Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to power up your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can strike your home at any moment.
Regardless of the cause, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Anderson Heating & A/C. We can accurately identify 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. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water produced during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a failing 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—coming out of the furnace.
It is imperative to address water leaks immediately to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Anderson Heating & A/C is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
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 are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a plugged 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 a good idea to contact a skilled HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and suggest 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 lacks insulation, which can cause heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s too small 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 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, examine 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 Anderson Heating & A/C, who can assess 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 contacting a professional. Check if the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't turn on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the system.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's best to consult a knowledgeable HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, that means it is turning on and off often at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your furnace.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out regularly to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is dirty you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, go to your thermostat and look to see if 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 Anderson Heating & A/C. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of further complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of a malfunction with the electrical components or the blower motor. Because of this, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is a good idea to contact 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 address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common reason is a failing blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible 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 safer 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 right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't take care of 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, phone a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a plugged 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 likely causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs 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 easily repaired by HVAC specialists like the team at Anderson Heating & A/C.