Your furnace and heat pump are probably like a lot of other parts of your home: you don’t give them much thought until they stop working. Heating problems can be a big nuisance, but they can also be dangerous.

If you are having problems with your heating system, you may not know where to start. The good news is that there are four common problems that are easy to diagnose. Keep reading to find out how, so that you can find a suitable solution.

1. Clogged Filters

If filters are doing their job, then over time they will accumulate dirt and debris. That’s a good thing, but it also means that your system has to work harder to push air throughout them. Depending on the type of furnace or heat pump you have, most air filters are easy to change yourself.

While you’re at it, make sure you have a filter with the appropriate MERV rating for your home, which determines the level of particulate matter it will filter. While some filters can catch microscopic organisms, including viruses, selecting a filter with too high a MERV rating also could cause strain on your system.

2. Thermostat Issues

Before you move on to more serious inspections, if you are having heating problems, check your thermostat. This is the control for your entire system, and a small glitch, such as faulty wiring, could cause the whole thing to shut down.

If your thermostat is old and outdated, it may be a good time to upgrade it anyway. Consider a smart thermostat, which can help you conserve energy by setting schedules and recognizing when you are not home.

3. Leaky Ducts

A complex ductwork system carries air from your furnace or heat pump throughout your home. Over time, ducts can form leaks, especially at joints where they come together. When this happens, your system will push less air out into the rooms in your home.

If you notice that your system has to run longer than usual, this could be the result of leaks in ductwork. You can patch ducts, but consider replacing old ones so that the problem does not recur.

Before you call for service, be sure any dampers on your vents are completely open. These are usually located near where the ducts connect to your furnace or heat pump. Over time, these can become loose and close on their own.

4. Furnace Will Not Light

If you notice that your system will not turn on when you set the thermostat, it could be due to furnace or heat pump problems. One of the main causes of this is a malfunctioning igniter, that is dirty or has worn out. While these are straightforward to replace, you should leave it up to a professional.

If your furnace is more than 10 years old, you may have a pilot light, which is necessary for lighting the furnace. If so, check to see if it is lit. 

Another cause of furnace failure is a damaged limit switch, which is designed to shut the igniter off when the internal temperature gets too high. These can disrupt ignition and should be replaced.

Find Heat Repair Near You

Now that you know some of the common heating problems to look for, you can keep your system running at full capacity. Remember that, if you are in doubt, call a reputable service to diagnose the issue. 

For almost 70 years, Air Expert Heating and Cooling has been serving the greater Houston metropolitan area. We will work on any component of your HVAC system, whether it’s a repair, replacement, regular maintenance, or new installation. Let us address your heating problem or reach out to us to learn more about our services, pricing, and financing options.