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5 Common Furnace Problems That Can Leave You Out in the Cold


Many common furnace problems could occur in your home over the winter months. Some make it difficult to keep all areas comfortably warm while others will have you waking up or coming home to frigid indoor temperatures. Nelson Comfort helps Cincinnati area homeowners avoid discomfort and heating outages this season by sharing solutions to the top issues that take place this time of year.

Furnace Won’t Turn On

A furnace that won’t turn on is one of the most common furnace issues homeowners experience throughout the winter. While this symptom can point to a major mechanical breakdown, it can also be the result of a simple power issue.

If your gas furnace won’t turn on, troubleshoot sources of power to the system. Make sure the thermostat is on and has power – replace batteries and reset its breaker if needed. Check the breakers to your furnace system and reset them if they have tripped. Check the switch on the unit itself and make sure it is set to ON. If these steps don’t get your furnace to produce heat at all, call Nelson Comfort for a furnace repair.

Dirty Furnace Filters

Even homeowners who regularly change their air filter consistently throughout the year can get caught off guard with a clogged air filter over the winter. With heating systems running heavily in the face of cold outdoor temperatures, your air filter can become clogged with pollutants at a faster rate than they do at other times of the year. A clogged filter can make it difficult for your heating system to push enough heat into your home, increasing your energy bills as discomfort rises. A clogged filter can also overheat your equipment, risking damage and temporary system shutdowns.

Avoid common furnace problems caused by dirty air filters when you pay extra attention this season. Check the air filter each month to determine if replacement is necessary. Go ahead and replace your air filter as needed instead of waiting for the usual time period between filter changes.

Wear and Tear Breakdowns

Wear and tear are natural consequences of operating your furnace, but if you don’t take care of these side effects, your system is more likely to break down. System wear and tear stress components and force them to work harder, so your heating bills also increase. Help your heating system avoid as much wear and tear buildup as possible when you call a furnace repair technician to perform your annual tune-up for your furnace each year. An annual furnace tune up is a great preventative measure to avoid furnace issues in the future as well as notice any current furnace problems. Your furnace repair professional will be able to identify and repair any issues before they become bigger problems. 

Faulty Ignition

Ignition issues are common gas furnace problems that can leave your home without heat. If you have an older furnace, the standing pilot light can be blown out by nearby drafts. Faulty thermocouples can also prevent correct flame sensing so your furnace doesn’t start when it should. Malfunctioning components of electronic ignition systems will also prevent the system from burning fuel and producing heat. 

You can relight a pilot light following the directions in your furnace’s owner’s manual. If the pilot continues to extinguish or other ignition issues are suspected, call Nelson Comfort to make repairs and solve these common furnace problems.

Faulty Thermostat

Your furnace thermostat determines how much heat is needed in your house. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause your furnace to produce too much or too little heat, which are common furnace problems. Sometimes malfunctioning thermostats or furnaces that aren’t producing heat are caused by a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. Your thermostat components may also be dirty or may have faulty wiring and loose connections, which can cause a disruption in the service. Old parts and a bad battery can also result in a broken-down thermostat.

Check the breaker and reset it if it has tripped, replace a blown fuse, or install fresh batteries so your thermostat has power. Remove the thermostat faceplate to clean connections and sensors with compressed air or a soft brush. Checking your circuit breaker is always a good idea when your furnace is not blowing warm air when it should be. Oftentimes, this is caused by a lack of power, but it is not always the case.  If you suspect bad wiring or a malfunctioning thermostat, call Nelson Comfort to make repairs or replace your thermostat.

Duct Noises

Squeaking, rattling, and popping from your ductwork are common furnace problems that point to airflow issues, mechanical malfunctions, a clogged burner, or a gas furnace blower motor that needs lubrication. Rattling noises mean there could be metal panels that are loose, so inspect them and tighten them if necessary. Squealing can come from belt issues in the furnace blower assembly – the belt may need to be replaced. Grinding is typically from the furnace blower motor, and professional maintenance can take care of lubricating it.

Professional Help for Common Furnace Problems

If you have trouble solving any of these common furnace problems over the winter, don’t suffer without sufficient heat in your home! Call Nelson Comfort for furnace repairs in Cincinnati – emergency service is available.

About The Author


Dan Detmer

Dan Detmer is the owner of Nelson Comfort. Dan was born into the heating and cooling industry, coming from a family of well respected HVAC contractors in Dayton, Ohio. After working in the family business, Dan decided to work for a local HVAC wholesale business helping local contractors grow their business. When he felt his heart moving him back into the residential and light commercial business, Dan joined the Mortimer Heating & Cooling team in Cincinnati, where he had called home and become part of the community for several years. After a short period of time Dan purchased the company and created what is today, Nelson Comfort. Today he operates a company based on integrity, honesty, and stellar customer service. If you have any questions feel free to tweet (at sign) NelsonComfort and we will get right back with you!

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