5 Most Common Furnace Problems and How to Resolve Them

April 24, 2023

5 Most Common Furnace Problems and How to Resolve Them

Winters in Utah are cold and snowy, and heating systems are needed in most homes. But like most mechanical systems, your furnace is bound to break down at some point. So it’s critical to know the common furnace problems, the reasons behind them, and possible fixes to be more proactive in preventing them.   

What are the most common furnace problems? Below are some you may encounter in your heater’s lifetime.

1. Insufficient Heat

You may be surprised and upset to discover that your furnace isn’t blowing warm air, but the solution is straightforward. Check your thermostat to see if it’s “heat.” If not, the fan is running but not the furnace. Then adjust the temperature, as it may be too low to heat your living space.

Another cause of insufficient heat could be a dirty or clogged filter, which decreases airflow from the furnace. Fortunately, you can easily replace the old filter with a new one.

If you’ve checked the thermostat and filter, but your furnace is still not producing heat, the problem could be with the pilot light or ignition, the burner, or the heat exchanger. Let a professional HVAC installation and repair company handle it instead.

2. Frequent Cycling

The frequent turning on and off of your furnace is one of the most common furnace problems. Short-cycling occurs when your heater shuts off and restarts in shorter periods, often without reaching the set temperature.

Frequent cycling occurs due to lack of airflow, causing the furnace to overheat and turn off as a safety precaution. If left unchecked, this speeds up the wear and tear on your unit. Since dirty filters restrict air from flowing freely, replace them; otherwise, contact a local contractor to check out the issue.   

3. Furnace Not Turning On or Stopped Working

Your furnace could stop working for several reasons.

Among the top reasons a furnace stops working is when the circuit breaker trips. This happens when there’s an excess electrical load, and the switch cuts off the flow as a safety precaution.  

Sometimes, a furnace won’t turn on because of a faulty pilot light or ignition since there’s no way to jumpstart heating your home. It can also be due to a dirty filter obstructing airflow, having the thermostat set to “cool” instead of heat, or a triggered safety switch. If you’re unsure why your furnace shuts down or won’t turn on, it’s time to call a trained technician for the correct diagnosis.

4. Not Blowing Air

Does your furnace appear to produce heat but isn’t blowing out the conditioned air? Like most common furnace problems, there could be several causes.  

One possible reason is a clogged blower. Accumulated debris can prevent your blower from properly functioning, so try to clear it out. If you notice a blinking red light, refrain from fixing the issue yourself and call a technician instead.

A broken or frayed blower belt is necessary to keep the fan motor running. When it snaps, loosens, or wears out, the fan can’t push out the heated air. Let a trained specialist replace it.

5. Odd, Loud Noises

Don’t disregard if your furnace starts making loud noises instead of the usual low hum. Strange noises such as popping, pinging, rattling, grinding, scraping, or screeching can signal various problems with your heater.

  • Knocking or rattling sounds mean some components have come loose and need to be tightened or adjusted. 
  • Grinding or scraping noise points to worn-out ball bearings. 
  • Loud, regular squeals indicate a slipped blower belt. 

In any of the above cases, shut down the furnace and ask a technician to investigate the problem.   

Besides the above common furnace problems, how do you know when your furnace is going bad? Below are a few more signs:

  • It’s already more than 15 years old.
  • Its repairs are becoming more extensive and expensive.
  • Your energy bills are higher than before because of reduced efficiency.

Turn To The Experts

At the first signs of trouble with your heating equipment, look no further than

Yes! Heating and Cooling

We’re a trusted BBB-accredited furnace company preferred by many in and around Salt Lake City and Las Vegas areas, providing top-notch services—from furnace maintenance to new installations.  

Get in touch today to set an appointment at your convenience, so you don’t have to deal with any of the above common furnace problems during the winter months. 


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Last Updated: May 29, 2023