Installing A Pellet Furnace? Troubleshooting And Repair Tips For A Common Error

Posted on: 11 June 2020


If your HVAC technician recommended that you install a pellet furnace to heat your home, it's important that you understand how to care for that furnace and how to recognize when something isn't working as it should. The good news is that pellet furnaces are typically designed so that when something malfunctions, the furnace shuts down. Here's a look at what you need to know about one of the most common causes of a malfunction shutdown and what to do about it.

The Error Light Design

Most every pellet furnace has a control panel with indicator lights for the power, the auger, and the furnace system's temperature level. The levels usually range from 1 to 5, with each level having its own indicator light. 

If there's an error detected within the furnace system, one of those indicator lights will begin flashing or will illuminate steadily by itself. This tells you the error number, which can help you narrow down the source of the problem. You may need to talk with an HVAC technician or check the manufacturer's owner's manual for your furnace to determine what each error light number means.

The Importance Of Air Flow

Your pellet furnace relies on a precise air vacuum to ensure that the fire can burn safely and as it is supposed to. There are many different components that contribute to this air vacuum, and when the pellet furnace senses that the vacuum has been disrupted, it will trigger an error light and the system will typically shut down.

The Causes Of Airflow Problems

If you have determined that the error light on your furnace is an airflow error, the next step is for you to determine what the actual cause of that problem is. One of the most common causes of airflow errors on a pellet furnace is an improperly positioned ash pan.

When your ash pan gets too full before you dump it, ash can fall behind the pan in the containment area. When you put the ash pan back into the containment area, it won't sit all the way back against the back wall, which means that the ash pan's door won't seal completely when you close it. This should be the first thing you check when you have an airflow error on your pellet furnace.

In cases where you've eliminated the ash pan as the problem, you should check to be sure that the air vents and the vent pipes attached to your furnace are secure and free of damage. If they are, that means you may have a problem with the vent flap, or the pellet furnace may need to be cleaned. Sometimes, moisture can accumulate in the vent pipe and, if the furnace hasn't been thoroughly cleaned in a while, cause some clogging due to damp ash residue clogging up the pipe. Have your HVAC technician inspect the vent lines and clean them out to restore your furnace to its proper operation.

To learn more, contact a resource that offers HVAC services.