Troubleshooting Your Furnace


Winters in Ohio are long and brutal. Temperatures can stay in the 30s for over 3 months. That’s more than a quarter of the year that you need to rely on your furnace to keep your family comfortable. In that time, even the best-maintained heating systems can break down.

Your furnace consists of a variety of components and mechanics, so when it comes to repairs, it can be difficult for an untrained eye to spot the affected areas. In this blog, we’ll share the most helpful furnace troubleshooting tips so you can find the answers you need!

Consider the Air Filter for the Heating System

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple fix to restore your gas furnace. If it’s been some time since you’ve replaced the furnace filter, that could be the root of your problem. Not only do air filters help improve your indoor air quality, but they also help support your furnace’s efficiency and effectiveness. A dirty filter will only block the warm airflow generated by your unit, resulting in a waste of energy. You’ll want to make sure your furnace filter is fresh and clean to ensure steady airflow.

Check the Electric Starter

Most newer furnaces have an electric starter instead of a standing pilot light. If this component doesn’t seem to be igniting, there are a few different things you can do to troubleshoot:

  • Check the circuit breaker to see if the power is out in that part of the house.
  • Check the drain pan to see if it’s draining condensation. When a conventional gas furnace isn’t properly draining condensation, water will pool up in the pan, and the furnace will not ignite for safety reasons.
  • Another safety feature is the ignition function turns off if the air filter is dirty. Once again, make sure to change out the air filter regularly to keep the air in your home clean and the furnace functioning unimpeded.
  • Check the gas line to see if it’s supplying your furnace with fuel. One easy way to check this is to turn on your oven and see if it heats up. If it doesn’t, there could be a problem with your gas line.
  • If the ignitor sensor is dirty, it can’t sense if it’s safe to ignite. If you suspect this to be the problem, you should call a professional HVAC technician to clean it.

If you’ve gone through all of these troubleshooting methods and your heating system is still not igniting, give Robinson a call.

Check the Pilot Light (Older Furnaces)

If you still have an older model furnace with a pilot light, the flame should burn with a blue color, potentially with a slight yellow tip. Blue flames indicate that your furnace is burning the gas efficiently and safely. If your furnace flame emits any other color, it’s time to call in our professionals at Robinson Heating & Air Conditioning for assistance.

If the pilot light is out completely, it will need to be relit. While you can relight the pilot light on your own, it’s always best to call in our HVAC professionals to ensure your unit is operating correctly. If you do attempt to relight the flame on your own, wait to do so until 10 to 15 minutes after turning off the gas. If you smell gas after this time window, do not continue.

Ensure Air Vents Are Unobstructed

Air vents play an essential role in distributing the conditioned and heated air throughout the home. That being said, if they’re blocked by the accumulation of dust, furniture, or an appliance, the system’s airflow can be hindered, resulting in uneven temperatures throughout your home and impacting efficiency levels. Inspect all air vents and registers to ensure they are completely open and unobstructed. A closed or blocked air vent will not only leave you with an uncomfortably chilly home, but it also could potentially lead to duct leaks due to the built-up pressure inside the system.

Check the Thermostat

Another simple fix that may be the answer to your furnace problems is to check the thermostat. If your furnace filter is clean and the unit looks to be functioning, as usual, the root of your problem may be your thermostat. Make sure the settings are on “heat” and increase the temperature by five degrees to the current temperature to see if that makes a difference to your home comfort.

If the thermostat seems to be working, the problem might be the furnace switch, which turns on the blower motor when the furnace has reached the desired temperature. If the furnace switch is broken, a furnace will not be able to regulate the temperature with a thermostat. 

Pro tip: The location of your thermostat may be affecting its performance and temperature readings. Sunlight, heat from electronics, and space heaters can all affect the thermostat’s accuracy in temperature readings.

Contact the Electric and Gas Furnace Repair Specialists in Middletown, OH

If you’re experiencing repeat issues with your furnace or have experienced a breakdown, Robinson Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help restore the efficiency of your heating system and improve your home’s comfort levels. Make sure your furnace repairs are squared away before the new season begins. Give us a call today at (513) 422-2070, or complete our online contact form to schedule your next heating service.