Most U.S. homes are heated with either a boiler or a furnace. With winter approaching, it’s time to take a look at your heating system to ensure it’s up to working quality.

Unfortunately, many homeowners run into the same furnace problems. While some problems offer an easy DIY fix, many problems require assistance from a technician.

The first way to diagnose and prevent these problems is by identifying them early on. Here are 10 common furnace problems and the heater system repairs that are required.

1. Dirty Filters

The air pulls in lots of particles into your furnace. To protect the blower from intrusive debris such as hair and dust, furnaces require filters.

Clean filters help your furnace work efficiently; but overtime, the intrusive particles clog up your filters. This causes your furnace to work slower and can even drive up your energy bill.

Fortunately, this issue is easy to fix — just replace your filters. If you don’t know how, call the manufacturer of your furnace.

2. Faulty Ignition or Pilot

The electronic ignition system is a recent development that helps improve furnace efficiency. Unfortunately, this new technology can also fail.

If your furnace is older, the pilot is a similar structure. This is a small burner that strengthens the larger burners. One of the most common problems of old furnaces is the pilot light going out.

If either of these structures fail, you won’t receive heat (or as much heat).

Some of these solutions, such as re-lighting a furnace pilot light, can be done DIY.

However, it’s best to hire a technician to repair or replace your furnace igniter. In addition, a technician can diagnose any hidden problems that lead to a faulty ignition or pilot.

3. Flickering or Yellow Pilot Light

What if the pilot light is working but is flickering? The pilot light should also be deep blue. What if it turns yellow? This issue means your heater isn’t heating well enough.

Both of these issues also signal a carbon monoxide issue — likely, there is excess carbon monoxide in the gas furnaces. This is especially an issue for older furnaces.

If there’s corrosion, cracks and holes can appear in the gas burner and carbon monoxide can leak into your home.

It’s best to call an HVAC technician to diagnose the problem.

4. Frayed Blower Belt

Do you hear a harsh screeching sound coming from your furnace?

If so, there’s likely a problem with your blower belt and even other wear and tear problems. If these problems persist, they can cause airflow problems and can even overheat your furnace.

Fortunately, you don’t need professional help to diagnose belt problems. If you hear any screeching sounds, take a look at your belt. Frayed or worn belts should be replaced. Fortunately, this is a job you can do DIY.

5. Malfunctioning Thermostat

Faulty thermostats are unable to communicate with the rest of your heating equipment. They also don’t send signals when you change the temperature, causing discomfort for you and your family.

There are many reasons why thermostats malfunction. They can be as simple as an aging furnace or even dust accumulation. Faulty wiring and extreme weather can also cause the thermostat to stop working properly.

The best way to handle this issue is by diagnosing the reason why the thermostat isn’t working.

For example, if the thermostat is dusty, just give it a good cleaning and it should work properly. If this doesn’t work, turn your furnace system off and on.

If these troubleshooting tips don’t fix the thermostat, you likely need a replacement. While you can replace the thermostat DIY, it requires furnace wiring knowledge. It’s best to call an HVAC technician for this job.

6. Worn Out Ball Bearings

If there’s odd noise coming from the furnace, such as a scraping sound, there’s a good chance the ball bearings are worn down. You’re required to change the ball bearings. If you don’t, you risk bearing failure or even an electrical short.

It’s best to call an HVAC technician for this job. That’s because there are different bearings required for your furnace. For example, sealed sleeve bearings can’t be lubricated. A professional is the best person to identify and perform the solution.

7. Furnace Continually Blows

If your furnace is always blowing air, there’s likely an issue with the limit switch. This switch identifies when the furnace is and isn’t in use. If it can’t identify the setting of the furnace, there’s likely an operational issue.

If this is the case, you’ll need a replacement limit switch. It’s best if an HVAC technician handles this job.

There are other causes of a constantly blowing furnace. Other examples include dirty air filters and the temperature setting is too high.

8. Furnace Is Not Producing Heat

What if the furnace is on and is blowing air, but the air isn’t hot? There are a number of reasons why this happens. Fortunately, the problems are usually minor and the solutions involve simple and DIY repairs.

The most common reason for this problem is a blown circuit breaker or fuse. Reset the breaker. If this doesn’t work, there’s likely a problem with the wiring.

What if the furnace is producing heat but not at the temperature you’re setting? If there’s no problem with the thermostat, there are also a variety of reasons why. Clogged air filters are the most common reason.

Time to Do Heater System Repairs

Your furnace helps keep your home toasty warm in the winter. But it’s integral your furnace runs efficiently.

What if your furnace stops working? There are many common furnace problems. It’s important to identify common furnace problems and conduct heater system repairs, whether they require DIY or professional work.

If you don’t treat many of these problems, they will create more trouble for your furnace and for your home altogether.

For more home tips, continue reading our blog.