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 affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, learning 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 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 aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating. We can accurately identify the issue and execute the required repairs or maintenance, so we can get your furnace ready to go ASAP.
Here's more about what causes a furnace to leak water and eight other prevalent heating problems:
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 properly draining away. This might be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a malfunctioning 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—escaping from the furnace.
It is imperative to manage water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating 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 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 won’t blow hot air, it's best to contact a trained HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and advise you on the proper solution.
3. My Furnace Is Not Keeping Up
A widespread reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home is lacking insulation, which can lead to heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause inconsistent heating.
To handle this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, check the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating, who can look over your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or adjusting 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 right and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the unit.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to contact an experienced HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off often at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it should. This can lead to inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your heating system.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed 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 make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, look at 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 staff at Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating. Immediate 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 Is Making a Humming Noise
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of problems with the electrical components or the blower motor. Therefore, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise persists, it is best 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 address the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common reason 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 make a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better 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 desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't take care of the problem, you can inspect 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 work, phone an expert 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 clogged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking out the air filter and looking over your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace repeatedly attempting to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be easily solved by HVAC pros like the team at Enertek Air Conditioning & Heating.