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10 Common issues with furnace systems.

Without a doubt, the home furnace is one of the most crucial systems in your home.

Yet, just like any complex system, things go wrong. The many working parts of home furnace systems can break down, wear away, and stop working as they’re supposed to. Without proper maintenance, these types of issues can start popping up too often to keep up with - that’s why hiring a professional home furnace repair service is absolutely essential.

A complex system.

Your home’s oil-furnace or gas-furnace system is a collection of complicated and varied components. Some of these components, like the boiler, are large and durable enough to withstand many years of use.


But, many of the smaller parts of a home furnace system are prone to breaking down. And, when something does need repair or replacement, it’s hard to tell where to start without the proper training and experience.

Most all issues with home furnace systems are caused by a lack of maintenance and tune-ups. A full, end-to-end home furnace tune-up will ensure all components are operating at optimal efficiency and clearly indicate what furnace repair parts are needed.

In this furnace troubleshooting article, we’ll explore the ten most common issues homeowners experience with home furnace systems. You’ll understand more clearly why your furnace isn’t working, and the importance of proper maintenance and whole-system tune-ups to save you money and keep your home comfortable year-round.

The 10 most common issues with home furnace systems.

Have you ever found your home furnace system doesn’t work properly, or stopped working altogether?

Many homeowners will at some point experience one of these problems with their home furnace system. If you have any further questions about issues with your heating system, contact us today - our experienced heating system technicians can pinpoint any of these problems, and many more that are not so common.

  1. Thermostat - Most all home heating furnace systems are run by a thermostat, and sometimes this thermostat appears to not be working.

    What happens often is that homeowners forget to turn on their thermostat. Simply flipping the switch to “On” will reactivate your home heating system, returning your home to a comfortable temperature.


    The thermostat could also stop working altogether. Whether it doesn’t read the switches correctly or stops sending a signal to a home heating system, these types of fixes are best done by a trained professional.

  2. Circuit Breaker - Older homes will have circuit breakers that are easily tripped, meaning they turn off when they are overloaded with power demand.

    You can check your circuit breaker by opening up your electrical circuit breaker box and seeing if any of the switches are tripped. This is indicated by whether any of the switches are pointing toward the “Off” position.

    If you have an old home, you may need a new circuit board, or a furnace system that doesn’t demand as much power. For a full furnace system replacement, make sure to call a professional home heating service.

  3. Safety Switch - Also known as the “limit switch,” this safety feature turns off the furnace if there is a risk of overheating.

    Overheating often happens to older systems, especially if additions have been added to a home with an outdated heating system. If you haven’t replaced your home heating system since having an addition - or it’s a very old system - it may need to be completely replaced.

  4. Clogged Filter - Your home heating furnace’s filter captures allergens in the air and keeps emissions from filling up your home.


    A clogged filter - meaning one that is overloaded with particulates from the air - will block warm air from flowing throughout the home. Additionally, filters that have been ignored for a long time become a safety concern. If you suspect this could be the main issue with your home heating system, contact us as soon as possible.

  5. Furnace Placement Upkeep - The area around your furnace must be clean and free from debris at all times.

    Most furnaces are placed in basements within homes, and basements are often not as regularly cleaned as the rest of the house. Moisture and dust wear down metal components, while also risking a potential fire hazard.

    Make sure, as part of annual maintenance, to thoroughly clean the area around the furnace. Additionally, placing any storage items in or around your furnace makes maintenance and servicing more difficult for yourself and qualified technicians.

  6. Burner Flame - A furnace is only as valuable as its properly working burner flame. Without a consistent and steady burner flame, your home will not be heated, and your home furnace system will begin wasting fuel.

    Proper maintenance of the burner flame mechanism includes a thorough cleaning, replacement of non-working components, and a complete functionality check.

    Best done by qualified professionals, maintenance of your burner flame mechanism will save you money and ensure year-round home comfort.

  7. Furnace Blower - The purpose of your furnace blower is to circulate heat generated by the furnace throughout your home. If the motor or fan are not working properly, a home furnace system can overheat.


    To save on fuel and potentially large repair costs, monitoring the activity of your furnace blower is crucial. A trained technician checks the electrical supply, along with the flow of heated air throughout your duct system.

  8. Vents and Ducts - The way your home furnace system transfers heat throughout the home is through ducts and vents.

    Sometimes a duct can be torn or dislodged, allowing heat to escape to spaces in the walls and attic. This puts a larger burden on your home heating system as it uses more fuel to heat your home properly.

    If a vent is blocked by debris or not working properly, it will not transfer the heat generated by your furnace. This also will result in higher fuel costs.

  9. Electric Ignition or Pilot Control - Have you ever forgot to turn on the water when you’re boiling something? Without a properly functioning pilot or ignition, your home furnace system ceases to do its job - heat your home.

    Crucial elements to check when maintaining your electric ignition or pilot control include ensuring the power source is unimpeded, and on-and-off switches are completely opening and closing the flow of fuel.

    Overlooking this key component to any home heating system could cause your home to become uncomfortable very quickly - especially in winter. To avoid having the ignition or pilot stop working at the worst time, have a technician complete an end-to-end furnace check that includes this component.

  10. Heating and Rapid Cycling - Your furnace starts and stops all the time according to the work needed to heat your home.

    The heating cycle is a succession of starts and stops that allow heat to build up, then be moved from the furnace system to the rest of your home. If your home is heated too quickly, your system will stop producing warm air fast enough. This results in deep temperature drops throughout the day. This is known as “rapid cycling”.

    A proper heating cycle will not be too quick, the length of which is determined by the size of the home. This is an adjustment made when the furnace system is installed, and best done by a trained technician.

The right person for the job.

If your furnace is not working, you might be thinking to yourself, “I could do that!”.

Yet, having trained and experienced technicians is a safety consideration along with a financial one. If any of these above issues are not dealt with correctly you could face extensive repairs or possibly replacement of your entire oil furnace or gas furnace system.

At Petro Home Services, we are here to help. With a track record for long-lasting and affordable home heating solutions, we can ensure every component is running properly and safely - saving you money and giving you peace of mind. We come ready with all furnace repair parts to offer you the most efficient solution to your home comfort needs.

Contact us today to find out how to get your home heating system working to work for you.

Petro Home Services is proud to not only serve communities in DC, CT, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, and RI but we also proudly acknowledge the skills and experience of our expert team behind all resources. With insights on topics ranging from heating oil facts to common air conditioning questions, you can rely on Petro Home Services for facts and information to help you understand more about your heating, cooling and home comfort needs. This article and all articles on the Petro Home Services website have been approved by our team of home service experts.