Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to power up 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, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By monitoring 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 not sure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately diagnose the issue and execute 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 common heating dilemmas:
1. The Furnace Is Leaking
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This could be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another possible cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can be responsible for water—as well as dangerous gases—coming out of the furnace.
It is necessary to deal with water leaks immediately to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Blows Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some likely 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 plugged 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 will not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a skilled HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and advise you on the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Can't Keep 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 decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce insufficient heating.
To address this, first check 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 won’t go away, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning, who can assess 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 a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a heating specialist. Check if the thermostat is set right and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the system.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to consult a seasoned HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Turns On and Off
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can lead to inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your unit.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, look at your thermostat and make sure it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s smart to call experts like the crew at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of further complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of problems with the electrical elements or the blower motor. Therefore, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise continues, it is better that you get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Noisy
If your furnace is emitting a consistent loud noise, it's important to handle the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common reason is a broken 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.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to contact 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 that controls the furnace is sending power to the unit. 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 do the job, contact a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like 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 likely causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or malfunctioning 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 repaired by HVAC pros like the team at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning.