How To Identify And Fix Furnace Issues Before They Get Worse

Your furnace is one of the most important, and at the same time, volatile appliances in your home. If you ignore its warning signs, you could end up having a disaster waiting to happen. But what exactly is a sign that your furnace is in trouble? You can’t be bothered with constant tune-ups and perpetual servicing.

Well, the good news is that modern furnaces have plenty of tell-tales that intimate you about potential problems. These are pretty noticeable and can be addressed immediately. If you want to learn more about these signs, let’s look at them and understand when your furnace needs fixing.


This is one of the more easily noticeable problems. If you smell gas, there is most certainly a gas leak in your home. You need to shut your furnace down and open it. Once opened, you have to turn off the gas supply valve and immediately contact a technician.


Like gas, your furnace can also leak water. While you won’t smell this, it’s hard not to notice pools of water forming around or near your furnace. The primary cause for this problem is usually the condensate line being clogged. This requires a bit of expertise in HVAC lines, so always consult a leak detection technician.


If any appliance in your home makes a sound you haven’t heard it make before, it’s a cause for concern, and with furnaces, even more so. If you hear thumping, scraping, or banging, then your HVAC system is in dire need of repair. An experienced technician can even recommend waiting for a while to check if the sound goes away on its own.


If your house is not as warm and cozy as it should be, then you might want to check out the air vents. If the airflow is significantly lower than it usually is, then your furnace is facing some issues. These can range from minor problems with the fans or significant issues with the motors. An HVAC technician can determine them for sure.

Cold Airflow

A furnace blowing cold air is doing the opposite of what it is meant for. It is an easily identifiable problem. Whether this is happening because of a faulty thermocouple or because the pilot light is not working properly is not something you can find out. Both of them are quite complex. It’s best to let an expert figure out what’s wrong.


Cycling happens when your furnace turns on and off. Over cycling is when your furnace does this repeatedly. This is usually a sign that your furnace is buckling under frequent usage. From poor air circulation to thermostat problems and even clogged filters, your furnace is wearing out and requires a tune-up.


A general tendency when facing a broken thermostat is to raise the temperature manually. It is a bad idea because the thermostat regulates your HVAC system and tells it exactly the amount of heat it should produce. Fix a broken thermostat immediately, and don’t try it yourself, as this runs the risk of getting a shock.

High Bills

If your utility bill has given you a nasty surprise by being higher than it usually is, your furnace might be blamed. This is even worse if your furnace usage hasn’t accordingly increased. What the exact problem is may vary, but mostly it is due to ductwork problems. It is usually one of the most challenging problems to fix.

Annual Tune-Up

If it’s been more than a year since a technician last checked your furnace, you might want to schedule a tune-up immediately. Most furnaces require annual maintenance as they tend to break down when not in use. Most companies provide a yearly check-up at the time of purchase but if you don’t have this facility, then set a reminder for yourself.


Due to the furnace being an appliance that doesn’t require you to interact with it constantly, you may tend to take it for granted and forget that it ages just like any other appliance. Using a furnace that you bought 15 years ago might not be the best idea as this would be pushing its average age. Keep track of your furnace’s age to identify problems much faster.

Final Thoughts

It’s common to ignore certain appliances that do their work in the background, and the furnace is no exception. To have a furnace that requires little repair and lasts long, you need to be conscious about checking it and keeping an eye open for any anomalies or unusual behavior.

At the very least, you must ensure that the furnace is checked by a technician once a year and replace the filter once every two months.