Troubleshooting Common Furnace Issues

Your home's furnace is arguably the most important appliance in your home as soon as the temperature dips below freezing, as it is the only thing keeping the interior of your house comfortable for you to be in.  However, like all appliances, your furnace may begin to experience issues due to age, wear, or a variety of other factors. Thankfully, you can easily troubleshoot common furnace problems to determine the source of the issue, which can make fixing them a straightforward process.

No Air Flow

If your furnace is not moving any air throughout your home, hot or cold, the problem could lie in a variety of different places. You should first inspect the thermostat to ensure that it is set properly, and try changing the settings or resetting it to see if that gets the furnace going again.

If the furnace still won't work after playing with the thermostat, the issue could lie with a completely clogged air filter, which can block any air at all from moving through your furnace and home. Check the owner's manual to determine how to remove the air filter and inspect it: if it's completely clogged, you can take the dirty filter to most hardware stores to find a replacement.

If neither of these are the issue, you'll have to contact a professional to inspect the heating element and fan within your furnace.

Won't Turn Off

If the opposite problem is the case, and your furnace is constantly blowing air throughout your home, there are two main possibilities. The first is when hot air is constantly being blown. The issue lies, again, with an improperly set thermostat, so try resetting it and ensure that the settings are correct.

However, if the air being blown by your furnace is cold, the issue instead lies with a malfunctioning blower. This will require professional repair, but shouldn't be too difficult to fix, as it will require simply replacing the blower. Keep in mind that leaving this problem alone can lead other parts of your furnace to wear out, which can be more expensive to have replaced.

Burning Smells

If the smell of burning is coming out of your vents when your furnace is turned on, your air filter may be completely clogged. You should turn your furnace off until you have a chance to replace your filter, but if that doesn't alleviate the issue, your ducts may be clogged with dust and in need of cleaning, or a part within your furnace is no longer operating effectively. Either way, a HVAC professional will need to take a look at the unit to fix the issue. You can also visit websites like