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 cause, knowing how your heating system works and a little bit about some typical furnace problems is essential in deciding whether you can troubleshoot on your own or if you need professional support. By monitoring 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 uncertain about the problem or aren't equipped with the necessary skills and tools, it's best to call a reputable HVAC company like Airmax Long Island. We can accurately identify the issue and complete 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 problems:
1. Your Furnace Leaks 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 effectively draining away. This could be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a malfunctioning 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 imperative to manage water leaks quickly to prevent more damage to your furnace. Consulting with a professional HVAC technician like the crew at Airmax Long Island is recommended to diagnose and resolve the issue properly.
2. My Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air/Lack of Heat
Some possible causes for a furnace blowing cold air or not blowing hot air are a malfunctioning thermostat, a problem with the pilot light or ignition system, a blocked air filter, or a malfunctioning heating element. It is also possible your furnace is overheating and shutting off as a safety precaution.
If your furnace does not blow hot air, it's a good idea to contact a skilled HVAC specialist to diagnose and fix the problem. They can offer an accurate assessment and recommend the correct solution.
3. My Furnace Struggles to Keep Up
A frequent reason your furnace isn’t keeping up on a cold day is that your home doesn’t have enough insulation, which can cause heat loss and decreased efficiency. Another reason your furnace is having difficulties is because it’s not powerful enough for your home, so it can’t make enough heat to completely warm the space. A malfunctioning thermostat or ductwork problems can also result in inconsistent heating.
To handle this, first look at your home’s insulation level and make sure it’s enough to insulate your home. Also, examine the thermostat to ensure it’s set right and the batteries are working.
If the problem continues, consider consulting with an experienced HVAC company, such as Airmax Long Island, who can assess your system, determine the root cause and provide solutions such as furnace replacement, repairing ductwork or adjusting 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 contacting a heating specialist. Ensure 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 verify power is reaching the unit.
If there is power but no heat, the problem may lie with the ignition system or gas supply. In that case, it's better to consult a seasoned HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair.
5. My Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your furnace is short cycling, this means it is turning on and off frequently 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 unit.
If you believe your furnace is short cycling, the first step is to look at 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, 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 Airmax Long Island. Immediate professional attention will help restore the proper functioning of your furnace and reduce the chance of additional complications and high energy bills.
6. My Furnace Won't Stop Humming
Whenever your furnace is making a humming noise, it often is a sign of an issue with the electrical elements 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 continues, it is a good idea to contact 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 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 make a grinding or screeching sound. Another potential cause is a loose or worn-out belt that may make a squealing or rattling noise.
Given the complexity of furnace systems and potential risks involved, it's better to get in touch with a heating and cooling specialist.
8. My Furnace Can't Turn On
If your furnace refuses to turn on, make sure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature, is in heating mode and the batteries are good. Then, see if the circuit breaker or fuse that goes to the furnace is sending power to the unit. If these basic checks don't resolve the problem, you can examine 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, contact a professional for furnace repair.
9. My Furnace Won't Ignite
Much like 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, inspecting the air filter and assessing your circuit breakers are a good place to start.
Other common causes of a furnace not igniting are a faulty igniter or malfunctioning flame sensor. Signs of these include the furnace continuously trying 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 repaired by HVAC specialists like the team at Airmax Long Island.