Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to turn on your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. 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 unsure about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like Durable Service. 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 common heating issues:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not effectively draining away. This could be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another possible cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can be responsible for water—as well as dangerous gases—coming out of the furnace.
It is necessary to deal with water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Durable Service is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some likely 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 clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
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 provide an accurate assessment and advise you on the proper 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 is lacking insulation, which can cause heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in insufficient heating.
To handle 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 aren’t dead.
If the problem continues, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Durable Service, 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 a couple of steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a pro. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't turn on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the system.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to contact a knowledgeable HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, that means it is turning on and off often at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it should. This can result in inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your heating system.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged when they are dirty 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. If that doesn’t do the trick, 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 team at Durable Service. 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 an indication of an issue with the electrical parts or the blower motor. For this reason, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical 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 producing a consistent loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common cause of 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 make a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of 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 refuses to turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't fix the problem, you can examine 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 do the job, 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, inspecting the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other likely causes of a furnace not igniting could be a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously 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 repaired by HVAC pros like the team at Durable Service.