Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to power up your heating system when the weather gets cold and it won’t start, common furnace problems can strike your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. By noting 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 aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Moyer Total Indoor Comfort. We can accurately pinpoint the issue and execute 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 frequent heating issues:
1. The Furnace Is Leaking
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 properly draining away. This might be due to a blocked 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—escaping from the furnace.
It is important to deal with water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Moyer Total Indoor Comfort 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 could be a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a plugged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It is also possible your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety mechanism.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's best to contact a trained HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and recommend the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Is Not Keeping 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 lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to effectively warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause insufficient heating.
To correct this, first check your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, look at the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Moyer Total Indoor Comfort, 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 Isn't Running at All
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before contacting a pro. Check if the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may be 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 Turns On and Off
If your furnace is short cycling, that means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills 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 exchanged when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure 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 smart to call experts like the team at Moyer Total Indoor Comfort. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of a malfunction with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. Therefore, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise continues, it is best to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Noisy
If your furnace is emitting a consistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common problem that causes this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may make 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 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 working. Then, see if 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 verify they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t get the job done, call a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Won't Ignite
Similar to 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, examining the air filter and assessing 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. Signs of these include the furnace continuously trying 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 easily addressed by HVAC specialists like the team at Moyer Total Indoor Comfort.