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Easton, Maryland winters can really put your furnace to work. It’s important to keep your system in top shape during this season so you can protect yourself from the chill outside. If your furnace isn’t blowing hot — or even warm — air into the home, it’s time for some troubleshooting to get to the bottom of the problem.

Has it Had Time to Warm Up?

Even a powerful, well-maintained furnace takes some time to heat up. If your furnace is blowing cold air, the first thing to do is remain patient and check again in a few minutes. Don’t jump to conclusions the first time you feel a cool breeze from your vents. If the furnace has just kicked on, you may simply need to wait a bit for the really warm air to start blowing.

It is Set to Heat?

This probably seems painfully obvious, but go ahead and check anyway. There’s nothing worse than calling in a professional just to find out one of the kids switched your thermostat to cool without your noticing. Your thermostat must be on heat and not simply fan for the furnace to kick in and do its job.

Is the Pilot Light On?

If you have a gas furnace, one of the first things you should check is the pilot light. This small flame should burn constantly, but it may blow out. If your gas is shut off for any reason, this will definitely cause the pilot light to go out. The light may also go out if the tip becomes clogged or it’s hit with a draft.

Use your manufacturer’s instructions to find the pilot light. You may have to remove a protective cover to access the light. You can relight the pilot with a match, but you should only attempt this once. If the pilot light goes out again, contact a professional to get to the bottom of the problem.

Is Your Thermostat Working?

Check the setting on your thermostat. It must be higher than the current temperature in your home for the furnace to kick on and blow hot air. If the thermostat runs on batteries, replace these and see if improves the thermostat performance and causes the furnace to blow hot air again.

Your HVAC technician will check thermostat operation at your annual maintenance visit to make sure it’s in peak condition. If you haven’t scheduled a furnace tuneup yet this year, now is the perfect time to have your system checked and find out what’s behind your cold air problem.

Is the Filter Clean?

You should change the filter in your furnace once a month. Check your filter to make sure it’s not dirty or clogged. Some systems will automatically shut down the furnace burner if the filter is too dirty to prevent it from overheating. Even if the burner is working, you may still feel cool air because the filter is obstructing much of the heat. Installing a fresh filter takes just seconds, so there’s no excuse to slack on this responsibility.

How Does Your Ductwork Look?

Head up to your attic and take a look at the ductwork. You will probably find it exposed above the insulation. If your ductwork is damaged and leaking, hot air will escape into the attic, and cold air from the attic space can seep right in and blow through your air vents. Having a professional seal and insulate your ducts can make a dramatic difference in the effectiveness of your heating system.

Has Your Condensate Pump Been Cleaned?

If you schedule regular maintenance visits, your HVAC technician will clean the condensate pump, outlet, and reservoir at every tuneup. If you haven’t had a tuneup recently, these parts could be clogged and blocked. If a hose is plugged up, then this will prevent the burners from lighting, so your furnace will blow cold air. Contact a professional to resolve this issue.

If you’re having trouble with your furnace, contact Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391. We’ll help you diagnose and repair the problem so you can stay warm and comfortable this winter.

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