While there are many variables that can affect the efficiency of your furnace during the winter months, there are three very common issues that homeowners may be faced with. Understanding the most popular causes of system breakdowns can help you greatly reduce the need for repairs.
3 Common Furnace Problems In Winter
Dirty/clogged air filters. Furnace filters should be changed, at a minimum, every three months. If you have pets, consider replacing filters more often. Purchase high quality filters that trap allergens; if you decide on standard filters instead, they should be replaced monthly. If filters aren’t changed regularly, dirt, bacteria, and other allergens will accumulate, restricting air movement in the furnace and in corresponding equipment and ductwork. The system then has to work much harder than usual to keep the home warm, putting stress on the components and increasing heating bills.
A malfunctioning thermostat. Your thermostat is the appliance that determines when the furnace starts and stops, based on the temperature in the room where the thermostat is located. If the thermostat isn’t working correctly, or isn’t programmed accurately, the furnace could be switching on and off too frequently or not at all. This can result in the home being too hot or too cold for comfortable enjoyment. Thermostat glitches can also cause the fan to come on when it’s not needed, adding to electricity costs (or natural gas, depending on the heating system).
A malfunctioning pilot light. If there’s a problem with your furnace’s ignition system, or pilot light, the furnace won’t necessarily run when it’s needed. It may come on intermittently, or not at all. If the pilot light isn’t lit, and doesn’t stay lit, the furnace won’t be able to heat your home.