Any number of issues can cause your heater or furnace to malfunction this winter, just when you need it the most. The five most common heater and furnace problems can be prevented with regular maintenance.

1. The Thermostat

Thermostat malfunctions are one of the main causes behind heater or furnace issues. Whether you have a digital or manual thermostat, a malfunction can cause the fan to stop blowing completely or to blow only intermittently, leaving you without enough heat this winter. If you suspect thermostat issues, it's best to have a professional check the thermostat for problems as quickly as possible.

2. The Filter

If you don't remember the last time you replaced your air filter, your furnace is very likely clogged with dust and debris. When the filter isn't changed on a monthly basis, your furnace has to work harder to distribute heat through your home. Replace your filter monthly for proper air flow throughout your home. A standard air filter is fine to use and highly affordable.

3. Wear and Tear

Your heater or furnace may be suffering from mechanical wear and tear. Electrical components, fan motors, ball bearings, and belts can all break, causing your furnace to stop working completely. The best way to prevent this type of problem is a yearly maintenance inspection to have all components thoroughly checked, before cold weather arrives. A strange noise or smell can be a sign that a belt or bearing isn't functioning correctly.

4. Pilot or Ignition Problems

This is a common issue that occurs in older and newer models of furnaces and heaters. It can also occur with hot surface ignition or intermittent pilot lights and may be caused by faulty electrical components or issues with your thermostat. When your pilot won't ignite properly, it's an issue that should to be dealt with right away. You won't have any hot air in your home until the problem is fixed.

5. Lack of Maintenance

This is a huge cause of furnace and heater malfunction. It isn't uncommon for people to ignore their furnace until something goes wrong. Often that's the only time people think about about their heating system. A lack of yearly maintenance can shorten the life of your system and leave you without heat in the winter.

There are some simple ways you can prepare your heating system for winter such as test firing it before you need it and making note of any strange sounds or smells.

Cullins One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® offers fast and knowledgeable service with a smile, servicing the Columbus and Central Ohio area.