Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to turn on your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is crucial 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 uncertain about the problem or don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately diagnose the issue and complete 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 problems:
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 properly draining away. This could be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another potential 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 immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning 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 are 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 measure.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a skilled HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and recommend the correct 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 is lacking insulation, which can cause heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to effectively warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce insufficient heating.
To handle this, first assess 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 won’t go away, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning, who can look over 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 few steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a heating specialist. Ensure 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 verify power is reaching the furnace.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may be with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's best to reach out to an experienced HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, that means it is turning on and off frequently at short intervals instead of running in regular cycles like it should. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed regularly 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, go to 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 Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning. Quick 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
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of problems with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. Because of this, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is best to get in touch with 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 address the issue quickly 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 possible 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 best 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 desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse controlling the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't take care of the problem, you can examine the furnace's power switch or emergency shutoff switch to ensure they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t work, phone a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Similar to a furnace that will not on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a dirty 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 likely causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continually attempting 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 easily fixed by HVAC pros like the team at Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning.