Now is the time of year when you need your furnace the most to keep comfortable. Which, according to Murphy’s Law, also makes it the time of year when the furnace is most likely to develop some sort of problem. Actually, the reason that furnaces break down so much during the winter is simply that they’re put under more stress than normal. That’s small comfort to homeowners who are having heating problems, though. If your furnace isn’t blowing enough warm air this winter, there are a few possible reasons why.
Your Air Filter is Clogged
If you’re lucky, the reason your furnace isn’t circulating enough heat is simply that the filter is clogged. The air filter is designed to protect the system from dust and other debris that is commonly found in the ductwork of the home. If the filter isn’t replaced often enough, though, it will become clogged and block most of the air from entering the furnace. This will obviously cut into the system’s ability to circulate heat. The good news is that this is a very easy problem to fix. Just replace your furnace air filter every three months, or have a professional replace it for you.
The Burner Assembly is Clogged
(Yes, lots of clogging going on in this article. No, not the wooden shoes. Haha. Look, we’re just trying to lighten the mood while you wait for heating repairs. Laughter might keep you warm. We’re helping.)
Anyway, the burner assembly is the part of a gas furnace that actually combusts gas to generate heat. Over time, carbon particles build up on the jets in the assembly in roughly the same way that they do on a car engine. Eventually, this buildup can become bad enough that it prevents the jets from firing. If all of the jets become this clogged, the furnace won’t be able to generate any heat at all. Even a few clogged jets can have a substantial impact, though. If you think this might be the reason your system isn’t heating enough, you should call a professional and have them clean the assembly out for you.
Finally, if your furnace is turning itself on and off every couple of minutes, you need to call for repairs as soon as possible. That’s short cycling, and it can cause a lot of damage to the furnace in a very short amount of time. Short cycling prevents the furnace from completing a full heating cycle, hence the name. This hinders the system’s output, but it also puts a lot more stress on the system than it was designed to handle. As a result, the furnace will break down more often and have its lifespan shortened by years if the issue isn’t dealt with in time. So, make sure that you have a professional repair the system for you before the issue gets any worse.