Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to power up your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the cause, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. 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 uncertain about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately pinpoint the issue and execute the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace up and running ASAP.
Here's more about what causes a furnace to leak water and eight other frequent heating dilemmas:
1. Your Furnace Leaks Water
A furnace can leak water for a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This might be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a failing 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 correct water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
2. My Furnace Blows Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some possible 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 precaution.
If your furnace does not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a trained HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and suggest the appropriate 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can lead to heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To address 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, examine the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem won’t go away, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning, who can look over your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or modifying your thermostat settings.
4. My Furnace Won't Work
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a heating specialist. Make sure the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't turn 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 rest 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 Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, that means it is turning on and off often at short intervals instead of running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can cause inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, check your thermostat and verify it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s smart to call experts like the staff at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent further complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Won't Stop Humming
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of an issue with the electrical elements or the blower motor. Therefore, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise persists, it is better that you contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a persistent loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common reason is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may make a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's best to get a hold of a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Can't Turn On
If your furnace refuses to turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can inspect the furnace's power switch or emergency shutoff switch to verify they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t get the job done, phone an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace not turning on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a plugged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking out the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications 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 pros like the team at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning.