HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Common Furnace Issues

Any problems with your home's furnace system can be a sizable problem due to the impacts that it will have on the temperature of your home. A basic understanding of the particular problems that a modern furnace system can experience will help to prepare you for this inevitable situation.


It may not seem like overheating would be a significant problem for a heating system. However, there is a maximum operating temperature that your furnace can safely sustain. Exceeding this limit will potentially lead to damage occurring to the unit. For example, the electrical wiring in the unit may have its insulation melted off, which can lead to a short occurring. Additionally, the temperature control mechanism in the system could fail. To prevent this damage from happening, modern furnaces are equipped with a shut-off that will turn the unit off until the temperature has dropped to a safe level.  

Compromised Flue

If your furnace burns oil, natural gas, or other combustible substances, a flue is needed to prevent dangerous fumes from building up in the home. Any damage to the flue should be treated as a significant issue for the furnace as it can allow these hazardous fumes to start to fill the interior of your home without you being aware of it. In particular, pests blocking the exit of the flue with a nest can be a problem that is extremely common as pests may be attracted to the warmth of the flue. Any nests that are on or near the flue should be removed to prevent an obstruction from developing. Strong storms can also damage the exterior portion of the flue, and it may be wise to inspect it following any major storms in the area.

Physical Damage To The Exterior Of The Furnace

The exterior of your furnace will be designed to be extremely durable. However, it is possible for the exterior to suffer some damage over the years. Corrosion and impact damage can be among the more common. When corrosion forms and spreads over the exterior of your furnace, it will cause structural weaknesses that may make the system more vulnerable to puncture damage in the future. Accidental collisions with the furnace can also cause extensive denting in the body. Depending on the force of the impact, it could also have damaged some of the internal components. As a preventative measure, any exterior damage to the furnace should be inspected by a furnace repair professional as they will have the ability to determine whether repairs are needed.