Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick 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 typical furnace problems is vital in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. By watching 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 not sure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc.. We can accurately identify the issue and complete 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 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 could be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a failing condensate pump. Another potential 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 important to address water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
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 are 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 does not blow hot air, it's better to contact a skilled 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 widespread reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks insulation, which can lead to heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce insufficient heating.
To address this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, look at the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem continues, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Hix Air Conditioning Service, 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. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't turn on, 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 be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea to consult a seasoned HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off frequently at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it should. This can cause inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your unit.
If you think 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 dirty you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, check 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 crew at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc.. Immediate 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
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of an issue with the electrical parts or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear 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 handle the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common cause of this is a malfunctioning 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 best to get a hold of a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning On
If your furnace won't 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 controls 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 ensure 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 Is Not Igniting
Similar to a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a dirty 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 likely causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continually trying to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be very easily addressed by HVAC pros like the team at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc..