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 impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, knowing how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. By monitoring 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 reputable HVAC company like Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc.. We can accurately identify the issue and complete 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 prevalent heating issues:
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 may be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another potential cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can result in water—as well as dangerous gases—escaping from the furnace.
It is imperative to manage water leaks promptly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
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 are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a plugged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety measure.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a skilled HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and advise you on the appropriate 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can result in heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to completely warm the space. A defective 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 insulate your home. Also, check the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem lingers, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc., who can look over your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or modifying 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 heating specialist. Ensure the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the furnace.
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 best to reach out to a seasoned HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it should. This can lead to inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your furnace.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out 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. If that doesn’t do the trick, check your thermostat and make sure 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 Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc.. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent more complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of an issue 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 persists, it is a good idea to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a constant loud noise, it's important to address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common reason 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 better 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 preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't fix 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, phone 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, checking out the air filter and taking a peek at 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. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly making an attempt to ignite without success, no 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 Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc..