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Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Why Your Furnace Isn’t Warming Up the House Enough


You’ve had your furnace for a while, and each winter you don’t have any trouble getting comfortable when it’s running. That’s the way things are supposed to be. 

Now, however, something is wrong. You don’t feel cozy, and you’re layering on blankets. Your favorite long-sleeve shirt isn’t keeping you warm enough, and other folks in the house are complaining that it’s too cold. “Why isn’t the furnace on?” they ask. And you tell them that it is, and they don’t believe you, but the thermostat is set to the normal temperature, and… 

Oh no. The furnace isn’t working right! It’s running, you can feel warm air coming from the room vents, but it’s not enough. Why is it? What’s happening?

First, don’t push up the thermostat to compensate

Before we look at reasons your thermostat might be falling down on its job, we want to stress that you shouldn’t try to overcome this problem by raising the thermostat higher. That only puts more strain on the furnace, wastes power, and will likely make things worse, leaving you with a busted furnace. This is a problem you need to have solved.

The trouble might just be a clogged furnace filter

Check this first: a clogged filter will choke off airflow through the furnace and into the house, which will affect the heating capacity. If the filter hasn’t been changed for more than three months, remove it and put in a clean one. See if this improves the situation. 

The thermostat may be the problem

The furnace might be fine. It’s the thermostat creating the issue. It might be miscalibrated so that it’s reading temperatures in the house as hotter than they are, which will cause it to shut down the furnace early and make it difficult for you to find the right temperature on it for comfort. HVAC pro can recalibrate the thermostat and get everything back to normal.

The ducts are leaking

Air leaks in the ducts may be stealing away the heated air before it gets to the rooms. In fact, up to 30% of the heated air moving through the ductwork can vanish through these air leaks, and that’s taking away plenty of heating from the house. It will also run up costs. You’ll need professionals to handle the duct sealing work. 

A heating element has failed

This is a problem specific to an electric furnace. The furnace has multiple heating elements inside it to warm the air, and if one or more of them burns out, it will drop the maximum level of heat the furnace can produce. 

The furnace really is dying

If your furnace is more than 15 years old, this drop in heating capacity might just be a sign that it’s going to fail soon. It’s possible that repairs can restore it, but probably not for long, and it’s usually more cost-effective to have a new furnace installed rather than pay for expensive repairs. 

No matter what you need to get your furnace back to work, you can rely on us for furnace repair services in Portland, OR.

Call Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning when you need fast heating service. “Connecting People to Comfort” is our job! 

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