Frustration can arise when your furnace, the primary source of heat for your home suddenly stops working, in the dead of winter. A furnace is designed to move heated air through ducts and deliver it to rooms throughout the house. A furnace is powered by electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil. A variety of issues result in your furnace blowing cold air.
Ignition problems with your Asheville furnace
Many older furnaces have a conventional pilot light, which is a small, continuous burning flame. When the furnace calls for heat, gas is released to the burners and the flame ignites the gas.
If the pilot light is dirty, or the thermocouple fails, even a small draft can extinguish the flame, which results in no heat for your home. Modern furnaces have an electric ignitor, which does not require a pilot light, but instead creates a spark to ignite the burners. If the electric ignitor becomes dirty or has a faulty sensor, your furnace will not operate properly.
Gas valves can simply wear out or become damaged over time. Most furnaces are equipped with safety features, to shut the system down, in case a gas valve begins to leak.
Contact a certified technician, as with any furnace issue, if you suspect a gas leak, as it is a serious health issue.
Verify that your thermostat is in the “auto” mode. Most thermostats have an “on” and an “auto” setting to control the fan inside the furnace. The “on” setting will keep the fan continuously blowing, even if the heat is not engaged, which would make your home feel cooler. The “auto” setting allows the fan to only come on when the heat is engaged.
Overflow Safety Switch Issues– Is Your Thermostat Screen Blank?
If your furnace is in a closet or the attic in your home, you should have an overflow safety switch on the auxiliary drain pan. This safety device prevents water from causing damage to your home. From time to time the drainpipe may become clogged, when this happens the drain pan will fill with water. The drain pan safety switch will turn off to your furnace. The device can save you from having water overflow and cause damage to your home. It typically causes the screen on your thermostat to go blank. If you see a blank screen, go check your furnace’s drain pan, it is probably full of water
All high efficiency systems (90% or above) produce condensation and have a condensate drain. This removes water created during the heating process.
Safety devices should be in place to completely shut down your furnace if the condensate line becomes clogged or damaged.
Clogged filters will cause problems for Asheville area residents
Another safety device engages to prevent a fire hazard, if filters are so clogged, they restrict the air flow. A limit switch in the furnace will shut down the system and heat production will stop. Make sure filters are replaced on a regular basis because it can cause significant damage to a heat exchanger.
Vent pipe problems
High efficiency furnaces use a venting system to ensure hazardous gasses are removed from the heat exchanger at the end of a heat cycle. Ice or debris can prevent proper release of these gases to the exterior of your home, and it can lead to an unexpected shut down of your heating system.
Preventing failures for Asheville area homeowners
Preventative maintenance by a licensed professional not only can discover early signs of deterioration, but also prevent potential system failures.
Our licensed technicians complete a detailed checklist of your heating system and can make recommendations to improve the reliability, efficiency, and safety of your equipment, providing you peace of mind and comfort all winter long.