Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to start your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, 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 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 uncertain about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like B & B Heating & Cooling. We can accurately identify the issue and execute 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 prevalent heating dilemmas:
1. The Furnace Is Leaking
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water produced during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This could be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning condensate pump. Another likely cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can lead to water—as well as dangerous gases—escaping from the furnace.
It is important to deal with water leaks quickly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at B & B Heating & 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 are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a skilled HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and advise you on the appropriate 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can cause heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to completely warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce uneven heating.
To correct this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, examine the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem won’t go away, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as B & B Heating & Cooling, 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 Isn't Running at All
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 fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power 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 be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's a good idea to reach out to an experienced HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Short Cycles
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off often at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your unit.
If you think 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 dirty you should exchange it for a clean one—and ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, check your thermostat and verify it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s smart to call experts like the crew at B & B Heating & Cooling. Immediate 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 Is Making a Humming Noise
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of problems with the electrical components or the blower motor. Therefore, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is a good idea to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Noisy
If your furnace is emitting a consistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common problem that causes this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can generate 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 best to get a hold of a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Can't Turn 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, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is functioning properly. 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 get the job done, phone a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that will not 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 assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other potential causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Symptoms 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 very easily addressed by HVAC pros like the team at B & B Heating & Cooling.