Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Winter’s Top Furnace Problems and How You Can Solve Them

Is one of winter’s top furnace problems impacting your home comfort this winter? Today’s furnaces have a longer expected service life than ever before: Most new models today will last 15 to 20 years — or more.  Nevertheless, simple wear and tear over time — as well as neglecting annual professional maintenance — are factors that may be behind many top furnace problems.

Here are some of the top furnace problems and what needs to be done if one occurs:

No Heat

A furnace blowing cold air is a definite disadvantage in winter.

  • First, verify that the thermostat is set to “Heat” and that the proper desired temperature is programmed.
  • Another potential issue is that the furnace burner will not light. This could be a safety sensor that has shut off the gas flow to the burner due to some critical furnace malfunction.
  • In an older unit with a pilot light, the pilot flame may have gone out.

The Furnace Cycles On, Then Cycles Off Quickly

This is also known as “short cycling,” and there are at least a couple of potential issues that may be causing this.

  • A defective flame sensor may cause the furnace to shut down rapidly because it no longer detects the burner flame. This component typically lasts about five years before requiring replacement.
  • Also, low airflow due to a clogged system air filter may cause the furnace to overheat rapidly and automatically shut down. The most common cause of insufficient airflow is an obstructed air filter.

The Furnace Doesn’t Respond to the Thermostat

  • If the furnace doesn’t turn on at the programmed time, maybe the unit isn’t getting electrical power. Check for a tripped circuit breaker. Reset the circuit breaker and see if the furnace will start now. If the breaker trips again, call an HVAC contractor for professional heating service.
  • If no circuit breaker is tripped, another possibility could be a failing electronic igniter. This component typically lasts an average of four to seven years before replacement by a qualified HVAC technician is required.

Contact the professionals at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company for experienced service to resolve the top furnace problems in your home.