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Forced Air Furnace on the Fritz? Troubleshoot with These Expert Tips

Posted on April 29, 2014

When your forced air furnace is not running properly or not running at all, you may be able to troubleshoot the problem with these tips before having to call in a professional:

  • Check the filter. Clogged filters cause forced air furnaces to run longer and work harder, leading to less effectiveness and efficiency. As a general rule, change the filter monthly, or more often if  smokers or pets are present.
  • If you notice decreased airflow or temperature variance in any rooms, check the ductwork and registers. Use thermometers to check the temp in each rooms, and adjust registers and dampers accordingly. Make sure registers are not blocked by furniture or other items, and if ductwork is separated, reattach them with self-tapping sheet metal screws and throughly cover the seams with mastic.
  • If you want more airflow through the registers, you can adjust the motor pulley to make the blower run faster. Loosen the outer pulley set screw and turn the pulley face one turn clockwise. This will give you more air through the ducts, but the blower will also be slightly louder during operation. If you want a quieter forced air furnace, loosen the set screw and turn the outer pulley face one turn counterclockwise. The blower speed will be slower but it will also be less noisy.
  • If the belt on the blower is squealing, the chances are that it is out of alignment. Simply loosen the set screw that attaches the pulley to the drive shaft, use a carpenter’s square to determine and set the perfect right angle between the blower pulley and the motor pulley, and re-tighten the set screw.

Using these troubleshooting tips can save a lot of time and effort, but best of all, they’ll give you some peace of mind.

If you have questions or concerns about the performance of your forced air furnace, call the experts at Comfort Systems heating and cooling, serving the Wichita, Kansas, area for over 50 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about forced air furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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