Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to turn on your heating system when it gets chilly 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 typical furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. By noting 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Point Heating & Cooling. We can accurately identify the issue and complete 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 frequent heating issues:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for several 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 malfunctioning condensate pump. Another potential 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 important to correct water leaks quickly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Point Heating & Cooling is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
2. My Furnace Makes Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some possible 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 blocked air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It is also possible your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace does not blow hot air, it's better to contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and advise you on the proper 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 doesn’t have enough insulation, which can lead to heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To correct this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, check the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem continues, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Point Heating & Cooling, 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 Won't Work
If your furnace is not working, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a heating specialist. Check if the thermostat is set right and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the system.
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 a good idea to reach out to 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 often at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt you should exchange it for a clean one—and make sure it is pointing in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, look at 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 team at Point Heating & Cooling. Prompt 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
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of problems with the electrical elements or the blower motor. Therefore, if you notice your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is a good idea to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Noisy
If your furnace is emitting a constant loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common cause of this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can create a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit a squealing or rattling noise.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to contact 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 working. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse that controls the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't fix the problem, you can check 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, call a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is on but Not Igniting
Similar to a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be the result of a plugged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other likely causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Symptoms of these include the furnace continually attempting 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 solved by HVAC pros like the team at Point Heating & Cooling.