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Furnace Failure Fundamentals: Common Causes For Trouble

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The winter months can be challenging for homeowners with furnace troubles. That's why most homeowners schedule an annual furnace checkup in the fall. During that checkup, any obvious issues will be addressed. However, that doesn't prevent issues from arising throughout the winter months. If your furnace has stopped working, it's important to understand the most common reasons why it may be happening. Here's a look at a few things that you should know.

Pilot Light/Ignition Problems

One of the most common reasons for a furnace to stop functioning is a problem with the pilot light or the ignition system. If the pilot light won't stay lit or the igniter won't engage, then the furnace won't turn on when it needs to. Check the pilot light and the ignition system, and reach out to a heating repair technician if there's a problem or to have their function tested. Your furnace technician can assess the pilot light's operation and resolve the issue if there is one.

Limit Switch Trouble

The limit switch on the furnace regulates the system's temperature so that your furnace doesn't overheat. The limit switch engages the blower fan, forcing the heated air through the air vents to regulate the temperature. When the limit switch malfunctions, it sometimes trips a safety switch that will shut the furnace down completely. In those situations, you'll need a furnace repair technician to restore its operation. He or she will have to resolve the cause of the limit switch failure and then reset the safety shut-off switch.

Blower Fan Malfunction

The blower fan on your furnace is essential for air distribution. If you turn your furnace from heat to fan only, listen for the blower fan to turn on. If it does engage, the blower fan isn't the source of your furnace troubles. If, however, the blower fan doesn't turn on, you'll need to reach out to a furnace repair technician for help. He or she can repair or replace the blower fan to fix your furnace operation issues.

Power Supply Problems

If your furnace trips a circuit breaker every time the furnace engages, that's an indication that the furnace is drawing far too much power for the circuit that it's on. Sometimes, that's because of faulty wiring. In other cases, it's because something has malfunctioned in the furnace itself. You'll need a furnace repair technician to determine which is the source of your system's problem.

These are some of the things every homeowner should understand about furnace malfunctions. The more you understand, the easier it is to address the problem. If you need furnace repair, talk to a contractor near you.