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Furnace Repair and Maintenance in Westerville, Ohio

We’ve done hundreds of furnace repairs in Westerville, Ohio, from the simple replacement of parts to major overhauls. We look at some of the most common ones.

Furnace Repair and Maintenance in Westerville, Ohio

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Fire & Ice Team


July 25th, 2023

Your furnace helps to heat your home and ensures your comfort. But when something goes wrong, the house can go from warm to freezing fast. The first sign of trouble might arrive on a frigid winter’s day when your furnace runs but can’t match the thermostat’s setting. What next?

You can call an HVAC service technician, but sometimes you’ll have to wait a few days or more during the busy season. Meanwhile, you can toss another log onto the fire, pull out the wool blankets, and dress in layers, but that cold house is miserable.

At Fire & Ice, we get hundreds of service calls from Westerville, Ohio, for furnaces during the winter months. Let’s review some common issues that can affect your furnace’s ability to heat your home.

Signs Your Furnace Needs to Be Repaired

Your furnace might need to be repaired if the following occurs:

        Changes in airflow

        Short cycling

        Abnormally long runtime

        Abnormal sounds and smells


Changes in Airflow

Airflow changes mean that sometimes a vent can become partially or entirely blocked. This may have to do with a reduction in force from the furnace or a blocked section of ductwork. A thorough inspection can find the root cause.

If the blower motor is failing - perhaps from an excess of dust on it - the air coming out of the registers will decrease. A furnace cleaning will fix that. If dust isn’t the issue, it’s important to remember that moving parts can wear out, and there’s not much to prevent that. A licensed technician should be able to diagnose and fix a worn-out blower motor.

According to Energy Star, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set. A new hole in the ductwork or damage to a seal could cause diminished airflow.

If the problem is clogged ducts, they can be cleaned. It's best to let a professional do this.

Short Cycling

An HVAC system normally has about three or four cycles per hour. If you suspect your system is turning on and off more than this, it could be the result of short cycling. It means your HVAC is turning on and off more than it should.

When this happens, it doesn’t allow the hot and cold air in the house to mix, and leaves hot and cold spots. This is also hard on your furnace. The more times it has to start, the quicker it will wear out.

Long Run Time

If your furnace continues to run without shutting off, even though it’s not sub-zero outside, it might be a sign of trouble. You might need to keep a sharp eye on your utility bill; if it spikes and you can’t attribute it to the weather or some other factor, it may be that the furnace is underperforming.

Abnormal sounds and smells

If you’re hearing loud sounds or smelling something off, it might be a motor burning out or a buildup of mold inside the unit.


Water leaks coming from your furnace can indicate a few issues, including a damaged heat exchanger or a faulty seal on your evaporator coil.

In the case of a compromised heat exchanger, we recommend that you shut the furnace off and call for assistance. The heat exchanger is the place where combustion takes place, and a leak could expose your home to the gasses that are created there. Carbon monoxide is one of those gasses, and it can make you and your family seriously ill.

If you think your system might need to be replaced, we recommend you check out our furnace replacement-cost article here.

Practices to Prevent Furnace Repairs

You can never totally avoid furnace repairs. But you do have the power to minimize them.

  • Change your furnace filter. How often you need to change your filter depends on the type of filter you have. Some recommend a change every month, while others can last six months or longer.

    This is one solution that you can do yourself. If it’s clogged, it’s robbing your furnace of airflow, which can cause a variety of health and system problems. A filter that can’t capture dust anymore allows impurities to go into the furnace (which interferes with the furnace’s ability to heat) and gets blown back into the ducts throughout the house. The indoor air quality will be lousy because the atmosphere never gets clean.

