Troubleshooting Furnaces: A Short Video Primer

My furnace is 17 years old and it's starting to give me problems.  I've had my furnace stop working about once a year for the past few years, but thankfully every issue I've had has been quite simple to fix, mostly because I know a few basic troubleshooting steps.

I was going to write a blog post describing some of these troubleshooting steps for furnaces, but I decided that a video might be a little easier to follow along with.  This video is by no means a complete troubleshooting guide to furnaces, but it's a nice introduction to furnace troubleshooting.  I cover the most basic things to check, and I discuss some common error codes that furnaces may give.  For detailed troubleshooting and repair steps for furnaces, check out .  This is the best web site I've found that deals with furnace troubleshooting and repairs.

Part of what inspired me to make this blog post was an email that a reader in sent in.  The reader lives in a 2002 built home in Rosemount, and was charged over $2,800 (yes, Two Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars) for 1.5 hours of an HVAC technician's time on a Tuesday (1/6/15).  That's gotta be some kind of a rip-off record, right?  I'll probably write another blog post in the future, giving advice on how to hire an ethical heating contractor.

I'm no heating contractor so I don't know the exact numbers, but I'd guess that a large percentage of "no heat" service calls could be addressed by homeowners if they just knew where to start.  That's what this video is all about.  Oh, and while watching the video, please ignore the part where the camera goes out of focus. I don't know why that happened, but you're not missing anything.

Without further ado, here's the video:

I still recommend annual furnace inspections though.

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections


Written By

Reuben is a second-generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben grew up thinking he was going to be a school teacher because he enjoyed teaching others so much. In a sense, that’s a lot of what home inspections are about, so Reuben truly does what he loves. Sharlene has worked with Structure Tech since 2000 and Reuben has been contributing to her blog since 2008.

Related Posts

Direct vent furnace

Are furnaces allowed in bedrooms?

🖨 Print ArticleEvery home inspector probably wonders this the first time they see a furnace in a bedroom. Or to take this question a step further, is it legal to...

Can you install a high-efficiency furnace with only one pipe?

🖨 Print ArticleIt’s perfectly acceptable to have a high-efficiency furnace installed with one pipe. Just flip through the pages of any high-efficiency furnace installation manual and you’ll find the answer....

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Market Updates & Mid-Century Modern Listings

Our weekly HomesMSP Update includes current local market information and a curated list of mid-century modern properties for sale, plus posts from an inspector, a lender, a stager, info about neighborhoods, life in the Twin Cities… even recipes!


Blog Categories


Sharon and John Hensrud

About Us

The HomesMSP Team is committed to meeting you where you are and listening… really listening to understand you so we can use our extensive knowledge of the market and local neighborhoods to give you personalized service.