For residents of White Bear Lake, MN, ensuring that their furnaces are in good repair is of critical importance during the cold winter months. Natural gas furnaces are a solid choice for this region thanks to their ability to heat homes and offices quickly and efficiently. Heat pumps can provide much-needed warmth during milder winters but may struggle to perform correctly in extremely cold temperatures. Performing any necessary maintenance and repairs on these systems can help you enjoy added comfort throughout the winter months. Here are five of the most common furnace repair problems in the Minnesota area.

Thermostat Issues

Thermostats monitor indoor air and signal the furnace to turn on when temperatures drop below a specified level. If these components of your heating system fail, the furnace will not ignite to produce heat for your home. Luckily, thermostat replacement is a relatively simple and low-cost procedure. Consider upgrading to a programmable model for added convenience; some newer thermostats can even be adjusted remotely by using your PC, tablet or smartphone.

Ignition and Pilot Light Problems

Newer furnaces and heat pumps typically use an electronic ignition system to start the combustion process; older models may use an always-on pilot light that can be relit if accidentally extinguished.

• Pilot light systems make use of a thermocouple that measures temperature differentials to ensure that the pilot light is on prior to releasing natural gas for combustion; this ensures that gas does not escape into your home while the pilot light is out. Replacing the thermocouple is relatively simple and can sometimes resolve pilot light issues.
• Electronic ignition system repairs require the services of a trained HVAC professional to ensure your safety and to reduce the risk of further damage to these delicate systems.

Consulting a professional to diagnose malfunctioning ignition modules and pilot lights can ensure the fastest and most effective solution for these problems.

Blower Motor Issues

Your furnace’s blower motor circulates warmed air throughout your home. Some of the most common blower motor problems include the following:

• Reduced air flow due to dirty or clogged air filters, blocked vents and damage to the motor
• Loose or frayed motor belt
• Worn or failing motor

In some cases, a complete blower motor replacement may be required. This replacement should be performed by a knowledgeable HVAC technician to ensure the reliability of the repair procedure.

Excessive Noise during Operation

Noisy furnaces typically result when gas burners are dirty or out of alignment or when the blower motor requires lubrication or repair. Regular maintenance services can often eliminate these issues and may increase the longevity of your system while reducing the noise generated by your furnace.

Inadequate Heating for Your Home

If your furnace fails to heat your home to a comfortable temperature even after an extended period in operation, you may need to upgrade your system to a larger size or a different configuration. A visit from a service technician should provide added information on any repairs or maintenance needed to increase your furnace’s heating capacity. In some cases, this may boost interior temperatures to a comfortable level without the need for new equipment.

For families living in White Bear Lake, MN, taking steps to address these five common furnace problems can go a long way toward ensuring warmth and comfort throughout the winter months.