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 affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the cause, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is vital in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By watching 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 a professional HVAC company like Miller Climate Control LLC. We can accurately pinpoint 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 prevalent heating problems:
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 completely draining away. This may be due to a blocked 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—escaping from the furnace.
It is necessary to correct water leaks promptly to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Miller Climate Control LLC is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some possible 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 mechanism.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a trained HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and recommend 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 is lacking insulation, which can result in 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 generate enough heat to completely warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To address this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, check the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Miller Climate Control LLC, 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 calling a professional. Check if 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 make sure power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't ignite, the problem may be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to consult a seasoned 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 multiple times at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills 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 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 be sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, go to your thermostat and make sure 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 Miller Climate Control LLC. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid 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 a symptom of problems with the electrical components or the blower motor. Because of this, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise continues, it is better that you employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is emitting a consistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common cause of this is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to 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 won't turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. 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 examine 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 do the job, contact a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Similar to 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 potential causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly making an attempt 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 very easily repaired by HVAC specialists like the team at Miller Climate Control LLC.