Why isn’t my furnace keeping up this winter?

Jan 15, 2021 | HVAC

Living in Ohio, our home heating systems aren’t merely a comfort.

They’re a necessity!

However, whenever a furnace doesn’t keep up with the cold weather, then it becomes obvious there’s an issue somewhere in the system. 

Although the problem might be with the furnace itself, and it might need repaired or even worse replaced, there are certain things that could be causing this problem.

Before spending your hard-earned money or drawing any unfortunate conclusions, we at Westerville Air Conditioning & Heating, present the following to help you identify the cause of the problem on your own to give you a better idea of what you might be needing:

Furnace Sizing

Before making any assumptions, it’s a good idea to consider the possibility that your furnace might be the wrong size for your home. If it happens to be too small, it will be forced to work non-stop — always struggling to reach the desired temperature levels. On the other hand, a furnace that’s too big is equally problematic. An oversized heating unit can heat the air too quickly, raising the temperature around the thermostat faster than that in the rest of the home. Once the thermostat reads the air is warm enough, the furnace turns off, leaving the rest of the house cold. Heating equipment that’s too big for a home can also cause what’s known as short-cycling, which is hard on the system.

Air Filter Needs Changed

During the winter and throughout the heating season, homeowners should check their furnace filters every 1 to 2 months, depending on the type of filter you are using, how quickly it becomes dirty and the type of furnace you have. If not, and the air filter gathers enough dirt and grime, it can clog them up and this has a dramatic impact on the furnaces effectiveness and performance.

Clean furnace filters are essential because they remove particles and air pollution from the air flowing through your HVAC system and home. They can become dirty in a very short amount of time during the winter, especially if you have a large family or if you have pets in the home. If you’ve recently done any sort of construction work in your home, or home restoration or renovation, you should check them when the project is complete as this can cause filters to become blocked. 

Drafts and Air Leaks

Air drafts and air leakage can happen in all sorts of places in the home and when left unchecked, over time, they can prevent your furnace from doing its job adequately and make your heating bills skyrocket. If you suspect this is the problem, or if your insulation levels are low, you will want to do some thorough checking around the house.

The typical culprits of household air leaks, as noted above, also include poorly sealed or loose or damaged air ducts. In addition to checking your ductwork, you should check around windows, doorways and chimneys. Because insulation plays an essential role, you’ll want to consider or even have a professional look at your insulation levels. Ultimately, winterizing your home is one way to correct these problems and avert them entirely to begin with.

The Thermostat

Another thing people tend to overlook when they’re having home heating problems is their thermostat. If your thermostat is defective or malfunctioning it could be reading the temperature in your home incorrectly. If it’s reading the temperature higher than it should, it will make the furnace turn off before it actually warms the house enough. Furthermore, there could be some kind of fault that could be causing the system to start and stop at the wrong times. If you suspect this is happening, use a different thermometer to check the temperature in your home independently to determine whether it’s reading the temperature correctly.


Home heating equipment utilizes a fan to push the air it heats up into our homes. As such, these fans are supposed to stay on for two to three minutes after the furnace stops producing heat in order to push the last of that heated air into the home. If the fan remains on longer and there’s no heat coming out, it can end up pushing cooler air into the home, which could cause uneven temperature levels. We should note, however, this problem could also be the result of a problem with a fan delay setting or by its controls.

Don’t forget seasonal maintenance

Our furnaces are expensive and intricate machines that work hard for us every winter and keep us feeling comfortable. Because they cost so much and we spend so much in energy costs to use them, keeping up with maintenance on a regular basis pays off big time in return!

Because you don’t want problems like these (or worse) from developing in the first place, it’s essential to have your heating equipment serviced, inspected and cleaned heading into every home heating season. It will not only reduce wear and tear and keep it working like it should, effectively and efficiently, for years to come. It will also help keep heating costs from climbing too high and avoid problems in the first place by catching and addressing these issues before they worsen.

Give Us A Call Today! We can keep your furnace running like new!

In today’s Do-It-Yourself culture, there are a lot of things people can do on their own when it comes to working around the home. Nevertheless, there’s simply no substitute for speaking with a certified HVAC professional. Keeping up with maintenance will give you peace of mind you can’t find anywhere online.

Give your furnace the TLC it deserves and needs! Call Westerville Air Conditioning & Heating today at 614-810-0075, or schedule an appointment now by clicking here!