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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Furnace Quirks That Seem Problematic, but May Not be

If you’ve had your furnace for a while, and you’re familiar with how it operates, it can be tempting to freak out if it suddenly begins to do something unusual. While there are certainly times when an unusual furnace behavior can indicate a serious problem, there are a number of different times when it’s not an emergency. You may still need to have the problem fixed (if it is a problem) but at least you’ll know that your system isn’t going to blow up any time soon.


If your furnace sounds like a cannon firing when it starts up, you don’t need to worry just yet. Chances are, you just have a clogged burner assembly. The burner assembly is the part of the system responsible for combusting natural gas to generate heat. If you don’t have a gas furnace, you may not have a burner assembly to worry about.

When the burner assembly is operating, a number of combustion byproducts are generated. This includes carbon particles, which build up on the jets over time. Eventually, the system can become so clogged that some of the jets don’t fire when they’re supposed to. When the jets finally do fire, they burn through the built-up gas all at once and generate that loud booming sound. This can become a problem if the assembly is allowed to become so clogged that it doesn’t work at all. A quick professional cleaning, though, should resolve the issue fairly easily.

Burning Smells

Many homeowners panic when they first turn on their furnace in the fall, only to be met with a strong burning smell. If this happens to you, don’t worry too much. Your furnace is very likely not going to burst into flames or anything. What is probably happening is the dust and other debris that’s been collecting in the innards of the furnace all year long has begun to burn off. This is incredibly common, and as long as the smell goes away after a couple of hours it should not warrant any more worry.

Failure to Start

Now, we’re going to offer this one with a caveat: failure to start is only benign if you manage to resolve it in the following ways:

  • Check the Thermostat: The thermostat is the core of the climate control system, and if it’s set improperly it will obviously hinder the furnace. Make sure that everything with the thermostat is set properly before you check anything else.
  • Restart the Pilot Light: If your furnace still uses a standing pilot light, check and make sure that it’s still burning. If not, relight it and see if that fixes the problem. If the pilot light continues to blow out after being relit, it could be a sign of an actual issue that needs to be taken care of.

Saddleback Plumbing offers furnace repair and maintenance services throughout Trabuco Canyon, CA. If you need furnace services of any kind, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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