Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to turn on your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is vital in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By watching 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 unsure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Rescue Heating & Air. We can accurately pinpoint the issue and execute 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 frequent heating dilemmas:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for several reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This could 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—leaking out of the furnace.
It is necessary to correct water leaks promptly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Rescue Heating & Air is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
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 could be 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 mechanism.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a trained 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 widespread 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 not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to completely warm the space. A malfunctioning 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, examine the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem won’t go away, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Rescue Heating & 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 Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a professional. Check if the thermostat is set right and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the furnace.
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 a knowledgeable HVAC technician 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 cause inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your heating system.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged 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, look at your thermostat and verify 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 Rescue Heating & Air. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of additional 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 an issue with the electrical components or the blower motor. For this reason, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is better that you get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a consistent loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common problem that causes this is a malfunctioning 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.
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 refuses to turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is sending power to the unit. 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 do the job, phone an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Similar to 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, checking out the air filter and assessing 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. Symptoms 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 repaired by HVAC professionals like the team at Rescue Heating & Air.