Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to power up your heating system in the fall 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 typical furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By watching 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately identify 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 common heating dilemmas:
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 clogged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another possible cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can result in water—as well as dangerous gases—coming out of the furnace.
It is necessary to correct water leaks promptly to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning 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 include a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a blocked 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 does not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a trained HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and recommend 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can lead to heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To correct this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, check the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem lingers, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning, who can inspect 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 few steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a pro. Check if the thermostat is set right and the batteries are not dead. 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 rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea 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 often at short intervals rather than 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 believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, look at your thermostat and verify 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 staff at Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning. 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
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of a malfunction with the electrical components or the blower motor. Because of this, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is best to employ 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 concerns. One common cause of this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can make 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 right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't address the problem, you can examine 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 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 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 common causes of a furnace not igniting could be a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly 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 addressed by HVAC pros like the team at Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning.