Most heating system issues can be boiled down to one of three areas: mechanical wear, ignition or pilot problems or a thermostat malfunction. Many of these problems can be prevented with regular maintenance.
Whether you have a heat pump or a boiler, you count on your heating system to keep your family cozy and warm. Problems with your furnace can rack up big repair bills if you let them go. As a DIY enthusiast, you take pride in being able to save time and money by handling those little home repairs yourself. The following is an overview of some common problems with furnaces and the parts that are responsible for ensuring your indoor comfort.
Common problems that might be affecting your furnace
Filters should be replaced regularly. Your owner's manual will provide recommendations, but most filters should be changed monthly.
Wearable parts like belts and bearings should last longer if they don't have to compete with grit and debris to function. The furnace components should be inspected once a year for wear. The surfaces should also be cleaned at the beginning and end of the cold season.
Your thermostat should be set on auto to keep a constant, comfortable temperature. Continuously turning the thermostat off and on makes your system work harder than it must to keep your home at a stable temperature.
Major furnace parts and what they do
Whether your furnace is powered by gas, oil or electricity, there are some parts and problems that are common to all.
Thermostat—This is the mechanism that detects the interior temperature in your home and tells your system when to turn on and off. If it isn't working, your furnace will either run constantly, putting unnecessary wear on the parts, or it won't turn on at all.
Heat exchanger—This creates the heat for your home. In a gas furnace, a burner heats ventilation air. In an electric furnace, the thermostat activates heating coils instead of fuel to heat the air.
Blower motor—Once your fuel source heats the air, your blower distributes it through the ventilation system. If the blower motor becomes clogged or overheated, it can stop working and may need replacement.
Ventilation—Your air vents and ducts are how hot air is distributed through your house. If they become blocked, your house will get cold, your thermostat won't function properly and your furnace can overheat. Dirty or dusty ventilation clogs moving parts and makes your indoor environment unhealthy.
Air filter—The air filter can be found near the blower motor. It traps debris like dust particles. As mentioned above, the air filter should be changed monthly to ensure good air quality.
Turn to Sears PartsDirect for your furnace parts
Replacement parts from trusted names like Coleman, Kenmore and Thermal Zone will ensure that you're getting the right components for your specific make and model of furnace. At Sears PartsDirect, we carry everything from belts to blower assemblies for many different brands.