Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to turn on your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent 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 peculiar 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 Halverson Brothers Inc. We can accurately identify the issue and execute the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace ready to go ASAP.
Here's more about what causes a furnace to leak water and eight other prevalent heating problems:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not effectively draining away. This may be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another likely cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can result in water—as well as dangerous gases—escaping from the furnace.
It is important to deal with water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Halverson Brothers Inc is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
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 are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It is also possible your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's best to contact a skilled HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and advise you on the correct 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 lacks insulation, which can lead to heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling 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 result in insufficient heating.
To address this, first check your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, check the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem won’t go away, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Halverson Brothers Inc, 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 a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a heating specialist. Ensure the thermostat is set right and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the unit.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea to reach out to an experienced 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 frequently at short intervals instead of running in regular cycles like it should. 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 switched out on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, check your thermostat and make sure 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 Halverson Brothers Inc. Prompt 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 a malfunction with the electrical parts or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise continues, it is best to contact 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 address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common problem that causes 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.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's best to consult 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 preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't address the problem, you can check 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, call a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace not turning on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a clogged 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 nonfunctional flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously trying to ignite without success, no 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 Halverson Brothers Inc.