November 19, 2021

Things To Check If Your Furnace Stops Working

Although Air Master Michigan is happy to come out and get a look at your furnace if you run into trouble just about anywhere in Southeast Michigan, including the Detroit-Ferndale area, there are some things you can check on your own. Here’s a short guide to troubleshooting before you call in the pros.

Check the Power Switch

Seems like a simple enough matter, but some models have switches that are really easy to accidentally trip. If you’ve got a pet that’s been down there, or kids who may have played hide and seek, or if you’ve been into storage near your furnace, there’s a chance it’s gotten shut down inadvertently.

Check the Circuit Breaker or Fuse Box

If the switch box near the furnace is turned on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box. There’s also usually a cover for the blower motor that has to be properly secured for the furnace to work. Check that the panel is fastened tight before pushing in the switch to start your furnace.

Check Out the Thermostat

The thermostat determines whether your furnace is working or not. Lots of times, a furnace that doesn’t seem to be working is just a thermostat that’s been set incorrectly or has an issue. To check the thermostat, set it to heat rather than cool, then set it to at least 5 degrees over the temperature in the room. The furnace should kick in.

If that doesn’t happen, it may be as simple a matter as replacing the batteries. Some people replace them as a matter of course once a year, and if you leave your home for any extended period, it’s not a bad idea to replace the batteries before you go.

Check for Dirty Filters

We all know that we are supposed to replace filters as a part of routine maintenance, but it’s easy enough to forget to do so. For most models, it’s a pretty simple matter to get a standard size filter to fit. You might even be able to get replacements from your local discount or hardware store. It’s not a bad idea to keep some around, and to set up a notification in a calendar app to remind you to replace them now and again. Many manufacturers recommend that you do so every 3 months or so.

Filters are meant to clean particulate matter out of the air, to make your house a healthier place to be, among other things. If your filter gets clogged with dust and other material, the blower may not be able to circulate heat effectively, and this in turn causes the furnace to work harder and to be less efficient.

Your owner’s manual will tell you how to change your filters, and there are plenty of online video tutorials to consult, too.

Check the Air Ducts

If there are cold spots around the house, check the little handles on the air vents to make sure they are in the full on position. If those get switched off by little hands or by your own feet, they won’t let heated air through.

If some rooms aren’t getting enough heat, it could be that ducts are blocked or knocked out of position. Again, this can cause your furnace to have to work harder than it should, leading to inefficiencies, higher costs, and more wear and tear. Get a look at all the ducts that you can easily check out to look for gaps and obstructions. Any gaps can be sealed with special metal duct tape. Make sure that furniture and appliances, drapes and decorations are positioned so as not to block vents and prevent air flow.

Check for Odors

If your furnace is functioning well, there shouldn’t be any detectable odors. If you smell gas, or a burnt or smoky smell, those are signs of trouble and you should probably have your furnace looked at. Call the experts at Air Master Michigan right away.

If there’s a carbon monoxide leak, you won’t be able to detect that by smell, so we recommend you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed, and that you make sure they are working. You might want to make a habit of checking them whenever you change your air filters.

Check the Air Intake

This has been a snowier than average winter for much of the nation. It’s important that your furnace’s air intake remains unobstructed by accumulating snow or other debris!

When In Doubt, Call on Air Masters Michigan

We’re always happy to talk to you about what’s on your mind. Whether you’re in Pontiac or Livonia, Grosse Pointe or Bloomington, Utica, Farmington, Rochester, or Novi, Air Master Michigan is just a phone call away.