There is nothing better than curling up next to the fire drinking your hot chocolate to watch a Christmas movie as the snow falls outside your window. It’s great to look outside and see that blanket of snowy white, especially because you are warm and comfortable inside your home. But what happens when you start to experience cooler temperatures and that winter chill makes its way inside? That may be a sign there is an issue with your heater. The colder months are not the time to be dealing with a furnace that can’t keep up with your higher demands.

There are a few different reasons you may start to notice your furnace isn’t working successfully. As with anything, check it out on your own first, but if the problem persists, it may be time to call in an expert technician to take a look. When the temperatures drop outside, it can be dangerous and uncomfortable to stay in a freezing home. This is why you must get to the bottom of the situation. Here are the five main reasons your heater may be having difficulty keeping up.

1. Your HVAC system is outdated.

Every appliance in your home has a shelf life that it is operational for. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to keep track of how old all the systems in your home are. One of the reasons your heating system can’t keep up with the cold is because it’s older. Regular maintenance can help your heat pump work for many years, but after about two decades, you’re better off getting a new heating system. Working with an old appliance can actually harm your home or blow more cold air than warm air. Consider purchasing a new HVAC unit to save money on energy costs down the line as well.

2. Dusty or dirty filters are stopping the flow of air.

Your heater is responsible for pumping hot air throughout your home. If the filters become cluttered or dirty, the overall system may produce less heat. The best way to ensure your system is operational for a long time is by cleaning the air filters and replacing them regularly. Naturally, it’s much harder for hot air to pass through vents that are filled with dust and debris. Cleaning these may fix your main issues.

3. It needs some regular maintenance.

If you notice your heater isn’t keeping up with your demand, it may be time to check the last time it had a tune-up. As with any appliance, your HVAC systems need to be regularly tweaked and monitored by an HVAC technician who can help spot little fixes before they become major problems. This is sometimes known as preventative maintenance because you are protecting your equipment ahead of time. This is how restaurants save money on commercial kitchen appliances, and business predicts downfalls. Planning can save you money and guarantee your systems work when you need them.

4. Your thermostat is acting up.

The thermostat is how you communicate with your heater. You can identify the desired temperature in your home, and the thermostat will help make that happen. However, if this piece stops working or causes problems, you may notice problems in your heating system. Replace the thermostat if it is no longer functional to help save your energy costs overall.

5. The windows are letting in cool air.

Heaters already work incredibly hard to pump air throughout your home. When you have thin windows or seal failures on your doors, it can let in a lot of cool air. This forces your HVAC system to work twice as hard to overcome the cold air with heat. Consider replacing your windows or working on the seals to keep the warmth in.