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 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 vital in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. By watching 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 not sure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like North Mechanical Heating and Cooling. We can accurately identify the issue and perform 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 common heating dilemmas:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
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 may be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a broken 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—leaking out of the furnace.
It is necessary to deal with water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at North Mechanical Heating and Cooling is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
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 blocked air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety mechanism.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's better to contact a trained HVAC tech 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 common reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks insulation, which can lead to heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to effectively warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause uneven heating.
To deal with this, first check 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 make sure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem won’t go away, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as North Mechanical Heating and Cooling, who can look over 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 pro. Ensure the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the unit.
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 contact a seasoned HVAC professional 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 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 believe 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 dirty you should exchange it for a clean one—and make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, go to 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 North Mechanical Heating and Cooling. 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
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of a malfunction with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. Because of this, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is best to employ 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 right away to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common reason is a failing 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.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to get a hold of a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning On
If your furnace will not turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't resolve 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, call an expert 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, inspecting the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other potential causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously trying to ignite without success, an absence of heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be easily fixed by HVAC professionals like the team at North Mechanical Heating and Cooling.