Skip to main content

The Five Most Common Furnace And Heating Problems

November 18, 2020

There is only one thing worse than having a faulty furnace: not understanding what the problem is. Furnace and heating systems are extremely complex machines, which is why it is critical to hire a licensed & insured HVAC company for heating repair. Still, there are some common heating problems we see repeatedly.

So what’s the culprit that’s causing your heater to go on the fritz? If we had to bet on it, it’d be one of these five common heating problems:

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat could be the troublemaker. Those wall stats are the brain of your heating system, telling the system when to turn on, when to turn off, and how long to run. Then you have smart thermostats, which can do even more thinking and learning. So when your furnace acts funny, the thermostat is one of the first places to look. 

There are a few indicators that point to an issue with the thermostat: 

  • Digital thermostat has no power
  • System is short-cycling, or constantly turning on and off
  • Heater turns on, but turns off before it warms the entire home
  • Thermostat is changing the setpoint or mode, like it has a mind of its own!

The good news is that thermostat problems are an easy and affordable fix compared to other problems. During a repair, our expert team at Brody Pennell will check your thermostat first – and get it fixed up, or rule it out as the source of the problems.

2. Air Flow Problems

In a central heating system, warmth transfers from the furnace to the living spaces by way of air. So if air isn’t making it to your space, it’s no wonder you’re feeling chilly. 

There are many causes for airflow problems:

  • Problem with the fan stemming from fan motors, belts, and bearings
  • Trouble with the ductwork, like a blockage or leaks in the ducts
  • Issue with the grilles, vanes, or internal dampers causing unbalanced airflow

No matter the cause, if you have an airflow problem it can cause furnace overheating or poor heating control. One way you can test whether you have an airflow problem is by holding your hand or a piece of tissue up to the supply grilles. The amount of airflow should be about even from any outlet in your home. 

3. Clogged or Dirty Filters

Yes, a clean air filter really does impact the performance of your heater. One of the most common heating problems we see is a dirty, clogged filter. Not only is that bad for your IAQ, but it can seriously impact the energy usage and heat production of your heater. 

Filters are beneficial for keeping the air in your home clean. But left too long without replacing, and they can become an airflow obstruction. Replace your filters every 3 months at minimum. You should replace air filters more frequently if you have a household pet that sheds, or anyone in your household suffers from indoor allergens. 

4. Furnace or Heating System Pilot or Ignition Control Problems

For furnaces that generate heat using natural gas, there is a small flame that is kept lit all the time. We call this the pilot light. When the furnace turns on, it releases gas to the main burner, and the pilot light ignites the gas to provide heat. 

An issue with your pilot light or ignition can cut out heat altogether, or they can cause intermittent heating throughout the home. A reliable contractor with plenty of experience, positive reviews, and industry credentials will be able to spot and repair this problem right away. 

5. Lack of Maintenance

Just like any other important piece of equipment or electronics that you own, your HVAC system and furnace requires maintenance. Skipping on routine maintenance can lead to costly and unexpected breakdowns, and increased energy consumption and bills.

Unfortunately, maintenance is the type of thing you really wish you would have done… once it’s too late. At Brody Pennell, we know Los Angeles homeowners have much more on their mind than scheduling HVAC maintenance. That’s why we have the BPM Club, a membership program which ensures you get your annual AC and heating maintenance along with many other benefits. We’ll be the ones to remember to take care of your equipment, year-round.  

We Can Handle All the Common Heating Problems – And More

Brody Pennell is an established Los Angeles based business, serving our beloved city since 1945. You can bet we have the knowledge and experience to tackle any heating problem – whether it’s one of these common heating problems or a completely different issue. Call us and ask for an opinion – we’re friendly! If you’re ready for honest, old-school service, with the latest training and certifications, call Brody Pennell. Whenever you need us, we’re here.


