Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick 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, knowing 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 observing 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Lanz Furnace and Fireplace. We can accurately pinpoint 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 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 created during the combustion process is not effectively draining away. This could be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning 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—coming out of the furnace.
It is important to deal with water leaks promptly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
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 include 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 trained HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and suggest the appropriate 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 lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to completely warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in inconsistent heating.
To correct this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, look at the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem won’t go away, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Lanz Furnace and Fireplace, 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 Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before contacting a heating specialist. Make sure the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to consult an experienced HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off often at short intervals instead of running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, go to your thermostat and look to see if it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s a good idea to call experts like the crew at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace. Quick professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of more complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of problems with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. For this reason, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise persists, it is better that you contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is emitting a constant loud noise, it's important to address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common problem that causes this is a failing 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 best to get in touch with 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 desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. 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 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 work, phone a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Like a a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a plugged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking the air filter and looking over your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously making an attempt to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be simply solved by HVAC pros like the team at Lanz Furnace and Fireplace.