Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to turn on your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, knowing how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By noting the furnace's behavior, listening for unusual noises and checking for signs of damage or blockage, you can narrow down the possible causes.
If you're unsure about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Home Comfort Heating & Air. We can accurately identify the issue and execute the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace ready to go ASAP.
Here's more about what causes a furnace to leak water and eight other frequent heating issues:
1. Your Furnace Leaks Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not effectively draining away. This might be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another possible cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can be responsible for water—as well as dangerous gases—leaking out of the furnace.
It is imperative to deal with water leaks quickly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Home Comfort Heating & Air is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Blows 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 could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety mechanism.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's better to contact a skilled HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and suggest the proper solution.
3. My Furnace Is Not Keeping Up
A frequent reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks insulation, which can lead to heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in uneven heating.
To deal with this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, look at the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem lingers, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Home Comfort Heating & Air, who can look over your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or adjusting your thermostat settings.
4. My Furnace Isn't Running at All
If your furnace is not working, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before contacting a heating specialist. Make sure 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 verify power is reaching the unit.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea to reach out to a seasoned HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Short Cycles
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off often at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can lead to inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your unit.
If you think your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed regularly to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and be sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, go to 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 crew at Home Comfort Heating & Air. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of further complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Hums All the Time
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of a malfunction with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. Therefore, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise persists, it is best to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Noisy
If your furnace is making a consistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common cause of this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another common cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may make a squealing or rattling noise.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to get in touch with a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning On
If your furnace will not turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse controlling the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't take care of the problem, you can check the furnace's power switch or emergency shutoff switch to make sure they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t work, contact an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Won't Ignite
Similar to a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a dirty air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking the air filter and taking a peek at your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other potential causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Symptoms of these include the furnace repeatedly trying to ignite without success, a lack of heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be very easily addressed by HVAC specialists like the team at Home Comfort Heating & Air.