About The Author

Brody Pennell

Since 1945, Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning is the committed to helping homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area experience total home comfort. In 2021, the readers of the Los Angeles Times voted Brody Pennell the Best HVAC Company in the area.

Request Service

Please fill out the form below to request an estimate or schedule service.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Google logo with 4.9 star rating
Facebook logo with 4.9 star rating
Yelp Logo with 4.8 star rating
Kimberly B.
1721753164
Jose and his partner were awesome came back to make sure our air flow was working properly. They have been wonderful.
Kross523
1721713601
He was very knowledgeable and helpful to provide me what I needed and gave me different options to fix and better my equipment to even run better . Thank you Brody tor you sending me GiovanniKevin
bob C.
1721701584
Great prompt serviceThank you so much!
Ted Munson J.
1721694233
David was very knowledgeable and thorough. He explained everything very clearly. Very professional.
Michael K.
1721688689
Juan was excellent. Knowledgeable and very professional.
Michael G.
1721682541
Ivan was great, was incredibly nice, and he went above and beyond. On top of checking everything he came over to look at, he then generously fixed a bunch of air conditioning vents which were slowly starting to fall out of the ceiling (which he wasn’t even here to do in the first place). Great service from such a nice guy.
Evie K.
1721677102
Rob K.
1721676651
Jason came over right on time, found our problem almost immediately and fixed it quick. Great service!!
Abilene A.
1721665611
Danny M.
1721524386
The company was able to book an appointment quickly (same day) to fix our AC. Richie arrived on time and was professional and thorough. He was able to repair the issue and provide recommendations on other options. Appreciate the quick turnaround and quality service.
Carly S.
1721497137
I had a wonderful experience! Ruben could not have been more helpful, professional, kind, experienced and communicative. My system is very old and he was extremely knowledgeable about the older system. He did a thorough check and answered all of my questions. Wonderful customer care as well. I can't recommend Ruben & Brody Pennell more!
Matthew M.
1721491356
Juan Romo showed up right on time and was in and out in 10 mins. Great experience with this company, would 100% use again
Patricia B.
1721459679
Maurice& Alberto.M were Lovely & very thorough.
Jerry S. B.
1721428666
Giovanny Quintero was very helpful in making our decision to upgrade. He took very clear & comprehensive photos of the existing problems in our system & then provided an accurate assessment & description of what the problems meant & how they would develop & worsen with continued use. My wife & I were very impressed with Giovanny, he was very knowledgeable & personable.
Susan W.
1721415140
Jose and Anthony were gracious polite and knowledgeable. Very professional maintenance visit.
Michele A.
1721411971
Juan Molina provided excellent service. He was knowledgeable, thorough, and kind! Highly recommend Brody Pennell.
Jessi D.
1721410549
Professional, friendly, and efficient service visit from Ivan and Angel today!
Nick E.
1721351865
Brett and Ruben were great today. Great customer service. Thank you.
Margo P.
1721335286
Ivan and Giovanni Ponce
keely M.
1721334774
Rene Morales is always on-time and very professional. Brody Pennell provides great service.July 2024Rene does great work, quick, thorough, and efficient. I always ask for Rene when it's time for maintenance.
James T.
1721325973
Very knowledgeable . Very friendly answered all my questions
Amanda M.
1721256161
Daniel and Ashton are very professional and kind. They made the entire experience seamless. Thank you!
zubin H.
1721242345
Daniel Avila was my technician and he was great. Very informative and did a great job.
Oly O.
1721241510
Maurice & Alberto.m worked on our system and was very nice and hard working me and Patricia bell recommend them coming back!!
Adam Exler G.
1721241336
Armando was very thorough and checked all the boxes during my bi-annual service call. He quickly changed my filters and was very cordiale and easy to work with as well.10/10!
Kevin X.
1721235465
Ivan came and helped me fix my AC today and it was as pain free and quick as could be! He replaced a part for us the same day and was a professional, kind young man. Couldn’t be happier to have working AC in the summer sun :)
