Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flick the switch to power up 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 issue, knowing 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 support. By observing 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like The Frazier Company. We can accurately pinpoint 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 frequent heating dilemmas:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for several reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not properly draining away. This might be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a broken condensate pump. Another potential 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 address water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at The Frazier Company 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 also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety measure.
If your furnace does not 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 advise you on the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Is Not Keeping Up
A widespread reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home lacks insulation, which can lead to heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s not big enough 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 correct this, first assess 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 still function.
If the problem won’t go away, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as The Frazier Company, 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 Is Not Working
If your furnace is not working, there are a couple of steps you can take to troubleshoot before phoning a heating specialist. Ensure the thermostat is set correctly and the batteries are good. If the furnace still doesn't start, 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 lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's best to consult a knowledgeable HVAC professional for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, it 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 result in inefficiency, higher energy bills and potential damage to your unit.
If you suspect your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to check your unit’s air filter. Filters should be switched out when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is plugged with dirt 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 smart to call experts like the staff at The Frazier Company. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid further complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
When your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a symptom of problems with the electrical hardware or the blower motor. Because of this, if you detect your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is a good idea to get in touch with a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is emitting a persistent loud noise, it's important to handle the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common problem that causes this is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can create a grinding or screeching sound. Another common cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce 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 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 that goes to the furnace is working right. 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 get the job done, contact a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that won't turn on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be the result of a dirty 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 likely causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Symptoms of these include the furnace repeatedly 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 simply solved by HVAC pros like the team at The Frazier Company.