Why Isn’t My Furnace Keeping Up This Winter?

Feb 8, 2021 | Furnace, HVAC

Ohio’s weather can get pretty rough during the winter months. Because of the extremely brittle cold weather outdoors, it’s a good idea for homeowners in the fall to make sure their home heating system is dependable and in decent working order, at least enough to last through the full season before the cold sets in. If your home heating equipment has issues when it’s really cold outdoors, or if it breaks down, it can be a major inconvenience and a threat to comfort and even safety that comes at a tremendous cost. As such, if your furnace isn’t cutting it like it used to or keeping up with the cold this winter, we listed below a few things to consider:

1. Your furnace needs to be inspected and cleaned

Your home heating equipment was down all summer sitting unused, and in all likelihood it was collecting dust. Because that dust, in addition to dirt and debris, can clog up your HVAC system and keep it from performing like it needs to and even lead to breakdowns, we suggest showing your system some much-needed love by having a professional give it the attention it needs. Our team here at Greater Dayton Furnace & Air Conditioning would be happy to help by performing an HVAC inspection and thorough cleaning. While we are there, we can also check ductwork if you’d like us to and have our trained HVAC technicians always look for any concerns developing that could evolve into serious problems later on. Additionally, if they find anything, they make the necessary corrections on the spot.

2. Don’t turn off your furnace down during the winter

Once your furnace has been on for the winter, remember not to shut it off again until the cold-weather season has ended entirely for sure. With this in mind, when the weather starts to become mild, and the temperature isn’t as cold, you can lower your thermostat to compensate instead of turning the system off. If you turn it off and it gets cold again, it’ll take longer to heat up again. This is harder on the system and it delays it from warming the home again. Moreover, if you turn the heat off completely, you also run the risk of the water pipes in the house freezing if the temperature drops below freezing during the night. This can result in severe damage that’s expensive to fix.

3. Your system is the wrong size for your house

If your home heating equipment is too small for your dwelling’s size, the equipment’s motor will be overworked, which causes overheating. Overheating, in turn, can burn up the unit’s motor and ruin your entire HVAC system. To determine if sizing is the source of your problem, turn up the setting on your thermostat five degrees higher than normal to see how long it takes for your home to reach this higher temperature. If it takes a long time for the house to reach this temperature, or if it doesn’t reach the temperature at all, then your home heating equipment might be too small to be as effective as it should be. Conversely, if your residence is too warm no matter what your thermostat’s temperature is set on, your heating equipment might be too big for your house. Not only will your home be too warm all the time if this is the problem, but the excessive temperatures can also damage your air duct system, meaning you will have to pay to have it repaired or replaced.

4. Airflow problems

Inadequate airflow is a common cause of furnace problems during the winter. Depending on whether there’s a broken blower fan, a clogged air filter, or problems in the ductwork, you’ll want to get to the bottom of the problem before it causes further damage. In the meantime, the air won’t be able to circulate throughout your residence. In any case, if you suspect there’s an airflow problem, start by checking your furnace’s air filter. If it’s dirty, change it. If this isn’t the problem, give us a call so that we can schedule to have one of our friendly certified HVAC technicians come over and diagnose the problem before it becomes an expensive headache.

5. Thermostat problems

If your furnace stops and starts continuously and your home isn’t getting warm, it could indicate your thermostat isn’t working like it should. You can test this possibility by turning up your temperature five degrees higher than normal and listening for a click, then check to see if warm air is coming through the vents. If there is no warm air being blown into your home, then there is an issue with your thermostat. Contact us immediately and one of our certified technicians will visit and assess the situation. Your HVAC system may need an upgrade to a programmable thermostat. These models are much more efficient than older models. They can be pre-set to maintain the temperature in your home even when you aren’t there and to automatically lower temperatures during certain times, which will save you money on your energy bills. Most programmable thermostats are able to alert you if a problem comes up, taking the guesswork out of it for you.

Don’t take chances with your expensive home heating system! If your furnace has been struggling to keep up this winter, it might be a fairly minor issue that can be resolved fairly quickly and inexpensively before it evolves into something far more serious and expensive. The only way to find out and fix the problem quickly is to contact a reputable HVAC company that puts customer satisfaction first. We at Greater Dayton Furnace & Air Conditioning believe we are that company.