Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to turn on your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the cause, 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 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 Central Air LLC. We can accurately diagnose 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 common heating problems:
1. Your Furnace Leaks Water
A furnace can leak water for several reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water produced 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 lead to water—as well as dangerous gases—escaping from the furnace.
It is important to correct water leaks immediately to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Central Air LLC is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some likely 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 is also possible 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 trained HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and recommend the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Can't Keep 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 result in heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A broken 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 protect your home. Also, check the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem continues, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Central Air LLC, who can inspect your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or changing your thermostat settings.
4. My Furnace Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a professional. Ensure the thermostat is set correctly 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 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 contact a seasoned HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off frequently at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it should. This can lead to inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your heating system.
If you think your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out regularly 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. Next, check your thermostat and look to see if 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 team at Central Air LLC. 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
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of a malfunction with the electrical parts or the blower motor. Because of this, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise persists, it is a good idea to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is emitting a consistent loud noise, it's important to handle the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common problem that causes this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can generate 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 won't 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 controlling the furnace is functioning properly. 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 do the job, phone an expert 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, examining the air filter and taking a peek at your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other likely causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continually 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 simply fixed by HVAC professionals like the team at Central Air LLC.