Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to start your heating system when it gets chilly 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 essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. By monitoring 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like House of Heating Incorporated. We can accurately identify 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 problems:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for several reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a broken 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 important to address water leaks immediately to prevent more damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at House of Heating Incorporated is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some possible causes for a furnace blowing cold air or not blowing hot air are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a blocked air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace does not blow hot air, it's better to contact a skilled HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and recommend the appropriate solution.
3. My Furnace Is Not Keeping Up
A common reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks insulation, which can result in heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to effectively warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in uneven heating.
To deal with this, first check 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 won’t go away, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as House of Heating Incorporated, 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 professional. Ensure 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 make sure power is reaching the system.
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 better to consult 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 rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can lead to inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your unit.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is dirty you should exchange it for a clean one—and be sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, go to 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 team at House of Heating Incorporated. Prompt 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 Is Making a Humming Noise
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of a malfunction with the electrical components or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is best to employ 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 handle the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common problem that causes this is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce 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 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 working. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can examine 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 do the job, contact a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like 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 looking over your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace continually 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 simply fixed by HVAC specialists like the team at House of Heating Incorporated.