Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to start your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can strike 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 services. By observing 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 not sure about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Air Temperature Control. We can accurately diagnose the issue and perform 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 common heating issues:
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 could be due to a blocked 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—coming out of the furnace.
It is imperative to deal with water leaks promptly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Air Temperature Control is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Makes Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some potential causes for a furnace blowing cold air or not blowing hot air could be 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 measure.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and advise you on the correct 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can lead to heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to effectively warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause inconsistent heating.
To handle this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, examine the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem continues, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Air Temperature Control, who can assess 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 correctly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't turn on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the system.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to contact an experienced HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Turns On and Off
If your furnace is short cycling, this 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 lead to inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you think your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out 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 make sure it is pointing in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, check your thermostat and make sure 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 Air Temperature Control. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid more complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Won't Stop Humming
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of problems with the electrical parts or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise persists, it is a good idea to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Makes Loud Noises
If your furnace is making a persistent 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 make 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 get a hold of a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Can't Turn On
If your furnace will not turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't take care of the problem, you can inspect 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 get the job done, call a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is on but 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 out 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 could be a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly making an attempt to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be very easily fixed by HVAC specialists like the team at Air Temperature Control.