How To Check Furnace? Step-By-Step Setup Guide

How To Check Furnace

Checking The Furnace.

Check your furnace with these easy steps, 

  • Power up the furnace and look for the pilot light.
  •  After that, check the thermostat and furnace filter before inspecting the gas valve and circuit breaker.
  •  Check for temperature rise and warning signs to ensure your system is running correctly.

Step One: Power Up.

Boosting your furnace is the initial move to guarantee it works properly.

 Here’s how:

  1. Track down the power switch of your furnace.
  2. Flip it upward to switch it on.
  3. Wait until you hear a humming sound.

Now your furnace is good to go. Check if any circuit breakers are tripped too.

Take care when examining your furnace! Always wear protective gear and turn off the power before doing maintenance.

Pro Tip: Mark the position of your furnace and its power switch in case of emergencies or power outages. 

Without a pilot light, your furnace is just a big metal box wasting space and cash.

Step Two: Look for Pilot Light.

It’s important to check the pilot light when examining your furnace. 

Here’s a 6-step guide:

  1. Cut the power: Turn off the power of the furnace before inspecting the pilot light.
  2. Find the access panel: Generally located on the front of the furnace.
  3. Take off the panel: Use a screwdriver or other tool to remove the panel.
  4. Spot the pilot light: Near the gas burners.
  5. See if it’s lit: If not, relight it following manufacturer instructions.
  6. Put the panel back: Replace and secure the access panel.

Remember, newer models may not have a standing pilot light, using an electronic ignition system instead.

Stay on top of furnace maintenance: Regularly checking the pilot light can make your furnace run more smoothly and save energy costs.

Pro Tip: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safety precautions and maintenance.

Step Three: Check the Thermostat.

When it comes to furnace maintenance, checking the thermostat is key. It’s important to make sure the temperature in your home or office is accurate. 

Here’s a 3-step guide:

  1. Check the power source.
  2. Adjust the temperature. Set it a few degrees higher and see if it turns on.
  3. Calibrate. If needed, recalibrate for more precise readings.

Faulty thermostats can cause energy waste and high bills. It’s smart to get regular inspections from a professional. To avoid these issues, clean and replace air filters often. Plus, set settings based on occupancy and install a programmable thermostat.

Keep a checklist with your seasonal maintenance routine to guarantee optimal furnace performance all year. 

Your furnace filter is like a face mask; keep it clean for a healthy home.

Step Four: Check the Furnace Filter.

Maintaining your furnace? Check the filter! A dirty one can cause trouble and even pose safety risks.

 Follow these 5 steps to check yours:

  1. Turn off the power.
  2. Locate filter. Blower compartment or ductwork hatch.
  3. Remove the filter.
  4. Inspect it. Caked or discolored? Time for a new one.
  5. Install a new filter.

Replace disposable filters every 1-3 months, depending on your usage and type. Neglecting it can lead to expensive repairs.

 Did you know that Energy Star says replacing a dirty filter can improve efficiency by up to 15%? 

Also, check the gas valve; unless you want a house filled with explosions!

Step Five: Check the Gas Valve.

You mustn’t overlook checking the gas valve when inspecting your furnace system for it to run smoothly.

 Follow these five steps to complete:

  1. Make sure the valve is in the “on” position.
  2. Look for any obstructions or debris.
  3. Do a leak test to see if there are any leaks.
  4. If a leak is found, shut off the gas supply and call a professional technician.
  5. Switch the gas supply back on and ignite the furnace if everything is running correctly.

Checking the gas valve is important as it controls the flow of gas into your furnace. Any issue with the valve can affect its performance and safety.

In some parts of Canada, it’s mandatory to have your furnace checked by a licensed technician annually. This law shows how significant it is to keep your furnace functioning and secure.

If the circuit breaker trips, tell it to get right back up and try again; nothing beats persistence!

Step Six: Check Circuit Breaker.

You’ve gone through the tedious checking process of your furnace and it still won’t turn on. Before you panic, let’s move on to Step Six: Check Circuit Breaker.

 Here’s a 6-step guide:

  1. Locate the circuit breaker panel.
  2. Look for tripped breakers; switches that have shifted from “on” to the middle. Flip them back to “on”.
  3. If no tripped breakers, check for double-pole breakers. If one side is off, flip both poles back to “on”.
  4. If the furnace won’t budge, shut off all circuit breakers and restart after 30 seconds.
  5. If no tripped or double-pole breakers are present, it may be a blown fuse or wiring issue. Call an electrician.
  6. If the circuit breaker has damage or wear, it may need to be replaced.

