Winter is beautiful, and it's a time to celebrate with friends and family. It's also a time to turn on the furnace. Unfortunately, when your furnace isn't working properly, it can leave you and your family cold. Learn what to do and how to resolve the issue to keep your home comfortable. 

How Furnaces Work

Furnaces can use natural gas, oil, or electricity to generate their heat. Natural gas is the most popular option in most homes. Furnaces have three main components: blower, burner, and heat exchanger. The blower generates the heat, the heat exchanger distinguishes between gas and clean air, and the blower distributes the air out into your home. 


All furnaces require maintenance. A home with only six rooms can accumulate 40 pounds of dust a year. This dust will get into the furnace and prevent the furnace from working properly. Furnaces can last anywhere from 15 - 25 years. To keep your furnace around as long as possible, you must keep up with basic maintenance. 

The most important thing to do as regular maintenance for your furnace is to replace or clean the filter. There are multiple types of air filters, and they all require different maintenance:

  • Electrostatic/ polyester filters- these will not need to be replaced. Clean every three months. 
  • Fiberglass fibers- change every month
  • HEPA filters- do not need to be cleaned or replaced. 
  • Pleated filters- change every three months


Most furnaces have a reset button. Give the furnace thirty minutes to cool down before pressing the reset button. If it doesn't work the first time, try the reset button up to three times. 


Leave home immediately if you smell gas coming from your gas furnace. Inhaling the gas is extremely dangerous, and gas is also flammable. Call professional heating repair services to resolve the issue instead of taking on a dangerous task yourself. 

Using Less Energy

Heating makes up 30% of the energy you use in your home. When you find that your furnace isn't working, you will also find that you are paying the energy costs without the benefits. Many people call their furnace repair services to reduce their utility bills. There are a number of ways to do this:

  • purchase a new energy-efficient furnace
  • replace insulation in your home
  • change the air filter 
  • use energy-efficient doors, windows, siding, and roof
  • turn the heat off when you are not using it