6 Furnace Mistakes Homeowners Need to Avoid

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Managing a home doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and unfortunately, when something goes wrong, it’s a stressful moment. One of the most critical investments to take care of is the furnace. To avoid making common and costly furnace mistakes, here’s a list of things to watch out for.

1.   Not changing the filters

Neglecting the furnace filters is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make. Not only does it affect your furnace’s performance, but it can also cause costly repairs down the road. Replace furnace filters every three months or sooner if the performance declines. Going for thicker filters can prolong the time between changes, but it’s still important to change them often to keep your system running smoothly.

2.   Not scheduling regular maintenance

Another mistake that homeowners make is not scheduling regular maintenance for their furnaces. This can lead to big problems down the road, including complete system failure. Annual furnace maintenance is key to keeping your furnace running efficiently and avoiding costly repairs. During the exercise, a professional will inspect and clean your furnace and make any necessary adjustments.

3.   Failing to address strange noises and smells

If your furnace is making strange noises, it’s time to call in a professional. These could be warning signs that something is wrong and needs to be fixed before leading to a more severe problem.

Strange noises and unusual smells coming from your furnace can be a warning sign that something is wrong. If you smell gas, take action immediately and call the gas company. If the smell is something like burning dust, it’s probably time to have your furnace serviced or replaced. Additionally, pet fur can sometimes get caught in the furnace and cause a burning smell.

4.   Overlooking the pilot light

If your furnace is gas-powered, it has a pilot light that ignites the burner. The tiny flame is vital to the operation of your furnace. If it goes out, you’ll need to relight it. Many homeowners forget about the pilot light and don’t realize there’s a problem until the furnace stops working altogether. Call a professional if you’re not sure how to relight the pilot light to avoid furnace mistakes.

5.   Incorrectly sizing the furnace

Some homeowners choose a furnace that’s too large for their home, thinking it will heat the space more quickly. Doing so is a mistake, leading to decreased efficiency and increased energy bills. Furnaces that are too large for a home also tend to cycle on and off more frequently, shortening their lifespan. To ensure you’re choosing the right furnace, consult with a professional who will consider factors like the size and layout of your home.

6.   Not checking the fuel level

Another common mistake is not checking the fuel level in the tank. If the fuel level gets too low, the furnace will shut down. This is usually due to a leak in the fuel line. Call a professional as soon as possible. Additionally, if you have a wood-burning furnace, make sure the wood is dry and of good quality. Wet or green wood will not burn well, causing the furnace to overheat.


There are many mistakes homeowners can make, but hopefully, this list will help you avoid some of the most common and costly furnace mistakes. Ensure your home is well insulated and has proper ventilation, as these are critical factors in maintaining a comfortable temperature. If you’re unsure about anything or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call a professional.