According to RedBeacon, the most common central heating problems include gas supply problems, blocked or leaky ducts, weak pilot lights and malfunctioning thermostats. Gas supply problems are the responsibility of the utility company, but the financial responsibility of other problems rests on the owner.
Many malfunctioning central heating systems have blocked or leaky ducts. If the problem is a blockage, dead animals and bird nests are often to blame. Blockages prevent proper air circulation and require professional attention unless the clog is visible at the duct's mouth. Leaking ducts always require professional diagnosis and repair. Patching fixes minor leaks, but replacement is the only option for those with serious holes or other extensive damage.
A weak or inconsistent pilot light is a symptom of a potentially dangerous problem. Without a strong, steady pilot light, a furnace is inefficient and unreliable. This increases the risk of lethal carbon monoxide accumulating in the home. The Automobile Association explains that carbon monoxide is invisible and has no odor. Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors are essential safety equipment in modern homes. Properly functioning pilot lights burn a vibrant blue. If the pilot light flickers or turns yellow, do not wait for the carbon monoxide alarms to sound; seek professional help immediately.