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 cause, knowing how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. By monitoring 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 unsure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Myers Furnace Company. 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 many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This could be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another potential cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can result in water—as well as dangerous gases—escaping from the furnace.
It is imperative to correct water leaks promptly to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Myers Furnace Company is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
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 plugged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It is also possible your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety measure.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's better to contact a skilled HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and suggest the proper 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 result in heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in insufficient heating.
To deal with this, first check your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, look at the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem continues, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Myers Furnace Company, who can look over 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 phoning a heating specialist. Check if the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to consult an experienced 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 is designed to do. This can cause inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you think 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 clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and be sure it is pointing in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, 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 a good idea to call experts like the crew at Myers Furnace Company. Quick 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 an indication of an issue with the electrical parts or the blower motor. Therefore, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is a good idea to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a consistent loud noise, it's important to handle the issue promptly 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 common cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to contact 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 right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, check 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 do the job, contact a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be the result of 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 common causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly 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 addressed by HVAC professionals like the team at Myers Furnace Company.