Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to turn on your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, knowing 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 support. By noting 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Covington Air Systems. We can accurately identify the issue and execute 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 common 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 produced during the combustion process is not effectively 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 result in water—as well as dangerous gases—leaking out of the furnace.
It is necessary to address water leaks immediately to prevent more damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Covington Air Systems is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
2. My Furnace Blows Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some potential causes for a furnace blowing cold air or not blowing hot air include 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 measure.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's better to contact a professional HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and recommend the appropriate solution.
3. My Furnace Is Not Keeping Up
A frequent reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks 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 adequately warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in insufficient 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, examine the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Covington Air Systems, who can assess your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or modifying 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 pro. Check if the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's best to contact an experienced 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 often at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can lead to 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 Covington Air Systems. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent more complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Won't Stop Humming
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of a malfunction with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. For this reason, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise continues, it is a good idea to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is emitting a persistent loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common problem that causes this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential 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 best to get a hold of a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning 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, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't address the problem, you can check 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 a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Like a a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a dirty 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. Signs 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 addressed by HVAC specialists like the team at Covington Air Systems.