3 Troubleshooting Steps for When Your Furnace Won't Blow Hot Air

When it gets cold enough to turn on your furnace but only cool air comes from the vents, you might be worried about a cold house and waiting for repairs. Before you start making calls, however, there are several quick steps you can try on your own that will fix many common problems and get your heat running again.

Check Your Circuit Breaker Panel

The components that make up your HVAC system can be found in several places in your home, which means that they take up multiple circuits. High-power units like furnaces and air conditioners often have dedicated circuits because of the power and stability they require. What can end up happening is that the circuit for your furnace may break while the fan that pushes air through the house keeps running.

The good news is this likely means your furnace still works fine, but the circuit it's on just needs to be reset. Go to your circuit breaker panel, check for any tripped breakers, and reset them as necessary. If nothing looks tripped, you can still flip the circuit switch off and then back on again just to be sure. To be extra thorough, check your furnace itself to make sure a power or emergency shutoff switch wasn't accidentally turned off or left off. 

Replace Your Air Filter

If you haven't replaced your air filter for a few months and are coming off a period of heavy air conditioning use, you may be overdue. When a filter is dirty, it constricts airflow, which can force your furnace to work harder to push the same amount of air. This can sometimes cause the furnace to overheat, and as a result, it will shut itself down before it damages itself or your home. If you notice your fan only blowing cool air, or if your furnace only seems to blow hot air for a few minutes before it stops, this might be your problems.

Generally, your air filter should be replaced every two to three months if you use your HVAC system regularly, depending on how much you use your HVAC system every day, the quality of your filters, and the quality of your air. You can avoid any delays by keeping several spare filters on hand, and when in doubt, check your filter about once a month. Even if you don't need to replace the filter every time you check, it's a good habit to keep up.

Clean Your Condensate Drain

Some models of furnaces require condensate drain systems just like air conditioners do, and similar problems can happen to your furnace if the drain gets clogged. Because draining moisture is so important, your furnace has another safety feature designed to shut the furnace off automatically if the drain backs up; this prevents the moisture from overflowing and causing water damage. Unfortunately, if the drain is clogged, it will mean your furnace will shut off very quickly if it even turns on at all.

There are a few ways to do this. You can use a vacuum to suck out gunk and debris inside the drain pipes, you can use dissolving tablets to break up the clog inside, a bleach and water mix, or, if the clog is particularly troublesome, you can simply replace the tubing or piping. Once the drain is unclogged, your furnace should run smoothly again.

If you have tried these troubleshooting tips and you still have no luck, then it's time to HVAC repair services. Contact services like Powder  River Heating &  Air Conditioning Inc for more information.