    It also causes the furnace to overheat and shut down before it can warm the air as it should. Clogged filters cause costly repairs, and even premature total failure, if not attended to.
Buy Your Filter
  • Schedule regular maintenance. We recommend that your furnace gets a tune-up once a year before the winter. That way, you can rest assured that your furnace is prepared to heat your home all winter. And during an annual tune-up, your HVAC service technician can catch issues before the unit leaves you without heat on the coldest day of the year. In addition, a good contractor will inspect the furnace inside and out. Read more about our maintenance agreements here.
  • Have your HVAC contractor ensure that your static pressure isn’t too high or low. An imbalance of static pressure can cause your system to work too hard to pull air through and cause parts to wear out faster than expected. Low pressure would lead to a weakened airflow; too high, and your ductwork is at risk of breaking down.

Why Is Furnace Maintenance Important?

Furnace maintenance first and foremost, ensures that your furnace can operate safely.

But there are other benefits of scheduling regular furnace maintenance:

  1. Regular maintenance validates your furnace’s warranty. Chances are high that your furnace will need repairs at some point in its lifetime. A valid warranty can save you money on furnace repairs, which can cost thousands of dollars. A scheduled tune-up gives you peace of mind.
  2. Regular maintenance can ensure that your furnace operates efficiently. Over time, the buildup of debris can mean that your furnace isn’t working as well as it could. The changes will be so subtle, you might not notice there’s a problem at all. But the energy bill will creep up, and your comfort will go down.
  3. Regular maintenance can improve your furnace’s life expectancy. This means that you get the most out of your furnace. Modern furnaces last an average of 15-20 years. Some can last even longer. But when your furnace isn’t regularly maintained, its lifespan can decrease by five years or more.
  4. Regular maintenance can catch issues before your system breaks down. A small fix can mean the difference between a sound system and one that will need a major repair soon. It can prevent breakdowns that leave your family in the cold. It can also save you money on emergency furnace repairs.

Your furnace needs one tune-up every year. This is what we mean when we talk about “regular” maintenance. We typically recommend scheduling this tune-up before the heating season. This ensures that your furnace is prepared to heat your home before a cold snap hits.

What Does a Furnace Inspection Include?

To make sure that your furnace is operating as it should, your HVAC technician must inspect for specific safety and performance benchmarks during your annual furnace tune-up.

At a minimum, furnace safety and performance benchmarks include:

        Carbon monoxide levels

        Satisfactory flue venting

        The condition of gas-line components

        Safety shut-off equipment

        The state of your furnace’s heat exchanger(s)

        The state of your system’s filter

        The condition of your furnace’s flame sensor

        Your furnace’s temperature rise

        The condition of your system’s blower motor

What Does a Furnace Cleaning Include?

Once your technician confirms that your furnace is operating safely, they should also clean your furnace. This helps maintain your system’s performance and keeps the air in your home cleaner. During a furnace tune-up, the components that your HVAC technician should clean include.

  • The flame sensor. A flame sensor monitors whether a flame is burning inside the unit. With a gas furnace, when the flame sensor collects too much soot, it can prevent it from turning on and will need to be cleaned by your technician.
  • The plenums. The plenum on your HVAC system is a box where your air ducts and the supply come together. You should have two plenums that connect directly to your furnace. They help move the air into your living spaces. Your HVAC technician should inspect these for mold, dust, insulation, and other debris.
  • The furnace cabinet. Your furnace cabinet collects dust and other debris, which can affect your system’s performance.
  • Deep cleaning for your HVAC system. In some cases, your furnace may need a deeper level of cleaning than a standard tune-up offers. Regular deep cleaning can also benefit homeowners with an older, dusty house, pets, or ducts caked with debris.

Furnace Tune-Up in Westerville, Ohio

While factors such as regularly changing your filter and scheduling routine maintenance are good practices for any system, if you’re dealing with a system that’s not producing enough heat or not turning on, it’s time to schedule a visit from a technician.

If you’re in Westerville, OH, or the surrounding area, reach out to us today.

At Fire & Ice, we take pride in doing the work correctly the first time, every time. Whether it’s a repair, a replacement, a new installation, or a cleaning, we have the expertise and knowledge to get your system working to provide maximum comfort to your home.

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