Real Estate Articles

Do It Youself Furnace Troubleshooting | By: Dirk Elsass

Winter is upon us and, as landlords, we will soon be receiving phone calls from tenants that their furnaces are not working properly. When you speak to your tenants, ask the following questions before you contact a heating & cooling company.

1)      When was the last time you changed the filter in your furnace? Furnaces need air flow to operate properly. A dirty furnace filter is like putting cardboard over of radiator grill on your car. It will cause the furnace to overheat and shut off. Most filters should be changed monthly.

2)      Are all of the supply air grills in the home open? Do you have furniture/rugs blocking the return air grills? The furnace needs the air flow to cool itself. Closed and /or obstructed grills will minimize the air flow to the furnace causing it to overheat and shut off.

3)      If the property has a digital thermostat, do the batteries need replaced? If the thermostat has no power, the furnace will not energize.

4)      Is the power switch to the furnace and/or the breaker to the furnace turned on? Children are fond of flipping switches. If they turn off the switch to furnace, it will not work.

5)      Is the front door to the furnace closed properly? If a tenant changes a filter and does not properly close the metal door, the safety switch will not engage and the furnace will not turn on.

6)      Is the gas and/or electric service to the property turned on? Let’s face it…tenants get their utilities shut off at times.


If none of these items correct the problem, it is time to call a licensed heating & cooling company.

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