Your furnace is understandably one of your home’s most critical components in the winter months. It provides you and your family with a necessary and reliable source of warmth. However, with regular, heavy use for many long months, the equipment may develop several issues that require prompt attention. These are some of the more common heating system problems and what you can do about them.
The Thermostat Is Not Working
Perhaps the most common heating system problem relates to the thermostat. The thermostat regulates when the furnace turns on and off based on the settings that you have selected. When the thermostat is not working, your furnace may not turn on at all or may not maintain a desired temperature in the home. Dead batteries are often the cause of these problems. Therefore, a smart starting point when faced with these types of problems is to replace the batteries. If this does not work, the next step is to replace the thermostat with a new model.
The Heater Circulates Cold Air
If you have noticed chilly air blowing through your air vents, you understandably want to address this problem as soon as possible so that you and your loved ones can feel comfortable indoors. A common reason for this problem is an unlit gas pilot light. You can easily inspect your equipment to determine if this is the problem. Re-lighting the pilot light is relatively easy to do, but you should contact a professional if you do not feel comfortable completing this task.
The Furnace Is Not Producing Enough Warm Air
When you reach your hand up toward your air vent, you may notice lukewarm air coming through the vent rather than chilly air. This indicates that the pilot light is likely lit, but you should check this as a starting point. Then, inspect the air filters. Clogged or dirty air filters may not be allowing your equipment to work as efficiently as it needs to, so simply replacing the air filters is a great idea. If neither of these steps produces the desired result and if you have already checked the thermostat, schedule an inspection with a licensed HVAC technician.
The Furnace Cycles On and Off Frequently
Another common cause of home heating system problems is when the furnace seems to turn on and off much more frequently than it usually does and if this is not related to a significant change in outdoor weather conditions. This problem is also frequently caused by a dirty air filter, so a filter replacement is a good starting point as you attempt to improve the situation. A weak battery in the thermostat or a dying thermostat device may also cause this problem. If you have ruled out these problems, the likely cause is an airflow problem that may need to be diagnosed by an HVAC technician. For example, the cause may be a damaged duct that requires professional repair work.
The Heater Is Making Strange Sounds
You may notice unusual sounds just as your heater is turning on or off, or you may hear strange sounds throughout the entire time that the equipment is running. These sounds may include low rumbling, squeaking, grinding, rattling and more. These and other sounds may be caused by an issue with the burner or with other mechanical components. An HVAC technician will need to inspect the system in order to diagnose the problem. These kinds of repairs typically should be completed by a licensed technician. While some furnace issues are seemingly minor and cause a bothersome level of discomfort, others are urgent and require immediate attention. Now that you know how to handle these common furnace problems, you can take the appropriate steps to rectify the problem. For help with other issues, schedule service with a technician.