The Rheem Manufacturing Company, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, produces both home and commercial comfort products. The company manufactures oil and gas furnaces, and these furnaces are designed to work for a long time. If you are experiencing a problem with your furnace, troubleshoot the issue before contacting a service technician. You can often fix common problems. Always clean your furnace components like the motor and blower compartment before starting the furnace for the season.
Always make sure that your furnace is turned on if it doesn't come on. Check your thermostat set point and verify that it's higher than the ambient temperature. Change out the thermostat batteries if it's not working properly. Replace the thermostat if necessary. Check that you have either gas or oil. If not, call your supplier for a refill. Try pressing the reset button a maximum of two times. If it still doesn't come on, look at your circuit breaker and fuses. Replace fuses that have broken wires or are black and reset the circuit breaker if it's been tripped.
If you are not receiving any heat, check that the pilot light is lit. If not, relight it. If it doesn't light, clean the pilot light area, and soak up any water. Test the transformer with a screwdriver that has an insulated handle. Touch the screwdriver to one of the contacts and look for a current arch. If the current is weak, replace the transformer.
Also, examine the wires and electrodes, and replace any that are broken or corroded. If all of these look fine, replace the pilot thermocouple. If the heat comes on, but only certain rooms are receiving heat, clean the ductwork. Go to each room in your home and place your hand over the vent. If no air is coming out of the vent, clean those ducts. Remove any obstructions from the interior vents and the exterior piping. If the exterior piping is crushed or broken, replace it.
If your furnace is running all of the time, lower the set point. If that's not the issue, replace the thermostat. Your utility bills are normally higher during the winter, especially during an especially cold winter. Lower the set point, and call the utility company to see if it has raised your rates. Adding an appliance that uses a lot of energy also increases your energy usage.
If you see soot, first place your palm near the door of the combustion chamber. If the chamber is extremely warm, then you have a blockage in your home. Clean the flue pipe, combustion chamber and chimney, and check the heat exchanger and gaskets. If the heat exchanger or gaskets are broken, replace these components. If you smell gas, immediately turn off your furnace and appliances. Leave the house and go to a safe location. Call your gas supplier or the fire department if you can't reach your supplier. Do not return to your home until the problem is fixed.
Misty Faucheux became a freelance writer in 1998 and has been an editor since 2004. She has written for a variety of websites and blogs, specializing in topics ranging from digital photography to computer systems to digital media. Faucheux received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Loyola University New Orleans.