Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to start your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect 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 vital 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 not sure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Luikart Heating & Cooling. We can accurately diagnose the issue and execute 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 problems:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This may 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—escaping from the furnace.
It is important to manage water leaks immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Luikart Heating & Cooling 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 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 measure.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a trained HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and recommend 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 is lacking insulation, which can lead to 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 malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause uneven heating.
To deal with this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, check the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem won’t go away, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Luikart Heating & Cooling, who can inspect 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 couple of steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a professional. Ensure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't turn on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure 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 better 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 frequently 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 heating system.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged on a regular basis 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. 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 staff at Luikart Heating & Cooling. Immediate 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
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of a malfunction with the electrical elements or the blower motor. Therefore, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is best to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is making a persistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common reason 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 make a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's best to get a hold of 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 good. 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 fix the problem, you can inspect 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, contact a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Similar to a furnace not turning 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 assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continually 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 fixed by HVAC specialists like the team at Luikart Heating & Cooling.