Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to start your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the cause, knowing 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 services. By noting 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 uncertain about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Bain Heating & Air Conditioning. We can accurately diagnose the issue and execute 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 prevalent heating issues:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for many 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 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 imperative to manage water leaks promptly to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
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 include a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a blocked 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 a good idea to contact a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. They can give an accurate assessment and advise you on the appropriate 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 lacks insulation, which can cause heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is struggling is because it’s too small for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in 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, look at the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem lingers, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, 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 Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a professional. Check if the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't power 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 blow hot air, 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 often at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can lead to inefficiency, more energy use 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 exchanged 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, go to your thermostat and make sure it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s smart to call experts like the crew at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of an issue with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. Because of this, if you hear 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 contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is making a constant loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common cause of this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another common cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may make a squealing or rattling noise.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's best to get in touch with a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Is Not Turning On
If your furnace refuses to 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 controlling the furnace is working right. If these basic checks don't address 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 get the job done, call 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 clogged 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 are a faulty igniter or malfunctioning 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 repaired by HVAC specialists like the team at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning.