Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw 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 issue, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately pinpoint 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 prevalent heating issues:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another likely 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 necessary to deal with water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Lack of Heat
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 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 a good idea to contact a professional HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and advise you on the appropriate solution.
3. My Furnace Can't Keep Up
A widespread reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home is lacking insulation, which can lead to heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to effectively warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause uneven heating.
To address this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, check the thermostat to make sure 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 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 Isn't Running at All
If your furnace is not working, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a heating specialist. Check if the thermostat is set right and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't turn on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea to reach out to a knowledgeable HVAC professional 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 instead of running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can cause inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, check 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 best to call experts like the staff at 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid more complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of an issue with the electrical parts or the blower motor. Because of this, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise persists, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Noisy
If your furnace is making a constant loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common problem that causes this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can create a grinding or screeching sound. Another common 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 get a hold of 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 desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse controlling the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't fix the problem, you can examine 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 work, call an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Won't Ignite
Similar to a furnace that will not on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a clogged 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 potential causes of a furnace not igniting could be a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continually trying 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 simply fixed by HVAC pros like the team at 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning.