Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to start your heating system when the weather gets cold and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. By observing the furnace's behavior, listening for strange 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 Booneville Heating & Cooling. We can accurately diagnose the issue and complete 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 common 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 produced during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This may 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 lead to water—as well as dangerous gases—escaping from the furnace.
It is important to deal with water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Booneville Heating & Cooling is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
2. My Furnace Makes Cold Air/Lack of Heat
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 could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety mechanism.
If your furnace does not blow hot air, it's better 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 Struggles to Keep Up
A widespread reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks insulation, which can cause heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce insufficient 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 make sure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem won’t go away, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Booneville Heating & Cooling, who can assess 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 few steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a pro. Check if the thermostat is set right and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the system.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to reach out to 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 frequently at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it should. This can lead to inefficiency, increased energy consumption 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 changed on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt 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 verify 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 Booneville Heating & Cooling. Immediate 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 Won't Stop Humming
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of an issue with the electrical parts or the blower motor. Therefore, if you notice 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 Makes Loud Noises
If your furnace is emitting a persistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common problem that causes 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 produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to contact a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Won't Start
If your furnace will not turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't address the problem, you can check 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 get the job done, call 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, examining the air filter and taking a peek at your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other likely causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly 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 simply addressed by HVAC specialists like the team at Booneville Heating & Cooling.