Troubleshooting Your Combustion Furnace

July 20, 2023

Combustion furnaces burn fuel, such as oil or natural gas, to create heat for your home. These types of heating systems include burner assemblies that ignite when your furnace activates, then shut down after your desired set temperature has been reached. Understanding the problems that can affect the combustion components of your furnace and how to spot them will help you determine when it’s time to call for professional furnace repair in Columbus, Ohio.

The Pilot Light

Most combustion furnaces have a pilot light that remains lit at all times, regardless of whether the furnace is actively producing heat or not. This pilot light is used to light the burner assembly when the furnace activates; it is regulated by a component called the thermocouple, which will shut off the pilot light in the event of a problem with the fuel supply. The characteristics of the pilot light are a significant clue as to whether your furnace is operating efficiently, or whether it needs professional maintenance or repair. A pilot light should appear steady and burn blue—if the pilot appears to flicker, goes out, or burns an orange or red color, it indicates a problem with the pilot assembly or the thermocouple and you should call your professional repair service promptly. It’s important to note that some newer furnaces use an ignition system that doesn’t require a standing pilot light, so ask your furnace repair service whether you should expect to see a pilot light at all times, or only while the furnace is active.

The Burner Assembly

The burner assembly is the workhorse of your furnace—these burners activate to create heat when your furnace turns on, then shut off once the desired temperature has been achieved. Keeping the burners clean is essential to proper furnace function, as these burners can accumulate dirt and soot quickly without regular maintenance. The most common symptoms of burner problems are rumbling sounds while the furnace operates or cool air coming from your vents; both of these problems are typically associated with dirty burners, but can also be due to damaged or improperly-calibrated burners, as well. Because the burner assembly is a vital part of your furnace and fuel issues could pose a potential fire hazard, burner repair and maintenance should always be handled by a professional furnace repair technician.

The Blower

All central heating systems utilize a blower, which moves heated air up into your ducts so it can reach the air registers in each room. The blower works during the summer as well, moving cooled air produced by your air conditioner for the same purpose. Thus, this component is under frequent use, Problems with the blower motor often arise from poor airflow, which is frequently related to a lack of maintenance. If the blower breaks entirely, it will not activate and your furnace won’t be able to heat your home, regardless of the thermostat setting. When the blower is experiencing high stress or is failing, the airflow coming from your registers may feel weak and your home may experience uneven heating. Blower motor repairs should always be performed by a professional—as soon as you suspect your blower motor may be experiencing a reduction in performance, contact your furnace repair service to schedule a visit.

Professional furnace repair is the best way to keep your heating system working efficiently throughout the Ohio winter. You can reach one of our experienced heating technicians in Columbus on our website, or find out more about the signs that you could need furnace repair by reading through our blog.

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Last Updated: July 20, 2023