Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw 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, 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 noting the furnace's behavior, listening for strange 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 a reputable HVAC company like Air Alliance Team. We can accurately diagnose 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 frequent heating issues:
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 effectively draining away. This might be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a broken 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—escaping from the furnace.
It is imperative to manage water leaks promptly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Air Alliance Team 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 could be a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a plugged 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 a good idea to contact a professional HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and suggest 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 result in heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to adequately 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 protect your home. Also, examine the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem lingers, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Air Alliance Team, who can assess your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or modifying 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 contacting a professional. Ensure 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 no heat, the problem may be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's best to reach out to a knowledgeable 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 frequently at short intervals instead of running in regular cycles like it should. This can lead to inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your unit.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out 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 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 best to call experts like the team at Air Alliance Team. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid more 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 sign of an issue with the electrical elements or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear 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 contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a persistent loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common cause of this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can create a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible 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 contact 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 preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't fix the problem, you can check the furnace's power switch or emergency shutoff switch to ensure they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t work, contact 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 the result of a dirty air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, examining the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs 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 specialists like the team at Air Alliance Team.