7 common furnace issues with solutions

furnace issues with solutions

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Nasir Hanif

A newly purchased furnace keeps the home environment warm and comfortable without any problems. Its performance can degrade after continuous usage for a prolonged period. Therefore, some issues will appear too. Fortunately, most furnace problems are not serious and can be solved by ourselves. Even if we fail to do so, experts can fix them at a minimal charge. Let’s jump into the examples:

Restricted airflow

When dust and other airborne substances gather around the filter, it gets clogged gradually. Such a filter restrict airflow until you clean it. Because of the narrow air passage, the furnace has to work harder to deliver heat, and thus, the utility bill rises unexpectedly. It can lead to overheating sometimes. If this problem continues after cleaning filters, replace them with new ones.

Malfunctioning thermostat

When we adjust thermostat settings, it should respond within a minute. If it takes way longer, something is wrong. The potential culprits are dirt buildup inside parts, loose wires, and incorrect placement. So, open the thermostat carefully, clean it with a gentle brush, and check the wiring. If everything sounds fine, re-install it properly away from heat sources. 

The furnace is not turning on

It typically happens when the heating system doesn’t get sufficient voltage to operate. Check whether it is properly plugged and the circuit breaker is running well. Try shutting off your circuit breaker and restarting after half an hour. Sometimes, the reason can be expired thermostat batteries. In this case, changing the batteries might work. 

Water leakage

Have you ever seen a pile of water around the furnace and wondered why is my furnace leaking water? Clogged or damaged condensation drains can be responsible for it. Other possible causes are broken humidifiers and faulty primary/secondary heat exchangers. Repairing these parts is hard to do for inexperienced homeowners. A certified technician can help them out. 

The furnace is not heating at all although it’s on

If your house is too big, warming up the whole living space will take longer. However, if the furnace is not producing heat at all, that’s a different matter. Check your thermostat mode and make sure that it is programmed to heat. Then, test the circuit connected to your furnace. It should be in the ON position. 

Unusual noises

First, listen to the sound carefully; is it grinding, banging, whistling, scraping, rattling, or high-pitched squealing noise? Furnaces generally make a banging sound with ignition problems due to a small explosion inside. If damaged ball bearings are the cause, you’ll hear a scraping noise instead. Besides, problematic blower belts produce squealing sounds, whereas clogged filters might result in whistling noise. Most of these situations require professional restoration. 

Yellow flame

The flame color of a clean burner is blue. On the other hand, yellow flame indicates a dirty furnace. Since dirt can damage the internal and external mechanical parts, you need to clean them quickly. The cleaning procedure is as follows: turn off the system, get rid of surface dust, remove its control panel and blower, and clean inside carefully. Lubricate if needed, connect everything again, and activate the burner. 

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