Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to power up 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 common furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. By observing 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 uncertain about the problem or don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists. 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 several reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This may be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a failing condensate pump. Another potential 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 address water leaks quickly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some likely 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 also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety measure.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's better to contact a skilled HVAC specialist 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 frequent reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home is lacking insulation, which can result in heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to adequately warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause inconsistent heating.
To handle this, first check your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, look at the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists, 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 phoning a heating specialist. Check if the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the unit.
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 an experienced 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 frequently at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you think your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out 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 make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, check your thermostat and verify 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 Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of an issue with the electrical components or the blower motor. Therefore, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is a good idea to employ 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 right away to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common reason is a failing blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another common cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to get in touch with 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 right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to 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 ensure 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 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, inspecting 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 are a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace continually attempting to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be simply addressed by HVAC specialists like the team at Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists.