3 Common Causes of Furnace Breakdowns

Common Causes of Furnace BreakdownsHave you ever come home to a house you expect to find comfortably heated, only to realize the air is so chilly you can see your breath and even the cat is hiding under a blanket? You’ve probably dealt with a furnace breakdown.

While there are many reasons for your home heating system to run into issues, especially during the winter months when it is working its hardest, we’d like to highlight three common causes we see for furnace breakdowns here in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Dirt and Dust Buildup

A little dust or dirt seems harmless, right? Well, maybe a little is, but a serious buildup of dirt, dust, and other debris within your system is one of the top causes of furnace breakdowns, and it’s totally preventable. The best way to keep buildup from occurring? We have two pieces of advice.

First, be sure to change out your air filter once per month during seasons of heavy use. As you leave and enter your home, you’ll track dirt from outside in. This dirt and dust finds its way into the air, and your air filter is designed to snag it so it doesn’t stay there. Unfortunately, when an air filter is neglected for a long time, it gets totally coated and eventually clogs, leading to poor indoor air quality and eventually a furnace that simply can’t work hard enough to keep up and is prone to breakdowns.

The second method of prevention? Regular preventative maintenance on your home heating and cooling system.

Is Your Furnace Pilot Light or Ignition Working?

Sometimes, the ignition control or pilot light for your furnace may begin to have issues. This can lead to heating becoming sporadic or even breaking down entirely. To check on whether or not your furnace problems are related to a breakdown of your ignition or pilot (which it is will depend largely on the age of your home heating system), check to ensure it’s functioning as it should. If you see a weak flame — or the pilot simply won’t stay lit — odds are good this is the root of your heating problem.

You may need to schedule service for a full repair, and in the future, make sure to schedule your preventative maintenance tuneups twice a year to ensure that your system is up to par before you really need to be able to depend on your home heating and cooling system to keep your family safe and comfortable. Our Gold Star Members receive two tuneups per year as part of their membership, so we suggest you consider joining the program to help prevent needing these costly repairs.

Fan Motors, Belts, and Bearings Breakdowns

Finally, do you know if there could be an issue with your fan motors, belts, or bearings? Neglecting routine maintenance can make it more likely over time that parts will simply wear out from overuse and age. Without maintenance, this won’t be discovered until breakdowns have already occurred. In this case, you’ll definitely need to call in a professional for a repair, and in the future we’d always recommend that regular preventative maintenance so we can make sure aging or broken-down parts are replaced before the snow and ice come down.

Having Trouble With Your Furnace? Give Us a Call!

Our experienced, friendly professionals at Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling are ready to help when the temperatures begin to drop. We can provide expert repair, replacements, or even install a brand new heating system for you to make sure your family stays warm and comfortable, even when there’s a foot of snow outside your front door. Reach us by phone at (215) 855-2014 or contact us online at any time to schedule service!

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