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, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent 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 peculiar noises and checking for signs of damage or blockage, you can narrow down the possible causes.
If you're unsure about the problem or lack the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like J & J Air Conditioning. We can accurately identify 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 dilemmas:
1. My Furnace Is Leaking Water
A furnace can leak water for a number of reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not effectively draining away. This may be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a failing 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—leaking out of the furnace.
It is necessary to manage water leaks promptly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Contacting a professional HVAC technician like the crew at J & J Air Conditioning is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Not Blowing Hot Air
Some potential 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 blocked air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It also may be your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's best to contact a skilled HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can provide an accurate assessment and advise you on the appropriate 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 is lacking insulation, which can lead to heat loss and lower efficiency. Another reason your furnace is falling short is because it’s not big enough for your home, so it can’t produce enough heat to adequately warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also cause insufficient heating.
To address this, first assess your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, look at the thermostat to make sure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem won’t go away, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as J & J Air Conditioning, who can assess 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 contacting a pro. Check if the thermostat is set properly and the batteries are not dead. If the furnace still doesn't start, check the circuit breaker or fuse box to verify power is reaching the unit.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may rest with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to contact a seasoned HVAC technician 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 is designed to do. This can lead to inefficiency, higher energy bills 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 changed regularly 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. Second, 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 J & J Air Conditioning. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of further complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Is Making a Humming Noise
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of an issue with the electrical components or the blower motor. For this reason, if you detect 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 Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is making a constant loud noise, it's important to deal with the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common cause of this is a failing blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to 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 will not turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the preferred temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, verify that the circuit breaker or fuse controlling the furnace is functioning properly. If these basic checks don't address the problem, you can examine 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, contact a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Much like a furnace that will not on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a plugged 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 could be a faulty igniter or nonfunctional flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace repeatedly 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 fixed by HVAC professionals like the team at J & J Air Conditioning.