Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to start your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can impact your home at any moment.
Regardless of the cause, knowing 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 assistance. By monitoring 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 unsure about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Forster Heating. We can accurately identify the issue and execute 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 prevalent 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 completely draining away. This could be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another possible cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can be responsible for water—as well as dangerous gases—leaking out of the furnace.
It is important to deal with water leaks quickly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Forster Heating is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
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 could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's best to contact a professional HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and recommend 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 result in heat loss and reduced efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To correct this, first assess 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 won’t go away, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Forster Heating, who can assess 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 contacting a heating specialist. Ensure the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the unit.
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 contact an experienced HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, this 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 cause inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed on a regular basis to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is dirty you should exchange it for a clean one—and be sure it is pointing in the right direction. If that doesn’t do the trick, check your thermostat and look to see if 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 Forster Heating. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent more 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 sign of an issue with the electrical components 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 persists, it is better that you employ 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 right away to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common problem that causes this is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to get in touch with 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 preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are working. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse controlling the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can inspect 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, phone a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Like a a furnace that will not 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. Symptoms of these include the furnace repeatedly making an attempt to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be easily repaired by HVAC specialists like the team at Forster Heating.