Troubleshooting Furnace Issues: The Top 10 Most Common Furnace Problems

When your furnace is working properly, it can keep the temperature inside your home or business at a comfortable, cozy level. However, while your furnace is designed to last a long time, there is always the possibility that something can go wrong with it.


Few things are more frustrating than a furnace problem. Understanding some of the most common furnace problems can help you know what to look for and when it’s time to call an HVAC system expert for your furnace issues. Below, we’ll discuss ten of the most common problems and how to troubleshoot those furnace issues! Always consult your owner's manual before doing anything to your furnace system. If you continuously run into furnace issues but are not ready to replace, it may be time to consider preventative maintenance contracts so you aren’t left out in the cold.



A Guide for Furnace Troubleshooting: A Look at the 10 Most Common Problems

When your furnace is working properly, it should keep the temperature inside your home or business at a comfortable, cozy level and be continuously circulating heated air.

However, while your furnace is designed to last a long time, there is always the possibility that something can go wrong with it.

Few things are more frustrating than a broken furnace. Understanding some of the most common furnace problems can help you know what to look for and when it’s time to call an HVAC company to troubleshoot furnace issues.

Some furnace issues are more common than others. In some cases, what appears to be a major problem may be resolved with simple furnace repairs, while others may require more furnace troubleshooting or the assistance of a furnace repair expert.

Let’s look at some of the most commonly encountered furnace issues to keep you prepared for the cold winter weather ahead. Again, consult your owner's manual before you begin working on your furnace.


1. Not Producing Heat

Your furnace has only one job: to distribute warm air throughout your home so that you and anyone else who lives there can be comfortable when it is cold outside. When a furnace fails to produce heat, it is often cause for concern, but in many cases, the issue is minor. One reason your furnace may be blowing air but not producing heat is if your thermostat has a fan setting. When the fan setting is turned, the furnace will blow air through the home, but the air will not be warmed.


2. Constantly Turning On and Off

If a furnace begins short cycling or frequently turns on and off without ever reaching the set temperature, it is usually a sign that something is wrong. During a short cycle, the furnace will only run for a few minutes before shutting down. A lack of airflow in the furnace, which causes it to overheat, is frequently the cause of a short cycle.


3. Not Turning On Automatically

The thermostat is another thing that could keep your furnace from turning on. However, if you've noticed that it's not turning on and your house is getting a little chilly, there could be a problem. As with other furnace issues, the issue could be a simple fix or a sign of a larger problem with the heating equipment.


4. Stopped Working Completely

Your furnace had just begun a cycle when it abruptly shut down before the room reached the desired temperature. A furnace may stop working because it tripped the circuit breaker, there was an issue with the pilot light or ignition, airflow was restricted, or some other issue triggered a safety switch that shut down the system, as with other furnace problems. If your furnace has shut down and you can't figure out why the best option you can do is to call in a trained technician to inspect it and diagnose the problem.


5. Strange Noises

Most furnaces make some noise while running. When the thermostat reaches a certain temperature and sends a signal to the furnace, you may hear clicks, and you are likely to hear a "whooshing" noise as the air travels through your ductwork. However, some noises may indicate that something is wrong with your system and that the equipment needs to be inspected, repaired, or possibly replaced.


6. Water Leaks

Certain types of furnaces can develop condensation leaks, causing water to pool around the furnace's base. Water can pool around the bottom of the furnace if the condensation pipe becomes clogged or develops a leak. If this occurs, you should contact a technician to investigate.


7. Thermostat Isn't Working

A broken thermostat is one of the most common furnace problems. If your fan is constantly running, it's a sure sign that your thermostat isn't working properly. This causes your thermostat battery to run and your furnace to work inefficiently. Set the fan to auto and observe whether it runs continuously at all heating settings.


8. Cracked Heat Exchanger

This is an expensive issue. Your heat exchanger is responsible for separating the warming flame from the running air, keeping your furnace operating safely. Unfortunately, if you overheat your home or fail to replace your furnace filter regularly, your heat exchanger may crack. If the heat goes out, call a furnace technician to diagnose the issue. Typically, this necessitates the replacement of the heat exchanger.


9. Pinging or Rattling

Is there a popping, pinging, or rattling noise coming from your furnace? These could be caused by a variety of issues. Rattling noises are usually caused by loose furnace panels that need to be tightened. Pinging or popping noises are most likely caused by ductwork, and they will expand and contract depending on whether you are heating or cooling your house.


10. Dirty Furnace Filters

If you've noticed that your furnace isn't producing enough heat in the house as well as it used to, your furnace filter could benefit from a cleaning or replacement. You can test the airflow by putting your hand in front of the vents and feeling how much air is coming out. For your air filter, pull it out and see if it looks physically dirty. We will say that a dirty filter is one of the most common issues on this list! To avoid future problems, set up a regular maintenance plan with a reputable HVAC technician. A professional will regularly check furnace filters so it's one less thing you have to remember!



Swaim Electric Heating & AC: Professional Assistance for Your Furnace

Nothing is more annoying than waking up feeling cold in the middle of the night. While it’s one thing to go to sleep with more blankets, it’s a completely different story if your furnace isn't working properly or showing signs of failure.

If your furnace is due for repair, or it’s time for a professional to inspect your furnace for an annual inspection, knowing which furnace repair expert to call is crucial.

Swaim Electric Heating & Air Conditioning has been in business for over 40 years and understands the value of providing good value along with honest, dependable service.

As a family-owned and operated business, our team at Swaim Electric Heating & Air Conditioning is invested in your satisfaction every step of the way, from fixing a more conventional gas furnace to servicing a complex heating system. Our team of Trane Comfort Specialist technicians allows you to buy, install, and service your Trane home comfort system with the same team instead of contacting multiple companies to help with furnace troubleshooting.


To learn more about how to keep your HVAC system in the best condition possible and save money on costly and inconvenient repairs and replacements, contact Swaim Electric Heating & AC today.


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