Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick 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 cause, knowing 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 services. By observing 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 uncertain about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Childress Heating & AC. We can accurately diagnose the issue and perform 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 common 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 completely draining away. This might be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a failing condensate pump. Another possible cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can lead to water—as well as dangerous gases—leaking out of the furnace.
It is imperative to address water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Childress Heating & AC is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
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 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 precaution.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's better to contact a professional HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and suggest 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 doesn’t have enough 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 make enough heat to completely warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce uneven heating.
To correct this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, examine the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem won’t go away, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Childress Heating & AC, who can inspect 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 couple of steps you can take to troubleshoot before contacting a professional. Ensure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the system.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to reach out to a seasoned 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 as opposed to running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your heating system.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out 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 be sure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, 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 best to call experts like the crew at Childress Heating & AC. 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
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of an issue with the electrical elements 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 better that you get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a persistent loud noise, it's important to handle the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common cause of this is a failing 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 best 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 desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't fix 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, phone a heating specialist 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 caused by a plugged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking out the air filter and looking over 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. Symptoms of these include the furnace continually 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 simply fixed by HVAC pros like the team at Childress Heating & AC.