Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw 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 issue, understanding 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 noting the furnace's behavior, listening for unusual 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 Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately identify 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 frequent heating dilemmas:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water produced during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a malfunctioning 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—escaping from the furnace.
It is imperative to address water leaks immediately to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some likely 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 blocked 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 give an accurate assessment and advise you on the proper 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 is lacking insulation, which can result in heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to completely warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce insufficient heating.
To handle this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, check the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem continues, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Allstar 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 pro. Make sure the thermostat is set right and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the unit.
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 a good idea to consult a knowledgeable HVAC professional 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 result in inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out 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 plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, go to 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 smart to call experts like the staff at Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of 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 symptom of an issue with the electrical components 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 get in touch with 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 deal with the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common cause of this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to get in touch 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 right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't fix the problem, you can examine the furnace's power switch or emergency shutoff switch to verify 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 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, checking 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 malfunctioning flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace continuously 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 easily fixed by HVAC professionals like the team at Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning.