We are not currently hiring, but please submit your resume for future consideration. Read More

Skip navigation


Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog

Top Furnace Problems in the DC Area


In Washington, DC and the surrounding area, unlike some parts of the US, we have very distinct seasons. Our summers are hot, and our winters are cold. They’re not short winters, either—in fact, we need to use our heat at least during the night throughout much of the spring and fall. This means our heating systems get a lot of use. 

When furnaces run a lot of the time for several months, certain issues are more likely to crop up. Knowing what to expect can help you to catch a problem early and get prompt repairs before the situation gets any worse. So what are the furnace problems you’re most likely to encounter in the DC area? Here are some of the ones we see all the time.

Lack of Airflow

The first thing you need to know is that furnaces require a lot of air to move through them in order to get their job done. Lack of airflow can cause all sorts of symptoms, from uneven heat and cold spots in your home to short cycling and system shutdowns. The good news is that you might be able to resolve this one yourself.

Your furnace has an air filter that needs to be changed every single month during the heavy-use part of the year. (You should change it once or twice in the spring and fall as well.) When that gets clogged with dust, airflow is reduced. The heat can’t circulate properly, and it can cause overheating inside the system that trips the limit switch and causes a shutdown.

If changing your air filter doesn’t resolve the low-airflow problems you’re having, something else is responsible. It could be that the blower motor isn’t running properly, or even that the fan itself is broken, and you need heater service in Washington, DC

Furnace Not Coming On

What if your furnace simply won’t start up at all? Is it a serious emergency? Before you panic, check a couple of things yourself. First, has a circuit breaker tripped? You may just need to reset it. Second, how’s your thermostat doing? An accidental switch from “heat” to “cool” or an “away” setting being activated could be to blame. It may even be that the thermostat needs fresh batteries.

Burners Not Lighting

If the furnace is trying to come on, but the burners won’t light, you’ll be hearing the sound of furnace startup but you won’t be getting any heat. This can be caused by the flame sensor failing to register the flame and thus not allowing the gas to flow to the burners. If there is no flame, this will prevent a gas leak. If there is a flame, the sensor could be coated with enough carbon from the winter’s combustion to prevent it from sensing the flame. This requires professional cleaning.

Strange Noises

Many things can cause a variety of alarming sounds to come from your furnace. Groaning and grinding? Bearings might be wearing down in the motor. Screeching and squealing? It could be the belt slipping out of place. The important thing is that whenever a furnace makes an unusual sound, it’s a sign that repairs are necessary. 

Whatever your concern about your furnace is, we’re happy to help you set things straight.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or ask any questions you have about your furnace.

Comments are closed.