Modern homes with high electrical demands may need a sub-panel.

If your furnace still won’t work, contact a licensed technician! Don’t leave yourself freezing in winter. Remember these points so you use circuit breakers properly. 

Check the temperature rise of your furnace, not the blood pressure rise of your spouse when the heat goes out.

Step Seven: Check Temperature Rise.

Checking the temperature rise of your furnace is essential. 

Here’s how:

  1. Turn it on and let it run for 10-15 mins.
  2. Measure the cool air return with a thermometer.
  3. Note both the cooler air temp and the warmer expelled air temp.
  4. Find the difference between them. This is the delta-T.
  5. Compare with the manufacturer’s specs.
  6. If the delta-T is ok, the furnace works well.

Remember to set the thermostat to ‘heat’, and keep registers open.

Did you know Romans used ‘Hypocaust’ heating? It circulated hot air through pipes under floors!

Nothing like coming home to find ashes where your furnace used to be!

Step Eight: Look for Warning Signs.

Checking the furnace is essential for a comfy and safe home.

 Here’s a guide to help you spot warning signs:

  1. Check the thermostat regularly. It could show signs of a furnace problem.
  2. Listen out for sounds like grinding or screeching while the furnace is on.
  3. Watch for ignition problems. If the pilot light turns off often or takes a long time to start, there may be a problem with the heating element or gas supply.

Also, keep an eye on bills. Unusually high bills could mean an inefficient or malfunctioning furnace.

What’s more, even if you don’t spot any warning signs, get a professional to inspect the furnace at least once a year. 

A friend of mine had a carbon monoxide leak due to their faulty furnace, but a detector alerted them in time. So, stay safe!

Common Furnace Problems.

To help you diagnose common furnace problems, let me guide you through the things you need to look out for.

 In this section, we will discuss various issues that may arise with your furnace. 

By the end of each sub-section, you will be equipped with the knowledge to identify the problem and know whether you can fix it yourself or need to call a licensed technician.

Clogged Filter.

A frequently encountered furnace problem is when the filter gets clogged. It can seem insignificant, but it can cause some serious damage if not handled quickly and properly. 

Here’s what you should know about clogged filters and their impact on the furnace:</strong>

  • A clogged filter blocks airflow, forcing the furnace to work harder to heat the house.
  • It also circulates contaminated air in the room, leading to breathing issues.
  • It can even cause costly repairs resulting from wear and tear on other furnace components.

It’s important to be aware of replacing or cleaning the furnace filter. Ignoring this small task could have a huge effect on your family’s well-being.

Heating experts recommend changing filters every two months. Or, if you suffer from allergies or have pets, you might want to switch them more often.

 If the filter gets clogged, it could cause the furnace to malfunction before any damage is done. So, pay attention to any warning signs, like an increase in energy bills or reduced heating output, as this will save you money and hassle in the long run.

Historical records show that before forced-air furnaces were used, gravity-based heating systems were employed. These systems allowed warm air to flow from the lower parts of homes or buildings to the colder areas where people lived or worked. 

Clogging wasn’t an issue with these older systems, as they didn’t use filters. As modern furnaces evolved with better safety standards and energy efficiency, regular maintenance has become essential for proper functioning, health-related issues, money-saving techniques, and more

If the blower motor stops working, your furnace is nothing more than an expensive paperweight.

Blower Motor Problems.

Your furnace blower motor is essential for circulating hot air around your home. If it has issues, your system won’t spread heat well, leading to discomfort & energy waste.

Faulty wiring, capacitor problems, or a malfunctioning thermostat can cause the motor to malfunction. This will weaken your furnace’s performance. 

Signs of blower motor issues? Unusual noises during operation, slow start-ups, or no airflow.

Don’t delay repairs; the longer you wait, the more damage & a system failure could occur. A skilled HVAC tech can diagnose & fix blower motor issues quickly & effectively, ensuring your home stays cozy & secure this winter.

Don’t wait ’til it’s too late; schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician & make sure your furnace is ready for winter!

Sound Coming from the Unit.

When you switch on your furnace, you might hear some noises. 

