Whether it’s a leaky furnace or if you flip the switch to start your heating system in the fall and it won’t start, common furnace problems can affect your home at any moment.
Regardless of the problem, understanding how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is crucial in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. By watching the furnace's behavior, listening for strange noises and checking for signs of damage or blockage, you can narrow down the possible causes.
If you're not sure about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like MPC Heating & Cooling. We can accurately diagnose 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 common heating problems:
1. Your Furnace Leaks Water
A furnace can leak water for many reasons. One possibility is a condensate leak, where the water created during the combustion process is not completely draining away. This might 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 immediately to prevent further damage to your furnace. Reaching out to a professional HVAC technician like the crew at MPC Heating & Cooling 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 clogged 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 professional HVAC tech to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and suggest 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 cause 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 produce enough heat to effectively warm the space. A broken thermostat or ductwork problems can also produce inconsistent heating.
To correct this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home. Also, look at the thermostat to see if it’s set right and the batteries still function.
If the problem lingers, consider calling an experienced HVAC company, such as MPC Heating & Cooling, 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 few steps you can take to troubleshoot before calling a professional. Ensure the thermostat is set right 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 furnace.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may rest 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 Short Cycles
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off multiple times at short intervals as opposed to running in regular cycles like it ought to. This can lead to inefficiency, increased energy consumption and potential damage to your furnace.
If you think your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to pull out your unit’s air filter. Filters should be exchanged regularly to ensure air flow, so if your furnace air filter is clogged with debris you should exchange it for a clean one—and make sure it is pointing in the right direction. Next, look at your thermostat and verify 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 MPC Heating & Cooling. Prompt professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and avoid 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 a symptom of a malfunction with the electrical components 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 making a consistent loud noise, it's important to address the issue right away to prevent further damage or potential safety concerns. One common reason is a malfunctioning blower motor or fan, which can make a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may produce a squealing or rattling noise.
Due to the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to consult with a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Can't Turn On
If your furnace won't turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the right temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are functioning. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that controls 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 do the job, call a heating specialist for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Won't Ignite
Much like a furnace not turning 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 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 malfunctioning flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace continuously 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 easily solved by HVAC professionals like the team at MPC Heating & Cooling.