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Common Furnace Problems You Can Fix Yourself

4 Common Furnace Problems and How To Solve Them


As the cooler weather settles in, we’ll soon be trusting our furnace to keep us cozy. Even here in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles, we need a functional heating system. There’s truly nothing worse than being cold! Brr! 

If your furnace is acting funky, a repair is in order. Most furnace repair work should be left to the professionals, but there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot. Here are some of the most common furnace problems – and how to solve them! 

Thermostat Throwing You Off?

The thermostat causes many furnace problems. Your thermostat is controlling your furnace, so if you are having trouble getting the heating to work, that could be the source. Here are a few things you can check. 

  • Does your thermostat have power? Some thermostats are battery operated and may require a simple replacement. 
  • Check that your thermostat is set to heat mode. Many times, the thermostat is still in cooling mode from the summer, or set to a fan-only mode for air circulation. 
  • Verify that the thermostat setpoint is at least five degrees higher than the current room temperature. You may not want it to be that warm, but this step can help you narrow down the root cause of your troubles. 
  • Confirm the date and time on the thermostat. Many modern thermostats control your home comfort system based on the day of the week and time of day. If these are incorrect in your thermostat, chances are the temperature setpoint is changing when you don’t want it to. 

Furnace Will Not Turn On

If your furnace won’t turn on, the first thing to do is check the thermostat settings. But if you’ve already checked there, don’t worry. There are hundreds of reasons a furnace won’t power on. 

One of the most commonplace causes is a tripped circuit breaker. Locate your home’s breaker panel and seek the “HVAC” or “Furnace” label next to one of the switches. The correct position for this toggle should be “on”. If the switch is in the “off” or middle position, that’s a sign the circuit breaker has been tripped. You can reset the breaker by changing the switch back and forth, leaving it in the “on” position. If you notice the breaker trips again, there is a larger problem at hand. The circuit breaker is a safety measure, so if it continues to trip, you’ll want to call us for repair.

If the circuit switch is “on” and your furnace isn’t turning on, it’s likely there is something preventing your unit from powering up right at the unit. A wiring problem is a common issue, although another problem we see frequently is the furnace door safety switch. The door on your furnace needs to be in place for the furnace to function. Many furnaces have a sensor called a safety switch. If the door is not closed, the furnace will not power on. 

Whatever the issue may be, MightyServ can help identify the cause of the furnace problems and perform any rewiring necessary.

Creepy (or Annoying) Noises

Excessively noisy furnaces are not just annoying – they are a sure sign there’s a problem forming. Some noises that our customers report include banging, squealing, and humming. 

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of DIY on this one. We strongly recommend calling in our team to fix the problem right away. But one thing you can do to speed up the process is to be extra descriptive in the type of noise and location. You can even record a short video on your phone and text it to us! This will help us prepare for your visit and ensure we have the right materials and equipment to solve your specific issue.

Short Cycling 

If your furnace is turning on and off repeatedly, that’s what we call short cycling. 

A very common cause of short cycling is a dirty filter. It’s essential to replace your filter regularly. When your filter is clogged full of dust and debris, it can significantly affect the flow of air in the system. Lack of airflow can lead to overheating, and when the air is too hot, your furnace will turn off as a safety measure.

Most people in LA need to replace their filter at least quarterly (that’s every 3 months). You might replace your filter more frequently if: 

  • You have pets in the home
  • Someone in your family suffers from indoor allergies
  • Health ailments of those living in the house, like asthma or other respiratory problems

In these cases, we suggest replacing filters monthly.

By the way, a clean-looking filter doesn’t indicate that it is actually clean. Don’t let your eyes fool you! Air filters trap tiny particles – some invisible to the eye. Keep the replacement schedule even if things look AOK. And if your filter appears visibly dirty, it’s been far too long since your last replacement. 

Best Furnace Repair in Canoga Park and Surrounding Areas

Heating equipment is complex. It’s best to trust an experienced furnace repair professional to fix your system safely. For the best furnace repair in San Fernando Valley, reach out to MightyServ today!


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