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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the bitterly cold temperatures, your furnace is probably working overtime. The constant churning can make it tough for heating systems to keep up with the demand.

Scott Simmons with Hotter Than Hell Heating & Cooling says the number one culprit for winter heating problems is a bad furnace filter. He’s seen it knock heat off for over 100 customers this winter alone.

Simmons said a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see through your furnace filter. If you can’t, it’s time to replace it.

A bad filter can essentially clog up your system, causing it to break down.

“What happens is this is called a limit switch and it reacts to temperature. If you’re not moving enough air across the furnace, this will open up and shut everything off. It’s a safety.   And that`s because of a dirty furnace filter. The part fails.

Another common issue involves newer, high efficiency furnaces which have a pipe that comes outside the home. If anything gets stuck inside that piping, like a small animal or even snow, it can shut your furnace down.  So you’ve got to keep that area clear.

And when your furnace is working extra hard in the cold weather, it’s also good to cut off air flow. Keep your doors closed as much as possible..

You can seal off any drafty windows with plastic, and add little sweeps along the edge of doors to help keep the cold air out.