Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to turn on your heating system when the weather gets cold and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, knowing how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is vital in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By noting the furnace's behavior, listening for strange noises and checking for signs of damage or blockage, you can narrow down the possible causes.
If you're unsure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like US Air Heating and Cooling. We can accurately pinpoint the issue and execute the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace working again ASAP.
Here's more about what causes a furnace to leak water and eight other common heating problems:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This could be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another likely cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can be responsible for water—as well as dangerous gases—coming out of the furnace.
It is important to address water leaks quickly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at US Air Heating and Cooling is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some potential causes for a furnace blowing cold air or not blowing hot air include a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a plugged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety measure.
If your furnace does not blow hot air, it's best to contact a skilled HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and recommend the proper solution.
3. My Furnace Is Not Keeping Up
A widespread reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home is lacking insulation, which can lead to heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce uneven heating.
To deal with this, first check your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, check the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as US Air Heating and Cooling, who can inspect your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or adjusting your thermostat settings.
4. My Furnace Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before contacting a heating specialist. Check if the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's best to reach out to a seasoned HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off often at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it should. This can cause inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your heating system.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, check your thermostat and verify it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s a good idea to call experts like the staff at US Air Heating and Cooling. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of an issue with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. Therefore, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise continues, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is making a consistent loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common problem that causes this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit a squealing or rattling noise.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to consult with a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning On
If your furnace won't turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can examine the furnace's power switch or emergency shutoff switch to ensure they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t work, phone an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that will not on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a plugged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking the air filter and looking over your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other likely causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace repeatedly attempting to ignite without success, an absence of heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be simply fixed by HVAC professionals like the team at US Air Heating and Cooling.