Nancy K.
1721176623
Did a great job. I’m very pleased
Ray B.
1721164859
The technician provided excellent service. He was knowledgeable, professional, thorough, efficient, clean and courteous. Thank you.
Liz R.
1721158020
Maurice and Christian F were so knowledgable and professional! They were also very pleasant!! Can only say great things about them!!
Shirley W.
1721154033
Angel O. and Alberta M. were just here to do the yearly maintenance on our A/C. They did a fabulous job! So thorough and extensive. They were thoughtful and respectful and answered all my questions. They adjusted vents that will make our summer more comfortable. Could not be happier with the work and workers!
Jay S.
1721107207
Maurice went the extra mile and did an excellent job with tune up of our A/C unit. He shared photos, explained everything he was doing, made proper recommendations! Thanks Maurice!
Curtis J.
1721099382
James provided diagnosis that was.consistent with.his estimateI am satisfied with his work
lisa V.
1721087697
Anthony Manzo was here today to service my HVAC unit! He was an absolute pleasure having him in my home. Anthony is a total pro. Very knowledgeable and informative. He is welcome back anytime future service calls. Same goes for Supervisor Ashton K who also inspected my AC unit and advised me on options to replace my very, VERY old AC. Thank you Ashton, Anthony and Brody Pennell.Diego and Jose just finished installing my new 3.5 Ton Carrier AC. What a job. They were both lovely and super hard workers. They answered my silly questions throughout the day. They did a great job. Thanks all!
Jennifer K.
1721087694
Jason did a very thorough job and was a delight to interact with
Marjaneh R.
1721087470
Mr. Juan Molina was prompt professional and easily explained the situation and offered practical solutions. ThankYou
Rick H.
1721082844
Very polite and competent technician!
DeAnna T.
1721074214
Daniel (service tech) was timely and efficient. He clearly explained all the items serviced in both units (including pictures) and made recommendations to keep them operational.
Mark H.
1721072960
Anthony Monzo and David Escamilla were fantastic. They were able to access systems in really challenging locations and provide explanations of what was happening complete with photos and videos they took. Highly recommend them.Follow-up... The next week, a team came to install the new system led by Christian. It was a very difficult project but they were very thorough. Steven came the following day to trouble shoot a few issues and the following day Jose Rivera and Alessandro wrapped up the project. All folks were very professional and made sure to leave the house clean.
Gianni F.
1721058841
Rene did a great job - very knowledgeable and even gave me tips not related to the job that needed to be done. Oh and also very friendly!
David O.
1721055919
3/22 - clean, fast, courteous job with Troy and Phil. Very polite and thorough! Another fantastic job by the people at BrodyYet another pleasant service experience with Marcos!!! Also told me about an air scrubber install that Brody can do as well.10/9: another great job by Steven7/11/24: just another shoutout to Jose Castillo
Kevin B.
1721011778
great service from Brody Pennell. In particular, the technician who stopped by, James Handy, was courteous, very thorough and professional. Appreciate the continued good service
Tasha M.
1721000061
David Escamilla was professional, answered all my questions and never made me feel rushed. He took the time to explain what he was seeing with my A/C and the recommendations he was making for it. He even was able to complete work that wasn't scheduled for that day but was needed to make my A/C run better. I would recommend him and Brody Pennell for anything related for your heating and air conditioning needs they are extremely professional and I always feels great when using their business.
Vincent B.
1720986498
The technician was very professional and knowledgeable he kept me up to date on any issues …and I would recommend them
Alex D.
1720980903
Shawn was very knowledgable and patient with our questions. Great job!
Sam A.
1720916043
Christy K.
1720898791
Two thumbs up to Kevin and Ariel! They were efficient and very professional. Highly recommend.
Mike T.
1720820653
Steven came by do perform our AC maintenance and was incredible.He went above and beyond to insure our system was taken care of. 10/10
Carol Ann S.
1720819066
ReneExcellent Performance
×
js_loader