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Winter this year may be mild, but relative to Phoenix’s typically balmy weather, plenty of people are feeling the season’s chill. When the heat does not work, your relaxing evening is suddenly spent tinkering with your HVAC system trying to figure out how to make hot air come out again.
If you find yourself in this position, you have can now relax. Our troubleshooting list will cover the most common furnace problems in Phoenix so that you can diagnose and potentially fix the problem, getting your toasty heat back online. While we may not be able to help you identify every potential problem, let alone their solution, we can at least help you narrow down what it might be.
Since any number of mechanical issues could be at play, your first step is to rule out the most obvious causes. Namely, the control unit that is supposed to tell the thermostat to kick on may not be working properly.
Examine your thermostat to see if is operable. Modern digital thermostats have backlit displays to make this task easy. If you have an older thermostat, try flipping a switch to see if you get a reaction.
If the thermostat seems to be on and connected, make sure that you have it set to the “heat” setting and that your set temperature is high enough that the system will come on. Note that many thermostats require your home to be two or more degrees colder than your setting before they activate.
Barring any obvious fixes like these, your problem may still come down to faulty thermostat wiring. If your thermostat is active but there is no mechanical response within the furnace, wiring is even more likely to be the issue. Only allow licensed electricians to tamper and diagnose electrical problems you may be having.
If your air flow is coming out in weak puffs rather than a strong current, you may have some sort of tear or blockage inside your air ducts. Inspect the ducts closest to the furnace and work your way outward to identify any leaks. You can usually feel the air escaping here instead of where it should be. Identifying leaks further along can be difficult when ducting runs through walls, but determining which air registers have flow and which do not can help you pinpoint the leak.
Similarly, you may have blockage. The first culprit to check is your air filter. A dirty air filter can severely limit airflow. A blocked intake or stuck flapper valve can similarly prevent the furnace from getting the flow it needs.
Blockage can also happen further down the ducting lines. Once again, identify which registers have strong air flow and which do not to determine where in the path the blockage could lay. Only attempt to remove blockage that is accessible from an air register, which can be done with a hose vacuum cleaner. Dismantling the ducting system should only be done by an HVAC professional.
In a twist of cruel irony, your furnace may be blasting chillier air than what is already in your house. The most likely reason is that the furnace has not ignited. Examine the furnace to see if you can identify the blue pilot flame or any orange heating flames. If you see no flames whatsoever, sniff the air to detect the gas’s methane tracer. If you think you smell methane or have any other reason to suspect a gas leak, shut off the main gas valve immediately. Evidence of long-running leaks may require you to evacuate the house.
You can potentially relight the pilot light once the gas has been shut off and the air ventilated. Follow the instructions printed on the side of your furnace or provided with your installation since every furnace brand can have different considerations. Ask a professional to relight the pilot for you if you are nervous or have reason to suspect that doing so could be dangerous.
If your pilot light and air blockage as discussed above are not the issue, you may have deeper problems that stem from needed heater repair in Phoenix.
Looking for a trusted heating repair company to service your unit? Hays Cooling & Heating has 15 years of experience in Phoenix area HVAC repairs. Call 602-714-8270 today!
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