5 Common Causes of a Broken Furnace (And How to Fix Them)

Broken Furnace

If properly maintained, a furnace can last up to 25 years before it has to be replaced. Of course, this isn’t a given, and many furnaces end up broken well before then. Fortunately, a broken furnace is not necessarily a furnace that needs to be replaced.

Keep reading for a list of some of the most common reasons for a broken furnace, and what steps you can do to fix them.

Clogged Air Filter

One of the leading causes of a broken furnace is an air filter that is completely choked with dust. A full air filter will make your furnace struggle to push heated air through your ductwork. This can lead to cold spots and drafts throughout your home, as well as weak airflow or air that does not feel hot coming out of your vents.

To fix this, you need to make sure that you are checking your air filter regularly. Usually, you’ll only have to replace your filter once every two months or so, but this depends on the size of your home, your furnace, and the air quality in your house. Filters can be removed and installed by hand, requiring no special tools: just locate the filter housing on your furnace.

A Furnace that Won’t Turn Off is a Broken Furnace

A furnace that won’t stop blowing air through your vents means that your blower system is at fault. The furnace may not even be turned on and producing heat when this occurs.

Usually, this points to an electrical issue within your furnace, like a damaged limit switch. If this is the case, there’s little you can do besides turning your furnace off and calling Furnace Repair specialists to inspect and fix your unit.

Loud Noises While Running

Another sign that your furnace is broken and needs attention is if you hear noises when the unit kicks into gear. While a certain amount of background noise is normal from the blower and fan system moving air throughout your home, any other sounds can indicate a clear problem.

Rattling, shaking, or pinging noises can point to issues with your ductwork. Leaks or holes in your ducts can allow air to leave your ducts before it reaches the rooms of your home, wasting energy and causing the ducts themselves to shake. You’ll have to have the ducts inspected and repaired if this is the case.

On the other hand, a squealing or screeching sound can point to a damaged belt within the blower and fan systems. Frayed belts are at risk of snapping, and if that happens your blower may be unable to move air around your home at all. A professional will have to take a look at your furnace and replace the belt if necessary.

Of course, a bent piece of metal or other mechanical damage within your furnace can also create strange noises. Avoid turning your furnace on until a professional has looked at your unit and determined where the issue lies, as running your system can make the issue worse.

Regular Maintenance Avoids Furnace Headaches

Without a properly working furnace, your home can be extremely uncomfortable to live in during the winter. Regular maintenance is important to prevent a broken furnace in the middle of the winter, and to extend your appliance’s lifespan as long as possible.

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