Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to turn on your heating system in the fall 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 essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. By observing the furnace's behavior, listening for strange noises and checking for signs of damage or blockage, you can narrow down the possible causes.

If you're uncertain about the problem or don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable 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 up and running 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 might be due to a blocked 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—leaking out of the furnace.

It is important to address water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Myers Furnace Company is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.

2. My Furnace Blows 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 blocked air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety measure.

If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's best to contact a trained HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and advise you on 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 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 not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.

To deal with this, first check your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, check the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries are working.

If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Myers Furnace Company, 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 a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a heating specialist. Make sure the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure 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 best to consult a knowledgeable HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.

5. My Furnace Short Cycles

If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off frequently at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your heating system.

If you believe 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. 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 staff at Myers Furnace Company. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of further complications and high energy bills.

6. My Furnace Hums All the Time

When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of problems with the electrical hardware 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  contact 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 promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards.  One common problem that causes this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can create a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce a squealing or rattling noise.

Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to consult with a heating and cooling specialist.

8. My Furnace Can't Turn On

If your furnace refuses to 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 controls the furnace is sending power to the unit. 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 work, phone a heating specialist for furnace repair.

9. My Furnace Won't Ignite

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, checking out the air filter and taking a peek at your circuit breakers are a good place to start.

Other common causes of a furnace not igniting could be a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace continually making an attempt to ignite without success, an absence of 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.