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, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some frequent furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional assistance. 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 don't have the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call an experienced HVAC company like J.L. Brady Company LLC. 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 problems:
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 completely draining away. This could be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a failing condensate pump. Another possible 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 deal with water leaks promptly to prevent further damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at J.L. Brady Company LLC is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue successfully.
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 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 measure.
If your furnace won’t blow hot air, it's better to contact a skilled HVAC tech 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 frequent 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 too small for your home, so it can’t generate enough heat to effectively warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce uneven heating.
To handle 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 still function.
If the problem continues, consider contacting an experienced HVAC company, such as J.L. Brady Company LLC, who can inspect 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 professional. Ensure the thermostat is set properly 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 contact 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 multiple times 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 heating system.
If you think your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be changed when they are dirty to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and be sure it is pointing in the right direction. Second, check your thermostat and make sure it’s set right and the batteries are good.
If those two things don’t work, it’s a good idea to call experts like the staff at J.L. Brady Company LLC. Immediate 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
If your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is an indication of problems with the electrical elements or the blower motor. Because of this, if you hear your furnace making a humming noise, it is critical to take action.
If the noise doesn't go away, it is best to contact a professional HVAC technician.
7. My Furnace Is Making a Loud Noise
If your furnace is producing a constant loud noise, it's important to address the issue quickly to prevent further damage or potential safety risks. One common cause of this is a broken blower motor or fan, which can generate a grinding or screeching sound. Another common cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may emit a squealing or rattling noise.
Because of the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's best to consult 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 desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. 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 take care of the problem, you can check 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 do the job, phone a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Is Not Igniting
Like a a furnace that will not on at all, a furnace that isn’t igniting can be caused by a clogged air filter or a tripped circuit breaker. So, checking out the air filter and taking a peek at your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting include a faulty igniter or faulty flame sensor. Indications of these include the furnace continuously trying to ignite without success, no heat production or the furnace is making a burning or gas smell. Both of these issues can be simply fixed by HVAC pros like the team at J.L. Brady Company LLC.