Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to start 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 frequent 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 peculiar 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 a professional HVAC company like Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately diagnose the issue and perform 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 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 produced during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a broken 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—coming out of the furnace.
It is important to address water leaks quickly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
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 could be a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace won’t 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 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can result in 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 produce enough heat to completely warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in inconsistent heating.
To handle this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, look at the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem won’t go away, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 Won't Work
If your furnace is not working, there are a couple of steps you can take to troubleshoot before contacting a professional. Ensure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the system.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, 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 Turns On and Off
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals instead of running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can lead to inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed when they are dirty 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. Second, 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 Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Won't Stop Humming
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of an issue with the electrical elements or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise persists, it is better that you 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 problem that causes this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may make a squealing or rattling noise.
Given 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 Can't Turn On
If your furnace won't turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't fix the problem, you can check 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, contact an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Won't Ignite
Like a a furnace not turning on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a plugged 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 could be a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Symptoms of these include the furnace continuously making an attempt 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 very easily solved by HVAC pros like the team at Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning.