aggressive winter climate it’s extremely important to have a reliable heating source in your home. So what should you do when you notice that your furnace is loud, turned off, or not heating as it should? As a leading furnace contractor tend to see the same issues over and over again that can cause a furnace not to work correctly. The cause of these issues can be a number of different things but typically falls into one of three categories; furnace age, furnace maintenance (or lack of maintenance), and furnace quality (some brands have common issues that happen due to lower quality components).
As a homeowner it’s hard to know where to start. Before calling in a heating professional keep on reading to have a look at some of the most common problem indicators and causes that we see in Ottawa homes.
Furnace not blowing hot air
- Thermostat issue: Many times the issue can be the thermostat. Whether the batteries are dead, thermostat is not set to heating or the device is faulty. Always ensure batteries are new and working before taking any other actions. After that is confirmed it is important to make sure the thermostat is in heating mode and the thermostat is set to a higher temperature than what the room is currently reading.
- Dirty Filter: Dirty furnace filters can cause lack of airflow which in turn may create a situation that causes safety switches to go off. Furthermore, lack of air flow can cause a feeling that nothing is coming from the vents
- Furnace malfunction: There is a litany of moving parts, switches and motors within a furnace. Any number of these may cause the furnace to malfunction.
Furnace making noise
- Dirty Filter: Lack of airflow like above can cause whistling noises throughout the ductwork
- Lack of Maintenance: If the system has not been maintained a litany of noises may occur. This can include squealing motors, grinding bearings or high pitch electrical noises.
- Ductwork: Poorly designed, undersized or dirty ductwork can cause furnace noise. It can cause motors to over amp, blower cages to come off balance or just simply cause ductwork “booming” and “tin canning” noises.
Furnace constantly turning on and off
- Dirty Filter: Once again dirty filter is a common culprit for the furnace constantly turning on and off. Lack of airflow can trigger a high limit switch to signal the furnace to turn off.
- Oversized Furnace: An oversized furnace will heat the space quickly and then turn off. This cycle repeats over and over and can cause a very uncomfortable home.
Furnace not hitting set temperature
- Thermostat: Once again this can be a faulty thermostat or user error in terms of set point. Always ensure you are in heat mode and set at the proper temperature for comfort.
- Old furnace: When the furnace used to be able to heat the home efficiently but is now struggling it may be a sign that the furnace is on its last legs.
- Undersized furnace: A furnace that is too small may struggle the hit the proper temperature especially on the coldest days of the year.
Furnace leaking water
- Clogged drain: A clogged furnace drain is almost always the culprit for water pooling beside the furnace in the winter.
- Drain disconnected: Many basements in Ottawa have a floor drain near the furnace with a pipe running into it. Always ensure this pipe is connected to both the furnace and directed correctly into the drain.
Furnace off completely
- Thermostat: Always ensure the thermostat is /connected to the base properly and batteries are good. Check to make sure you are in heat mode and temperature setting is correct.
- Furnace Switch Off: By code, your home should have a light switch labelled furnace. Ensure this switch is in the on position. Furthermore you will have a breaker in your panel labelled furnace, ensure this is in the on position as well.
- Lack of Maintenance: A lack of maintenance can cause the moving parts in the furnace to malfunction this may be a cause of the furnace not turning on.
How To Troubleshoot a Broken Furnace Yourself
If you are in the unfortunate position to have a broken furnace in Ottawa, we are here to help guide you through the process to get that heat back up and running!
- Check the thermostat to ensure it has power and is connected properly
- Check the furnace filter and ensure it is clean and not plugged
- Check the furnace switch and breaker panel to ensure furnace is getting power
- Check all registers and vents to ensure they are open and not blocked
- Check the furnace pipes outside and ensure they are free of snow and debris
- Restart furnace by turning power switch off for 15 seconds and flipping back on.
If your furnace is still not functioning it may be time to call a service technician from AirZone HVAC Services. We have 24/7 on call technicians, you can call and if you do not get a response immediately, we will have someone get back to within the hour (Even at night and on Holidays)!
Our team of qualified technicians can diagnose, repair and service your furnace regardless of the make and model. If you are in the lucky position that your furnace is still operating but seems to be struggling, it is a great time to book a maintenance. A maintenance involves a full inspection and cleaning, during this visit our technicians can recommend any repairs needed to ensure you are not without heat when you need it most!