Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to start your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can strike your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By monitoring 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 uncertain about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc.. We can accurately diagnose 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 a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water released during the combustion process is not completely 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—leaking out of the furnace.
It is necessary to correct water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
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 is also possible your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety measure.
If your furnace does not blow hot air, it's best to contact a trained HVAC specialist 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 lacks insulation, which can lead to 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 produce enough heat to effectively warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in inconsistent heating.
To deal with this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, examine the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc., who can inspect 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 couple of 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 start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the system.
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 contact a knowledgeable 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 multiple times at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can result in inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out when they are dirty 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 smart to call experts like the team at West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc.. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of further 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 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 persists, it is best to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is making a constant loud noise, it's important to address the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common cause of this is a broken 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 better to consult with 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 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 take care of 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 work, contact a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace not turning on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a clogged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking the air filter and taking a peek at your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace repeatedly making an attempt to ignite without success, a lack of heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be simply repaired by HVAC professionals like the team at West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc..