Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to start your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the cause, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By monitoring 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 lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like B&D Air Conditioning. 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. Your Furnace Leaks Water
A furnace can leak water for several reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This might be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a failing 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 further damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at B&D Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some possible 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 mechanism.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's better to contact a professional HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and suggest the proper solution.
3. My Furnace Can't Keep Up
A frequent reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home is lacking insulation, which can result in heat loss and lower 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 uneven heating.
To address this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, check 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 B&D Air Conditioning, 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 some steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a professional. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly 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 blow hot air, the problem may be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to contact a knowledgeable HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Turns On and Off
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 lead to inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your furnace.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged regularly to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt 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 smart to call experts like the team at B&D Air Conditioning. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent more complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Hums All the Time
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of problems with the electrical parts or the blower motor. For this reason, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise persists, it is a good idea to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Makes Loud Noises
If your furnace is producing a persistent loud noise, it's important to handle the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common reason is a broken blower motor or fan, which can create a grinding or screeching sound. Another common 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 better to contact a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning On
If your furnace refuses to turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse controlling the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can examine 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 on but 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 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 are a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously attempting 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 specialists like the team at B&D Air Conditioning.