In this part of the country, we don’t see a lot of gas heaters. Electric furnaces do a fine job of warming up Florida homes (although we do recommend a heat pump to the energy-conscious Floridian instead). A major benefit to electric furnaces is that they are so durable, which is why it may be surprising when you notice yours has run into trouble, or won’t start up at all.
The good news is that you may be able to fix the issue, or at least get to the bottom of the trouble, yourself. We’ve got your guide to doing so below, but be sure to call in qualified technicians when you need them!
Change the Filter
Low airflow? It may have to do with the furnace filter. Many people assume the filter is mostly in place to help control allergens and contaminants that could make you sick. However, the filter is really there to protect your air conditioner and your furnace from damage.
When it is too dirty, however, the air is blocked by a layer of dust that does not allow it to flow through the system efficiently. This causes comfort issues and can also force your heater to break down.
Check the Circuit Breaker
Has your heater shut off completely? If the thermostat appears to be working properly, then you should check the circuit breaker or fuse box for a tripped breaker or blown fuse. It’s no use calling in a technician if you can fix the problem yourself, but if this keeps happening, you may have a problem on your hands.
Try the Thermostat Again
We know, we know: the thermostat was the first thing you checked when the furnace stopped working. Still, as your main point of contact with the inner workings of the furnace, it’s a good idea to check it again. We’d hate to waste your time by showing up when you don’t really need a technician’s help!
Something as simple as a single switch can change the way your thermostat perceives your needs, and this is something that could be moved by accident (or by a curious child). Make sure the fan is set to “auto” (not “on”), the switch is moved to “heating” mode, and the temperature on the thermostat is actually higher than the room temperature!
Test the Fan
We know we just warned against leaving the thermostat in “fan on” mode…but it may be worth a try. Test the fan by switching over the thermostat and seeing whether it works in cooling mode. If so, the blower fan isn’t the problem, nor is the thermostat. This narrows down the source somewhat, so you know what to tell technicians when you call.
Know When to Call Technicians
We don’t recommend attempting any repair beyond a filter change or a circuit breaker reset unless you are a trained technician. You might only make the problem worse—and serious injury is always a possibility. We don’t recommend trusting any repair to an amateur ever. Make sure your technicians work in HVAC and have the proper experience for the job!