How to Fix Heater Problems: 5 Common Furnace Issues

fix heater problems

A furnace plays a very important role in many homes. If you live somewhere that gets a little cold in the winter. Your furnace will keep you warm and comfortable even on the coldest days. If you want to keep your furnace in great shape it is important to keep it maintained.

This could be heat pump maintenance, and overall checkup, or whatever kind of work you need to keep the furnace in working order. However, even with maintenance, issues can still arise (though they are much less likely).

With that in mind, this blog post is going to look at some common furnace-related problems. And how you can fix heater problems for better furnace maintenance.

1. Fix Heater Problems- Dirty Filters

fix heater problems dirty filter

One of the most common issues you may run into when it comes to your furnace is a dirty filter. A furnace filter will get full of dust, dirt, and other debris after enough use. This filter is meant to keep this debris out of your furnace, and out of the air.

If you continue to leave a dirty filter in your furnace. It can put unnecessary stress on the furnace. And make it need to work harder to keep your home warm. Thankfully, this issue is very easy to fix. As you can simply take the dirty and older filter out, and replace it.

As far as how often to change your filter, that depends. If you have children or pets, you should generally replace a filter more frequently than if you don’t. Also, the kind of filter you have can also dictate how often you need to change it.

Some filters last up to 3 months or so before you change them. While others will need to change each and every month for best results. These filters you can purchase easily and affordably. And changing them out takes less than a minute. So it is certainly something you should be doing.

2. A Furnace isn’t Blowing Hot Air

fix heater problems hot air

Another common issue that many will experience with their furnace is that it is no longer blowing hot air. It might not be blowing any air at all. Or the air that is being blown isn’t as hot as it should be. This could be throughout the home. Or the issue could be isolated to a single room or area in the home. 

This issue could be due to clogs, ducts with gaps, or leaks. Or even something as simple as a vent register being closed or being blocked by furniture. Also, if the furnace is the improper size for the space it is in. This can be a reason why the furnace doesn’t quite feel like it’s doing enough.

In most cases, to deal with this issue you should enlist the help of a professional to diagnose the actual issue. It could be for many reasons, and an expert is your best solution to identifying the reason.

These experts can also perform heat pump maintenance, to make sure all is okay on that front, too. Of course, be sure to check the thermostat as well before calling the expert in to ensure that isn’t the problem.

3. Fix Heater Problems- A Furnace is Making Strange Sounds and Scents

When you use your furnace, it is normal for it to make some sounds. The sounds it makes may change when it is just starting off, when it is operating normally, and when it powers down. However, you should keep an ear out for new and strange sounds. If you begin to hear something new, it could signify that something is wrong.

This could be buzzing, whirring, rattling, banging, and a number of other sounds. These may be loud, but could begin relatively quietly and could avoid detection for days or weeks, in some cases.

In addition to strange and new sounds, be sure to also pay attention to any new scents. This could be mold, burnt plastic, sewage, and many others. If you hear or smell something out of the ordinary, it is a good idea to turn off the furnace right away to prevent any potential or further damage and reach out to a trusted company to come out and inspect your furnace.

4. Fix Heater Problems- The Furnace Cycles Too Frequently

In most cases, a furnace will cycle on and off a couple of times an hour as it attempts to keep your home warm. But if you notice that your furnace is turning back on literally right after you turned it off, it could be a cause for concern.

As far as why your furnace is short-cycling, there are a couple of reasons. It could be due to improper airflow, a selected temperature that is too high or too low, or even dirty filters. Short-cycling like this can run up your energy bill in huge amounts, as the furnace will be running much longer than it needs to.

Not only does this cost you money, but it could signify a deeper problem within your furnace. Like other issues that impact your furnace’s ability to work well, don’t hesitate to call in a professional.

5. Pilot Light Problems

light problems

While newer gas furnaces use an electronic ignition system that lights as needed, millions of Americans still use older systems that may still have pilot lights.

The pilot light is a small flame that serves as the ignition source for your furnace. If the pilot light is off or weak (yellow and/or flickering instead of a steady blue flame), your furnace will not work.

A pilot light can be weak or nonexistent due to being blown out, being dirty, or even due to excessive amounts of carbon monoxide. In most cases, we recommend bringing in someone with experience to relight the pilot light if it goes off or is weak.

If you decide to try and relight the pilot light yourself or want to do anything relating to it, be sure to practice proper pilot light safety to ensure you don’t get hurt or cause any damage to occur.

In conclusion, we hope that this article has been able to help you identify and learn how to deal with some of the major furnace issues you might run into.