Winter, whether it’s mild or harsh, is here. It’s a good thing to know that your home is prepared for upcoming months of cold. It is frustrating to discover that your furnace is broken and that you’d probably have to replace it.

This annoyance and extra costs you didn’t really plan for can ruin your day, or a week, depending on how easy it is to find a technician and resolve the issue. That’s why we discussed unexpected failures of furnaces with heating pros at Howell’s Heating & Air. They pointed us to some of the most common issues related to your heating system, and also some alternatives so that you can avoid purchasing a new heating system.

Common Issues with Central Heating

One of the issues is that your furnace is not blowing hot air. Many things can cause this behavior but you should first investigate your thermostat and make sure it’s set to the desired temperature. If that is correct then you can increase the temperature and see what happens. If the problem persists you can also make sure that the fan is on ‘’auto’’ mode. If all of the above is ok, then you might be dealing with some other simple issues.

For instance, the air filter may be dirty and that prevents the furnace from blowing hot air. Just like any other appliance, a furnace also needs regular maintenance and a thorough cleaning before the cold season starts.

Maybe your ductwork is leaking somewhere in the house. You should carefully investigate all your ducts from the source all the way up to the end. If you find any leaks it is not that hard to close off the leakage and then insulate. Finally, check if there is enough fuel to operate properly and if the fuel can reach its destination unhindered.

Hot and Cold Spots

This is a common issue, but it can be easily investigated. You need to check your air filters and ducts as these are two main reasons why not all the intended parts of your home are not heated properly.

As mentioned above, you need to check your air filters and make sure that they are clean from dust and debris, you can even replace them with new ones to be 100% sure they are not causing the problem.

If the problem isn’t solved you need to inspect ducts, find leaks and seal them. If you still have troubles than you should consider contacting professionals.

The Fan Isn’t Spinning

Yet another problem caused by dirt, again check if there’s any dirt or debris preventing the fan from working as intended. No need to panic, regular maintenance prevents this. If that isn’t the cause of the issue, the next spot to check are circuit breakers. Make sure that they are turned on. If you still have problems, then you need a professional to do a more thorough inspection.

The Smell of Burning

This is a pretty common problem at the start of a new season, especially if the furnace has been off since the end of the previous heating season. However, if the smell persists after the initial ignition, it might be an indication of a serious problem. What you need to do is immediately turn it off to prevent risks of fire. Reach out to a HVAC professional and have them do an inspection to determine the cause.

Having a functional furnace in the middle of winter is hugely important, no matter where you are in the US. Ensuring that your furnace is operational throughout the season can be as easy as being on the lookout for these common issues and taking steps to resolve the issues before they escalate.