Common Furnace Problems You May Encounter This Winter

Winters are that time of the year when everyone prefers to stay at home to remain warm & cozy. And it is the furnace that ensures that your indoors remain warm throughout & heated evenly at every corner. However, it can be frustrating during the winter if your house’s furnace does not work properly or, worse, stops working altogether.

Therefore, it’s a good idea for homeowners to ensure that the furnace system of the house is working properly well in advance. Not only will it prepare your home well for the chilling winter days, but it will also make your furnace last longer than usual.

The best way to ensure that the furnace system works efficiently is by calling a reliable HVAC agency like Hurliman. We will send a certified professional to conduct a thorough inspection and find the root cause of the issue if there’s any. Nonetheless, keep scrolling down to learn the top nine common problems that one may face with a furnace.

Dirty or clogged air filters

Clogged or dirty air filters are one of the most common reasons your furnace might stop working during the winter. The more the usage, the more the filters are prone to accumulate dust and dirt.

Clogged filters reduce the airflow to the rest of the system, putting pressure on the unit. If clogged or dirty air filters are ignored for a long time, they can cause damage to other parts of your furnace. Moreover, a clogged air filter will cause the furnace to overheat and may contribute to its failures.

Experts recommend checking the air filters at least once a month so that one does not face sudden disruptions in the heating system. Therefore, you must check the air filters regularly to clean or replace them if needed.

Frozen pipes

Another of the most common furnace issues in most households is frozen pipes. It is pertinent to mention that the pipes play a vital role in travelling the warm air throughout the house.

During cold winter days, ice may form over the hydronic system when the temperature drops down to the freezing point. As a result, the regular flow through the pipes will face obstruction and lead to pressure build-up due to airflow blockage. It will ultimately result in overheating of the furnace.

In such a situation, you first need to switch off the water supply of your home & remove the ice build-up from the pipes. Sometimes excessive ice builds are hard to remove. In that case, you need to call a professional for help.

Noisy furnace

Your furnace making a normal gentle humming sound every time you turn it on is normal. However, what’s not normal is if your system makes rattling or squeaking noises when you turn it on.

The rattling and rumbling noises indicate that some parts of your furnace system may be broken or have severe mechanical issues. The furnace system is supposed to work smoothly without making any noticeable noise. Therefore, you need to call a furnace repair service before it’s too late.

Malfunctioning thermostat

Another common reason why your furnace may not be properly working is that the thermostat may not communicate correctly with the furnace. The thermostat screen going blank or malfunctioning indicates that your thermostat is acting up.

Sometimes you can resolve the thermostat issues by simply replacing the batteries. Generally, a thermostat fails to function if there is a malfunctioning fan in your furnace system. It is also essential to check the settings of the thermostat before changing the batteries.

However, if you still cannot get your thermostat to work even after changing the batteries and tweaking the settings, you should probably call an expert to fix the problem.

Pilot control issues

If your furnace fails to heat the room amply, a fault with pilot lights or electric ignition can be the issue. So, if you find the pilot lights to go off more frequently than usual, you should immediately look for air currents or drafts that might affect the furnace’s pilot light.

The issues can also be due to clogs in the system. Additionally, a faulty thermocouple that cannot read the pilot light’s correct temperature will cut off the gas supply, causing the system to fail.

Disruptions or irregularities in heating

One of the most common furnace issues homeowners face during winter is the furnace failing to heat the house in the right amount. If the furnace is incapable of heating the room adequately or emitting uneven distribution of heat, the most common reason could be blocking the air vents and ducts.

You can check for obstructions at the opening of the air vents. However, the best possible solution is to call an expert to look for the problem. However, another reason your furnace may not distribute heat evenly throughout the house can be the smaller size and capacity of the furnace for the size of the room.

Blower running continuously

The most common reason your blower may be continuously running may be an issue with the limit switch. A limit switch is responsible for activating and deactivating your furnace’s blower. If that’s the case, you will need professional help, as any problem with the limit switch can only be handled by experts.

Frequent cycling

There may be a lot of reasons why your furnace may be cycling more frequently than it should. Sometimes clogged filters, improper airflow, or wrong thermostat settings can make your furnace cycle continuously.

Furnace emitting carbon monoxide

As your furnace ages, it gets tiny cracks in its heat exchanger, emitting carbon monoxide. The best way of dealing with this issue is by installing a detector & getting your old furnace occasionally checked by professionals.


Furnace issues during winter are common and can only be avoided if homeowners take proper care of the system with regular repair and maintenance. Homeowners should frequently check the air filters and other visible parts and call for professional help to avoid unforeseen contingencies. Although regular furnace servicing will incur some costs, it will help you to save a lot in the long run.

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