Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to power up your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can strike your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is vital in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. 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 uncertain about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co.. We can accurately pinpoint the issue and perform the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace working again 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 a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a failing condensate pump. Another potential cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can be responsible for water—as well as dangerous gases—escaping from the furnace.
It is imperative to manage water leaks quickly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co. is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing 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 clogged 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 best to contact a trained HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and advise you on the proper 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 cause heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to effectively warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in uneven heating.
To handle this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, look at the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem lingers, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co., 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 Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a pro. Ensure the thermostat is set right and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to reach out to a seasoned HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
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 should. This can cause 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 exchanged 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. If that doesn’t do the trick, check 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 team at Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co.. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent 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 an indication of problems with the electrical components or the blower motor. For this reason, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise persists, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is emitting a constant loud noise, it's important to handle the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common reason is a broken blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible 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 better to get a hold of 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 good. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is sending power to the unit. 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, phone a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Similar to a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be the result of a clogged 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 common causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly trying to ignite without success, an absence of heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be simply fixed by HVAC pros like the team at Air Commander's Heating & Air Conditioning Co..