Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to turn on 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 issue, understanding 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 watching the furnace's behavior, listening for unusual 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 Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling. We can accurately identify the issue and complete 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 issues:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This might be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another likely 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 necessary to deal with water leaks immediately to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
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 include 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 will not blow hot air, it's best to contact a professional HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and recommend the proper 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can result in heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause uneven heating.
To handle this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, look at the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem won’t go away, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling, who can look over 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 a couple of steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a professional. Ensure 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 ensure power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea to consult a knowledgeable HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can cause inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out 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 be sure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, check your thermostat and make sure it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s best to call experts like the staff at Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent additional 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 hardware 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 best to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a constant 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 malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's best to contact a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning 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, see 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 make sure they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t get the job done, contact an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that will not on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be the result of a dirty air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking 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 attempting 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 Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling.