Your furnace is an integral part of your home. Without one, you wouldn’t be able to keep warm during cold weather. Yet furnaces can have some problems that are more common than others.

Let’s review these problems and discuss what they might cost to correct so you know before you contact an HVAC technician. Some of the most common furnace repair problems involve:

  • Furnace won’t turn on
  • Furnace doesn’t stay lit
  • Furnace won’t blow hot air
  • Furnace won’t turn off

1. The Furnace Isn’t Turning On

There are a few reasons why your furnace won’t turn on, so make sure to check all of them.

  • Is your thermostat set correctly? Make sure it’s on “heat,” “auto” and that your preferred temperature is higher than the room’s current temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure it has new batteries.
  • Is the circuit breaker tripped? Your furnace can’t operate if it doesn’t have power. Reset the switch if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the furnace switch off? Your furnace has a power switch found on or near it. Because this switch looks like a light switch, it’s easy to unintentionally turn it off. If it was off, it may take your furnace a few minutes to start.
  • Is the air filter clean? A dusty air filter can create a lot of issues for your furnace. Replace yours if you can’t see light through it.

Estimated Repair Cost

This problem can be complex, so the estimated cost to repair it varies according to what’s wrong.

2. The Furnace Won’t Stay Lit

Your furnace uses a certain sequence when it begins heating your home.

  1. Your thermostat notices the temperature has dropped and tells your furnace to start running.
  2. The draft inducer fan activates to pull in fresh air for combustion.
  3. The gas valve unlocks for the burners, which are lit electronically.
  4. The flame sensor signals to your furnace the burners have been ignited.

If something is wrong during the sequence, your furnace will shut off as a safety precaution.

A couple of possible causes for this issue include:

  • Dirty or malfunctioning flame sensor. If the sensor doesn’t detect a flame, it will shut off your furnace to prevent natural gas from spilling into your home. The ignition process corrodes flame sensors as time passes. While cleaning during annual furnace maintenance can help, yours may eventually need to be taken out and changed.
  • Bad limit switch. This safety feature will turn off your furnace if it detects backdrafting. Backdrafting is hazardous, because carbon monoxide and natural gas can leak into your home. These switches can malfunction due to age, damage or dust accumulation.
  • Old thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t working correctly, your furnace won’t be able to operate.
  • Dirty air filter. A dirty air filter can limit airflow and force your furnace to shut down to avoid overheating. Make sure to replace yours every 30 to 90 days, or whenever you can’t see light through it.

Estimated Repair Cost

These costs are estimates, so it’s necessary to note yours may vary based on your furnace’s brand and model.

  • Flame sensor: $350–$500
  • Limit switch: $150–$300
  • Thermostat: $150–$350
  • Furnace filter: $10-$30

3. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air

In many cases, this problem is tied to an incorrect thermostat setting or a dusty air filter that’s limiting airflow. Follow the steps above to fix the problem.

4. The Furnace Isn’t Shutting Off

If it’s very chilly outside or you like your home to be toasty, your furnace may be running for a long time.

If this isn’t the case, ensure your thermostat is set correctly and working properly. If your fan setting is at “on,” the blower motor will be going even when the furnace isn’t, so it’ll seem like your furnace is running all the time.

Alternatively, there might be a problem with the blower motor or your ductwork may be leaking air, forcing your furnace to run continuously to make up for the lost air.

Estimated Repair Cost

These costs are estimates, so it’s necessary to note yours may be different based on your furnace’s brand and model.

  • New blower motor: $250–$800
  • Seal ductwork: varies based on house size

May's Heating & Air Can Get to the Bottom of Your Furnace Problems Quickly and Affordably

Furnace issues can be an expensive headache, but not when you call May's Heating & Air. We’ve been providing the quality, affordable furnace repair Frederick homeowners have relied on since {year}. Contact us at 301-690-0397 to request your free estimate today.