Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick 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 cause, 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 observing 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 uncertain about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Solar Air Inc.. 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 many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not effectively draining away. This could be due to a plugged 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—coming out of the furnace.
It is important to correct water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Solar Air Inc. is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
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 could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety mechanism.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's better to contact a trained HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and advise you on the appropriate 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 lead to heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to effectively warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause inconsistent heating.
To address 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, check the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Solar Air Inc., 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 Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before contacting a pro. Ensure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea to contact a knowledgeable HVAC technician 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 instead of running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can cause inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your heating system.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is dirty you should exchange it for a clean one—and be sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, look at 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 a good idea to call experts like the staff at Solar Air Inc.. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid 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 problems with the electrical parts or the blower motor. Because of this, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is making a constant loud noise, it's important to handle the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. 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 produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to get in touch 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 functioning. Then, verify that 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 examine 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 get the job done, call a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Like a a furnace that will not on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be the result of a plugged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, examining the air filter and looking over your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other potential causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Symptoms 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 simply solved by HVAC specialists like the team at Solar Air Inc..