Your furnace is one of those appliances that is taken for granted in your home. We never consider how often we use it or how valuable it actually is because it is rarely seen and not often interacted with directly. How we will usually experience it is when turn on the hot water tap, or the heating in our homes on a cold winter day. It is at these times when the value of our furnaces become very apparent.

When there are times that we call upon the furnace and it does not respond; perhaps you are in the shower and the water is freezing or your home does not get warm on the coldest winter day, we are reminded that the furnace also needs some attention to make sure that it is operating properly. We start to try and remember the last time we had it serviced or if we ever got to explore that weird noise we heard coming from it several months ago.

There are many reasons why a furnace may not be operating effectively and need to be replaced, and here are five of the most common reasons.

  1. Malfunctioning Thermostat – The thermostat reads the temperature in the room and tells the furnace when to turn on and off. Because of its job it is a central part of the furnace operating properly. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it will not do this job properly and the furnace will either stay on too often or not enough. The result is that either your heating bills will be way too high, or your home will be way too cold.  A malfunctioning thermostat because it can cause your furnace to work much harder, can also cause it to break down. For this reason a malfunctioning thermostat is a major problem for your furnace, and needs to be repaired immediately.
  2. Clogged Filters – Inside of your furnace there is one or more air filters that will keep all sorts of impurities including pollen, dust, smoke, and other particles that the furnace pulls in or creates from circulating through your home. The air filters also play a big role in keeping your furnace operating efficiently. If your air filters are clogged, your furnace will stop operating.
  3. Failure of Pilot Light or Electrical Ignition – A gas fueled furnace uses a pilot light or an electrical ignition to ignite the burners in the system that that help to provide heat. If there is a failure of this part of the furnace, a gas fuelled furnace will not be able to ignite the burners. No heat will be produced and the furnace will fail.
  4. Issues with Fuel Supply – The furnace operates properly providing heat because a constant supply of fuel (natural gas or oil) moves into the furnace providing a fuel source for heating. If this fuel source is interrupted in any way or even becomes intermittent, the furnace will fail.
  5. Blower Motor Failure – The blower motor circulates warm air throughout your home. If the rest of the system is operating fine but the blower is not working, there will be no warm air circulated and the furnace system will fail.

If you find that your furnace fails, there may be an option to repair it but there is also a chance that you will need to replace your furnace this Fall. Do not let the winter come without a fully operating furnace or you will certainly regret it.