Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to start your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, knowing 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 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Speed Air. We can accurately diagnose 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 issues:
1. Your Furnace Leaks 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 blocked condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another potential cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can result in water—as well as dangerous gases—coming out of the furnace.
It is imperative to address water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Speed Air is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Makes 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 mechanism.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's best to contact a trained HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and recommend the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Struggles to Keep 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 reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To handle this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, examine the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem lingers, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Speed Air, 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 Isn't Running at All
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a pro. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the unit.
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 reach out to a knowledgeable HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Short Cycles
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off frequently at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can lead to inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and make 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 a good idea to call experts like the team at Speed Air. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Hums All the Time
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of problems with the electrical elements or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is better that you contact 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 promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common cause of this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can create a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may make a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to contact a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Won't Start
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, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't address 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 a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Won't Ignite
Much like a furnace not turning 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 out the air filter and looking over your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace continuously attempting 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 very easily repaired by HVAC pros like the team at Speed Air.