  • But, if the sound gets louder and more persistent, that means something’s wrong with the system
  • It could be because of a broken component inside the furnace.
  • Apart from that, if your furnace is placed too close to other objects, it can cause vibrations which result in grinding noises. To avoid this, get the right placement.
  • It’s easy to ignore these problems, but addressing them soon can save time and money in the end. Unusual sounds mean there could be big issues in your heating system which need expert repair.

My friend had an unusual experience with her furnace. It made different noises every day; screeching, clanging, etc. She didn’t take action right away and it cost her a lot in the end; high electricity bills and expensive repairs.

Dirty Ductwork.

Dirty ductwork in your furnace system can cause a plethora of problems. 

These include: 

  • High energy costs.
  • Poor air quality.
  • A lack of heat.
  •  Dust, dirt, and debris clog the ductwork and block airflow, making your system work hard to reach ideal temperatures. 

This is an urgent issue and can lead to safety concerns. It may also cause health issues like respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma.

To prevent this problem, it’s wise to hire a professional HVAC technician for cleaning services and inspection. Neglecting this step can be expensive and dangerous. Plus, clean ductwork makes your furnace last longer.

A friend of mine neglected to call a professional technician and tried to clean the vents himself. He ended up filling his living room with smoke from the furnace blower compartment. He had damaged the blower motor, causing it to overheat. This cost him a fortune!

The takeaway: Contact a trusted HVAC specialist for furnace maintenance rather than DIY experimentation. If you notice dirt or dust on your furnace vents or registers or experience any furnace issues, call for help ASAP

Don’t let your furnace burners remain cold, or your heart too.

Burners Not Lighted.

It’s a chilly night and your furnace won’t light. Don’t panic; this happens to many homeowners. Here’s what to do:

  1. Check the thermostat: Is it at an appropriate temperature and in “heat” mode?
  2. Replace the air filters: If they’re dirty, they could be blocking airflow.
  3. Check safety switches: If they’re not functioning properly, the burners won’t light.
  4. Look at ignition components: If the spark igniter is dirty or damaged, it could be the issue.
  5. Call a professional technician: Furnace maintenance requires expertise.

Also, keep an eye on your duct system. If there’s debris buildup over time, it could clog the system and cause burner problems.

Remember to turn off the power before any inspection or repair work inside the furnace. Regular maintenance can prevent problems, but safety always comes first when dealing with electric appliances.

 Never take risks!

House Not Heating Evenly.

Having uneven heating in your home can be a real drag, especially during the winter. 

It could be due to,

  •  Clogged air filters.
  • Leaky ducts.
  • Even improper unit sizing

You need a pro to take a look and identify the issue before it gets worse. Not dealing with it could mean higher energy bills and potential safety hazards.

Also, blocked vents in certain rooms can cause uneven heating. Check each room for open vents and make sure nothing is obstructing them. states that around 75% of no-heat calls are caused by a lack of maintenance on the furnace. Regular check-ups can help prevent issues and extend its lifespan.

In a nutshell, there are a few causes of uneven heating in your home. Have a pro inspect your system for diagnosis and address any maintenance needed. 

Don’t let your furnace fan become a bad breakup!

Problem with Fan.

Your furnace fan is essential for your heating system. If there’s a problem, it can cause improper heating, bad air quality, and system malfunctions. 

Possible issues include,

  • Malfunctioning motors.
  • Snapped belts.
  • Dirty or clogged filters.

Call in a pro if you notice strange noises or no working at all. It’s important to act fast to prevent more damage. Change your air filters regularly and have a qualified HVAC technician do routine maintenance. This can help your heating system last longer and save money on repairs. says replacing an old furnace with an Energy Star-certified one can save up to 15% on heating bills each year

Plus, who doesn’t love a whiff of a gas leak?

Odor or Gas Leak.

Your furnace may give off a strange smell or gas leak, which can be risky

  • This can be due to several things, such as a faulty burner, gas leak, or accumulation of dust and debris in the ducts. Contact a professional technician quickly if you smell anything suspicious.
  • It’s essential to keep the furnace clean and well-maintained to prevent bad odors.
  •  Dirt and debris can also cause a fire hazard. Have your furnace checked regularly by professionals to avoid any risks.
  • If you smell gas, don’t ignore it. Even small leaks can lead to headaches, nausea, or even an explosion. 
  • If you suspect a gas leak, switch off the supply immediately and call for emergency support from your local gas utility or fire department.

