4 Common Reasons Why Your Heater Isn’t Working Properly

Heating has been an essential part of American homes for so long that we usually take it for granted. What most people don’t realize is that neglecting their heating system can be dangerous and could lead to house fires. While modern residential heating systems are often highly sophisticated and reliable, they still HVAC service and maintenance every now and then. Let’s explore the common reasons why your heater stopped working and what you can do about it.

Poor Maintenance

This is perhaps the most common reason why homeowners suddenly request an emergency service from HVAC technicians during wintertime. Regular furnace maintenance is important, especially before and after the winter season. If your furnace suddenly won’t turn on, it’s almost always because it hadn’t been cleaned and looked at for quite some time. 

A dirty furnace can lead to a lot of complications in the heating system. If it’s been clogged up by too much dirt, the system’s heat exchanger can not work unless there’s sufficient air moving across it to stop it from overheating. In short, a dirty blower can cause the heat exchanger to fail. The easiest solution is to clean out the blowers and the air filters every few months or so to prevent this from happening. 

Malfunctioning Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat could lead to the system not turning on the heat. Your thermostat’s primary function is to regulate the temperature and the amount of heat that’s generated. It could be as simple as incorrectly programming your thermostat. If that’s not the case, then it might be time for a replacement.

While most thermostats can easily last up to a couple of years, they will eventually start to have problems if you’ve used them for quite some time. This is especially true for houses with really old heating systems. It may be time to replace it with a brand new programmable thermostat.

Dead Blower Capacitor

Have you ever wondered what that huge batter-like thing on your heating system is? That’s a blower capacitor. A capacitor is the one that jumpstarts the furnace heater when the thermostat setting tells it to turn on. If your capacitor’s tolerance levels become too low for some reason, your blower might not achieve the proper RPM. There are also cases where the capacitor just won’t start the blower. 

Since capacitor failure is quite a common dilemma for homeowners, you should let an HVAC service professional check the tolerance level of your capacitors regularly. Otherwise, it could easily malfunction or, worse, lead to a dead blower capacitor, which is a costly repair. 

4, Low Refrigerant Levels

If you heat your home using a heat pump, the refrigerant levels of the pump can get too low. The result can be such a headache as your utility bills will suddenly shoot up without you knowing why.

Your heat pump requires a refrigerant so that it won’t overheat easily. But when the refrigerant levels decrease significantly, you run the risk of overheating and having a compressor breakdown. A good solution is to increase the refrigerant charge once you notice that the heat strips are coming down too often. Recharging your refrigerant is a simpler and easier solution than fixing any leaks or replacing the compressor. 


Never let a faulty heating system unchecked for an extended period of time, as it can lead to catastrophic results for your home. Whenever you realize there’s something wrong with your heater, it’s time to call the professionals and have them take a look at your situation.

For complete HVAC repair and maintenance, turn to Air 1 LLC. We provide HVAC services to customers in Short Hills, Millburn, Summit, and Chatham, NJ. Contact us today for emergency services!

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