Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to start 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 problem, knowing how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is essential 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 not sure about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling. We can accurately pinpoint the issue and execute the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace ready to go 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 created during the combustion process is not effectively draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a malfunctioning 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 necessary to manage water leaks immediately to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
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 are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace does 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 suggest the correct 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 lacks insulation, which can cause heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short 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 result in uneven heating.
To correct this, first check your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, look at the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem won’t go away, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling, who can look over your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or adjusting 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 phoning a pro. Ensure the thermostat is set right 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 unit.
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 contact a knowledgeable HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can cause inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed 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 make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, 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 team at Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent additional 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 symptom of problems with the electrical elements or the blower motor. For this reason, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise continues, it is best to 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 address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common cause of this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit 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 right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't fix the problem, you can inspect 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, contact a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace not turning on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a clogged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking out the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other potential causes of a furnace not igniting could be a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs 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 Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling.