How to Tell if Your Heating System is Working Properly

As a homeowner, your heating system is something you rely on without thought. You turn it on. It works. You move on to other things. 

Yet as winter settles in, any problems with your heating system can surface if it isn’t functioning correctly. A well-functioning heating system keeps your home warm and comfortable and saves you money on energy bills. 

Not every problem is going to surface quickly. Many issues build over time, and you only become aware when they start impacting your lifestyle. 

This is why performing regular checks for your most significant appliances and home systems is wise. Finding fault with your heating system early can stop minor problems before they escalate into full-blown crises. Here are a few things to watch for.   

How to Tell if Your Heating System is Working Properly

Thermostat Reading

Do you play with your thermostat, trying to get more comfortable? Have you bumped it up and down, wondering if it’s working? That’s your first sign something may be wrong with your heating system. It might be your thermostat – it might not be connecting with your furnace. It might be a bigger issue with the heating system. Awareness is your starting point. You can add new batteries to the thermostat. If that’s not the issue, it might extend to your furnace. 


What’s that clunk? Every heating system makes noises. You’ll notice it from the very first moment it turns on. But if you hear any strange sounds from your heating system, such as banging, clanging, or whistling, it is a sign that something is wrong and should be addressed immediately. Think outside of what’s expected – when you notice a change in the way your system operates, it’s a sign to dig deeper to find the problem. 


Just like noises can alert you to issues, unusual odors from your heating system, such as a burning smell, could signify a malfunction. Some odors can be a sign of a significant problem. If you notice an odor, turn off your heating system immediately and call a professional to assess the situation. It’s also wise to have a carbon monoxide detector installed to alert you to potential problems. 

Air Flow

Your furnace is one of the most expansive systems inside your home. Turn it on, and air blows through the ductwork, into every room in your home. With that much pressure and that long of a journey, weaknesses can form over time. It could indicate a problem with the fan or the ductwork without proper air flow. If you notice a lack of air flow, have your heating system inspected sooner rather than later to fix the problem quickly.

Energy Bills

If your energy bills have increased significantly, it could be a sign of a malfunctioning heating system. When a furnace isn’t functioning properly, it will have to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, resulting in higher energy bills.


The age of your heating system can also be a factor in determining if it is functioning properly. Furnaces can easily reach 15, 20 years, or more. But that doesn’t mean they’re energy efficient. If your system is over ten years old, it may be time to consider a replacement. A new, energy-efficient heating system can save you money on energy bills and provide more consistent heating.

Have you noticed any of the above signs? A professional can diagnose the issue and provide a solution to keep your heating system functioning properly. Regular maintenance can also help prevent issues from occurring in the first place.

It starts with awareness to ensure that your heating system is functioning correctly, keeping your home warm and comfortable throughout the winter.

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