Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to power up your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can strike your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, learning how your heating system works and a little bit about some common furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional services. By watching 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 uncertain about the problem or don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a professional HVAC company like Edington Heating & Cooling Inc. 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 prevalent heating dilemmas:
1. Your Furnace Leaks Water
A furnace can leak water for a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water produced during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This might be due to a plugged condensate drain line or a failing 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—coming out of the furnace.
It is imperative to correct water leaks quickly to prevent additional damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Makes Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some possible 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 clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It is also possible 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 professional HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and suggest the proper solution.
3. My Furnace Can't Keep Up
A frequent reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home is lacking insulation, which can result in heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to adequately warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To handle this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to protect your home. Also, examine the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries aren’t dead.
If the problem won’t go away, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Edington Heating & Cooling Inc, who can look over your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or changing your thermostat settings.
4. My Furnace Won't Work
If your furnace is not working, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a professional. Check if the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are fresh. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure power is reaching the furnace.
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 an experienced HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Short Cycles
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off frequently at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it is designed to do. This can lead to inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your furnace.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed on a regular basis 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. Next, check 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 Edington Heating & Cooling Inc. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of additional 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 hardware or the blower motor. For this reason, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise persists, it is best to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Makes Loud Noises
If your furnace is making a consistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common problem that causes this 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.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to contact a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Can't Turn On
If your furnace will not turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, check if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't take care of 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 get the job done, phone a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is on but Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that won't turn 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 looking over your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other potential causes of a furnace not igniting could be a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Signs 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 simply addressed by HVAC professionals like the team at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc.