Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to start your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. By noting 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 uncertain about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling. We can accurately identify the issue and complete 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 common heating issues:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking 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 completely draining away. This may be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a failing condensate pump. Another likely 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 imperative to manage water leaks immediately to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some potential causes for a furnace blowing cold air or not blowing hot air could be 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 measure.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's better to contact a professional HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and recommend the appropriate 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 struggling is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to completely warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce uneven heating.
To deal with this, first look at 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 are working.
If the problem continues, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, 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 Is Not Working
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 right and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the unit.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to consult a knowledgeable HVAC professional 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 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 think your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged on a regular basis 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. If that doesn’t do the trick, go to 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 Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Won't Stop Humming
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of an issue with the electrical components 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 Is Noisy
If your furnace is producing a constant loud noise, it's important to address the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common problem that causes this is a malfunctioning 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.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to consult with 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 good. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can check 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 do the job, call a professional 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 the result of a dirty air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, inspecting 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 faulty flame sensor. Symptoms of these include the furnace continually 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 solved by HVAC professionals like the team at Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling.