Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you throw the switch to turn on 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 problem, 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 services. By watching 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Aggressive Mechanical. We can accurately diagnose the issue and complete 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 released during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This could be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another likely cause of water leakage from a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger, which can result in water—as well as dangerous gases—coming out of the furnace.
It is imperative to address water leaks promptly to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Aggressive Mechanical is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
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 clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It could also be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety mechanism.
If your furnace will not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a trained HVAC specialist 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 decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to effectively warm the space. A defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in uneven heating.
To deal with this, first check 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 see if it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem continues, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as Aggressive Mechanical, who can look over 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 some steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a pro. 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 verify 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 better to consult a seasoned 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 rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can result in inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your heating system.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged regularly to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, go to 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 smart to call experts like the crew at Aggressive Mechanical. 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 Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of problems with the electrical elements or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is important to take action.
If the noise persists, it is best to 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 deal with the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common problem that causes this is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another possible 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 safer 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 that goes to the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can check 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 do the job, phone a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like 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, inspecting the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other likely causes of a furnace not igniting could be a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously trying 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 Aggressive Mechanical.