DIY Furnace Troubleshooting03/06/2015 Sustaining total home comfort during the colder months is one of the biggest concerns for a lot of people. Sure, you’d like that to extend year-round, but when winter gets its coldest, it feels a bit more essential. The scenario normally unfolds like this: your local Madera weatherperson is predicting the coldest day of the year and your furnace decides to go out. Now there’s no need to panic and call a furnace technician quite yet. There are a couple things you can check on your own before getting ahold of them. Ensure your thermostat is set to “heat” – sure, it sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget to set your thermostat to the correct mode. Whether it’s an accidental change while cleaning or you had an unexpected rise in temperatures for a few days and didn’t need your thermostat, double check your thermostat’s setting. Check your filter – one of the most common causes of furnaces turning off suddenly is a dirty filter. When furnace filters get overly dirty, air cannot pass through them as smoothly. The furnace may detect this and will shut off the system. If you have an older furnace, it may not realize the problem and cause an even bigger problem. Newer furnaces have been developed to pick up on this issue and have a better chance shutting the system down before it causes any further issues. Getting in the habit of changing your furnace filter every month can make certain you don’t wake up to a cold house. Weak or dead batteries – if your thermostat runs on batteries, check it to ensure there isn’t a flashing low battery signal or another indicator that it’s time to swap out your batteries. Other thermostats run off of your home’s electrical system and don’t have to worry about this. Check your switches – find your home’s circuit breaker panel and find the breaker that controls your furnace. You should be able to tell if it is in the middle position or the Off position. If it is, cycle the breaker to Off and then re-set it back to the On position. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the circuit breaker panel, please consult your local Madera dealer or an electrician. The other switch to check looks just like a light switch, which could be the root of the problem. It’s your furnace switch and should be in the Up, or On, position. Because of its similarity to a light switch, it can be easily mistaken for one. Once On, give the furnace a little bit to turn on as many systems come with built-in delays. Following these few steps before contacting your local Madera technician can help you cross off the easy things, and if there is still something wrong, it allows you to pass on pertinent information to the technician if they end up coming out. Troubleshooting your furnace doesn’t have to be hard, but ensuring you stay within your comfort zone is important too. There’s no need to take any gambles and potentially do more damage to your furnace, so once you start feeling a little out of your element, give your local furnace technician at Brian’s Heating & Cooling, Inc. in Madera a call.