Recently, my friend noticed a strange odor from their furnace but didn’t do anything. Eventually, they called a technician and found a major gas leak that could have been dangerous

So, don’t take risks with furnaces that smell odd; always get professional help right away.

Carbon Monoxide Detector is Beeping.

Your carbon monoxide detector is beeping; a sign that something’s wrong.

 Here are four steps to tackle the problem:

  1. Get everyone out of the house right away. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause dizziness, confusion, and even death.
  2. Phone emergency services immediately. Don’t go back inside until they say it’s okay.
  3. If you think there’s a gas leak or another furnace or HVAC issue, call a licensed professional for repair or replacement.
  4. Fit extra carbon monoxide detectors around your home for added safety.

Remember: Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. So, be sure to take any beeps seriously.

To avoid carbon monoxide leaks, get regular maintenance on appliances that produce it, like furnaces or water heaters. And always make sure all ventilation systems are working before starting any fires indoors.

ABC News says that over 400 Americans die each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. So, act quickly when your detector warns of danger.

Furnace problems? These solutions will be your superhero cape; they’ll save the day and keep you warm as toast!

To ensure flawless operation of your furnace with no problems, you need to follow some highly recommended solutions for your furnace with sub-sections given below as your ultimate solution. 

Schedule Regular Maintenance with a Licensed Technician.

Don’t let costly damages and inconveniences happen in the future! 

  1. Schedule regular maintenance with a licensed technician now
  2. Research, contact and book an appointment to allow the technician to do their job. They have the expertise needed to make sure minor issues don’t become bigger problems.
  3.  Don’t wait until it’s too late; book an appointment today!

And remember, a clean furnace area is the key to a warm and cozy home

Unless you’re a mouse, of course! Good luck!

Keep the Area Around Furnace Clean.

It’s essential to keep a clean environment around your furnace.

  1.  It has an air filter that needs regular cleaning to prevent dirt and debris build-up. 
  2. A filthy area will restrict airflow, causing overheating and poor performance. It can even lead to fire hazards!
  3. Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from your furnace. Sweep up dust and debris, and wipe off dirty surfaces with a damp cloth. Vacuum the area to reduce allergy-aggravating particles.
  4. If you have pets or live in a dusty spot, clean the furnace area often. This will help minimize pet hair or dust build-up, which can block airflow and worsen respiratory illnesses.

A friend experienced a pricey machine breakdown due to weeds growing around their furnace. To avoid this, maintain a healthy environment for short and long-term benefits.

Finally, check your furnace’s wiring and connection to make sure it isn’t giving you the silent treatment.

Check Connection and Wiring for Sound Furnace Operation.

Ensuring your furnace runs properly is a must. To do this, inspect the connection and wiring. This’ll help spot any faulty parts that could cause issues. 

Here’s how to check them:

  1. Cut the power: Make sure there’s no electricity running through the furnace. For safety, switch off the circuit breaker.
  2. Check for looseness or disconnection: Inspect wires and connections to make sure they’re secure. Replace or tighten any that are loose or damaged.
  3. Look out for abnormal wear and tear: Are wires frayed? Does the connection look discolored? If so, replace the parts to avoid further damage.

Inspecting your furnace’s connections and wiring regularly helps prevent breakdowns and costly repairs. Get a pro if you find something you’re not sure how to fix.

Don’t wait until your furnace malfunctions! Take preventative measures now to save money and energy; and extend the life of your furnace. 

Before you turn up the heat, make sure your furnace isn’t trying to burn down the house.

Test Furnace Before Heating Season.

Winter’s coming! Make sure your furnace is ready. Test it before the heating season.

 Here’s how:

  1. Turn up the thermostat five degrees higher than room temperature.
  2. Go to the furnace and check the burners.
  3. Look for gas or oil leaks.
  4. Clean air filters.
  5. Turn down the thermostat.
  6. Check if vents around the house are blocked.

Testing your furnace saves money. Clogged channels force furnaces to overwork, causing costly damages. Clean out vents, particularly if debris has built up during dry or dusty seasons. Check alarms and protection devices near the furnace are working.

Follow these steps and you’ll keep your heating system in good condition. No need for repairs. 

Trust me, it’s better to call a technician than to try and fix it yourself and make the problem worse!

Call a Technician if Something Doesn’t Seem Right.

