Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to turn on your heating system when it gets chilly and it won’t start, common furnace problems can strike your home at any moment.
Regardless of the issue, 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 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 uncertain about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Vogts Heating & Air. We can accurately identify the issue and complete 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. Your Furnace Leaks 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 effectively draining away. This may be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another likely 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 necessary to deal with water leaks quickly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Vogts Heating & Air is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Blows 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 is also possible your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety mechanism.
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 provide an accurate assessment and advise you on the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Struggles to Keep Up
A widespread 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 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 defective thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce insufficient heating.
To address this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, examine the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem continues, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as Vogts Heating & Air, 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 phoning a heating specialist. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't power on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure power is reaching the unit.
If there is power but your furnace won't blow hot air, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to consult a knowledgeable HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Turns On and Off
If your furnace is short cycling, it means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals rather than running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can cause inefficiency, more energy use and potential damage to your heating system.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check 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 ensure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, 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 best to call experts like the crew at Vogts Heating & Air. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and prevent additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Won't Stop Humming
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of a malfunction with the electrical parts or the blower motor. Therefore, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is crucial to take action.
If the noise persists, it is a good idea to employ a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a consistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards. One common reason is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another common cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's safer to get a hold of a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Won't Start
If your furnace refuses to turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. 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 verify they're in the "on" position and weren’t accidentally turned off.
If those steps don’t do the job, call an expert for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is on but Not Igniting
Like a 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 likely causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Symptoms of these include the furnace continually making an attempt 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 easily solved by HVAC pros like the team at Vogts Heating & Air.