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Top 5 Common Furnace Problems and How to Fix Them


We will address the five most common furnace problems and provide practical solutions to help you get your heating system back on track. We’ll walk you through the symptoms of these issues and the steps to resolve them effectively. So, let’s dive right in.

Before You Begin

Before we get started with troubleshooting, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind:

1. Check the Error Code

Whenever your furnace isn’t functioning as it should, the first step is to check the error code on your furnace’s control board. Most furnaces have a small LED error code light, usually green or red. It often has a sight glass, making it easy to see without removing the door. Before doing anything else, take note of the error code – those short and long blinks. This information can be invaluable in identifying the problem.

Problem 1: Dirty Flame Sensor

Identifying the Issue

One of the most common furnace problems is a dirty flame sensor. You can recognize this problem by observing the following symptoms:

  • The furnace ignites but the flames only last for about three seconds.
  • The furnace goes through a sequence of attempts to light, usually three to five times, and then goes into a lockout.

Solution: Cleaning the Flame Sensor

To address this issue, you’ll need to clean the flame sensor. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off the power to your furnace to ensure safety.
  2. Locate the flame sensor, typically found near the burners.
  3. Remove it using a quarter-inch screw.
  4. The flame sensor is a metal rod; use a scotch-brite pad or dishwashing scrubby to clean any buildup.
  5. Ensure the metal rod is shiny and free of debris.
  6. Reinstall the flame sensor, plug in the wire, and secure it with the quarter-inch screw.
  7. Turn your furnace’s power back on, and it should now function correctly.

Problem 2: Dirty Furnace Filter

Recognizing the Symptoms

A dirty furnace filter is a surprisingly common issue. Look out for these signs:

  • Your furnace struggles to maintain the desired temperature.
  • Your home is not heating up as expected, and the furnace seems to be working harder.

Solution: Replacing the Furnace Filter

The solution is straightforward – replace the furnace filter. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Turn off the furnace.
  2. Identify the location of your furnace filter.
  3. Remove the old filter and replace it with a new one.
  4. Be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations for the filter type and replacement frequency.

Problem 3: Bad Inducer Motor

Identifying the Issue

A malfunctioning inducer motor can lead to issues such as:

  • The furnace control board displaying a pressure switch open code.
  • Your furnace not starting or heating as expected.

Solution: Troubleshooting and Replacing the Inducer Motor

If you suspect a bad inducer motor, follow these steps to diagnose and address the problem:

  1. Check if the inducer motor is receiving power – a multimeter can help.
  2. If it’s not starting or feels excessively hot, the motor may need replacement.
  3. If unsure, refer to our video on inducer motor troubleshooting for a more in-depth guide.

Problem 4: Bad Blower Motor

Recognizing the Symptoms

A faulty blower motor can manifest in several ways, including:

  • A burnt plastic or electrical smell in your home.
  • The blower motor not starting after the burners ignite, causing overheating.

Solution: Troubleshooting and Replacing the Blower Motor

To address a malfunctioning blower motor, follow these steps:

  1. If the blower motor isn’t starting, turn off the furnace.
  2. Carefully check if the motor is excessively hot.
  3. If it’s hot, it’s likely a bad motor, and replacement is necessary.
  4. If power is reaching the motor but it’s still not starting, consider watching our video on blower motor troubleshooting for detailed guidance.

Problem 5: Bad Control Board

A faulty control board can lead to various furnace issues, including the failure to send power to critical components. In this case, we recommend using a multimeter to check if the control board is receiving power but not transmitting it. If it’s not sending power when it should, replacing the control board may be necessary. Sometimes, the control board itself may display an error code indicating that it’s defective and requires replacement.


In summary, these are the five most common furnace problems and their solutions. Proper maintenance, cleaning, and timely filter replacement can go a long way in preventing these issues. If you encounter furnace problems beyond your expertise, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from furnace repair expert in Kelowna. Your home’s comfort and safety are paramount, so take the necessary steps to keep your furnace in excellent working condition.

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