It may be tempting to keep using appliances or electronic devices when something seems off. But, this can make things worse in the long run. Get a technician to take a look!

 Ignoring warning signs can be dangerous and costly. Unusual noises, smells, or a drop in performance? Address these issues right away. Trying to fix them yourself could lead to more problems or even personal injury.

Be smart. Reach out to a qualified professional. They can diagnose, provide solutions, and save money. Plus, your device will work better for longer!

 So, don’t wait. Speak to a trusted technician if you’re experiencing any issues. Safety is key; protect yourself and your family from faulty electronics.

 Unfortunately, there’s no magical solution. But, we did our best to entertain you with some questionable humor!

Frequently Asked Questions. 

Q: How do I check if my furnace is working properly?

A: To check if your furnace is working properly, follow these steps:

  • Set the thermostat to a temperature higher than the current room temperature.
  • Listen for the sound of the furnace turning on. You should hear the blower motor and burners ignite.
  • Check if warm air is coming out of the registers or vents. Place your hand near the vents to feel for warm air.
  • Monitor the temperature in your home over the next few hours to ensure it reaches the desired temperature and remains consistent.
  • Look for any unusual smells or noises coming from the furnace.

If you notice any issues or if the furnace doesn’t heat your home adequately, it’s recommended to contact a professional HVAC technician for further inspection and repairs.

Q: How often should I check my furnace?

A: It is recommended to check your furnace at least once a year. Ideally, schedule a professional maintenance inspection before the start of the heating season, typically in the fall. Regular maintenance helps ensure optimal performance, efficiency, and safety.

Q: What signs indicate that my furnace needs repair?

A: Watch out for these signs that may indicate the need for furnace repair:

  • Insufficient heating or inconsistent temperature throughout your home.
  • Unusual smells, such as a burning odor or the smell of gas.
  • Strange noises like banging, rattling, or squealing coming from the furnace.
  • Frequent cycling on and off.
  • High energy bills compared to previous years.
  • The pilot light or burners frequently go out.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s advisable to contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and address the issue promptly.

Q: Can I perform furnace maintenance myself?

A: While some furnace maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners, it’s generally recommended to have a professional HVAC technician handle maintenance due to the complexity and potential safety hazards involved. Homeowners can take simple steps like regularly replacing the air filter, keeping the area around the furnace clean and unobstructed, and ensuring the thermostat is functioning correctly. However, for more in-depth maintenance, such as inspecting electrical connections, checking gas lines, and cleaning internal components, it’s best to rely on professional expertise.

Q: How long should a furnace typically last?

A: The average lifespan of a furnace can vary depending on factors like the type of furnace, its usage, maintenance history, and overall quality. Generally, a well-maintained furnace can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. However, it’s important to note that older furnaces may become less efficient over time, leading to higher energy bills. If your furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan or experiencing frequent issues, it might be worth considering a replacement.

Q: What are the benefits of regular furnace maintenance?

A: Regular furnace maintenance offers several benefits, including:

  • Improved efficiency: Proper maintenance keeps your furnace operating at its peak efficiency, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility bills.
  • Extended lifespan: Regular maintenance helps identify and address issues before they escalate, potentially extending the lifespan of your furnace.
  • Enhanced safety: Maintenance inspections include checking for gas leaks, ensuring proper ventilation, and addressing any potential safety hazards.
  • Consistent heating: Well-maintained furnaces provide consistent and reliable heating throughout your home, avoiding temperature fluctuations and cold spots.
  • Warranty protection: Some furnace manufacturers require regular maintenance as a condition to uphold the warranty. Failing to maintain the furnace properly might void the warranty.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that your furnace has been inspected and maintained by a professional gives you confidence in its performance, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns.


Wrapping up on checking the furnace! I hope you have gained some tips. Look at the thermostat and pilot light. Check the blower motor and ductwork too. This helps you save money and time. A blocked filter or dirty fan is often the cause of furnace issues. Gas leaks or faulty gas valves can be hazardous. If you hear strange sounds or smell something bad, switch off the power and call a technician. Taking care of the furnace is essential during the heating season. Check the exhaust vent and burners. This will keep your equipment in good working order. If there are still problems, maybe it’s time for a replacement unit. Regular maintenance checks can make your furnace last longer. Remember to follow safety guidelines when working with HVAC systems and call in professionals.