Many across the U.S. believe furnaces are more prevalent in northern state homes than down south. Unfortunately, the warm weather that grows our exceptional peaches doesn’t last year-round in Richmond Hill, GA. If you live in the area, you know when the 40-degree winter temperatures start seeping into your home, you need artificial heating to get you through the season.
Professional maintenance and repairs keep your unit in top condition, helping you avoid or alleviate common furnace problems before they worsen. For Richmond Hill’s trusted furnace repair, trust Georgia Air Cooling & Heating to solve the issues listed below and much more.
1. Lack of Heating Power
When your furnace lacks heating power, it blows either cold air or no air at all. The first thing a specialist checks when air comes out chilly is buildups in the system that restrict airflow or limit heating. Since heat originates from the igniter flame that lights the burners in a natural gas furnace, grime buildup on the rim of the pilot mouth creates a dull spark that effortlessly goes out.
Other furnaces use a flame detector rather than a pilot light, but the same rules apply. If the flame detector has dirt or dust buildup, it won’t light. The air then passes through the combustion chamber without heating, redirecting cool air into your home.
Not only will a professional clean your heating components but your air filters as well. Air filters trap dust, dander, and other allergens that float in the air so that the furnace doesn’t suck in and redistribute these contaminants into your home. Unfortunately, if you don’t clean or replace your filters every three months, heavy accumulation limits the controlled air that passes through, causing little to no air output.
Other reasons for your furnace running but not producing your desired temperature include the following factors:
- A broken blower fan doesn’t distribute controlled air: Dirty filters damage the limit switch that signals the fan to function.
- The thermostat is set inaccurately to a cooler temperature or is faulty: Your thermostat may give false readings or send the wrong signals to your furnace regarding when to power on and off.
- A low gas supply can’t fuel your furnace: Furnaces cease working with little fuel available, so a low supply prevents the unit from undergoing a complete heating cycle.
2. Furnace Doesn’t Power On
The only thing worse than your furnace powering on without providing comfort is not powering on at all. Usually, readjusting a minor component helps to get your furnace back on track, such as turning your thermostat to a warm setting as you step into fall. You should also try flipping the circuit breaker off and on or opening the gas line, but if these modifications don’t work, you may have a technical problem.
Among our top five common furnace problems, this issue has the most causes and sometimes results in the need for a new unit. However, before looking into your favorite brands for a new system, call a certified technician to carefully examine your furnace.
Clogs in your unit, whether in your air filters, coils, or air ducts, cause your system to work harder to output your desired temperature. This occurs because each part struggles to work past the buildup, causing premature deterioration in your system. Not only does this cause your unit to overheat and increase your electric bills, but your unit eventually shuts down and requires a costly repair or replacement.
Other causes for your furnace not powering on includes the following:
- A faulty ignition, flame sensor, or pilot light: When you hear a clicking sound from your unit, but it doesn’t turn on, these heating components may be broken or worn.
- Your thermostat is broken or needs a battery replacement: If your thermostat doesn’t turn on, it can’t send signals to your furnace to turn on.
- A dirty or malfunctioning blower motor: The motor sucks in and redistributes the air, but if it’s clogged, it won’t send enough air to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger then overheats and shuts down your entire unit.
3. Furnace Is Long Cycling
If your furnace cycles longer before shutting off, it might take forever to create a comfortable atmosphere. Long cycling could signal that you have an undersized unit working harder to warm your home, resulting in long heating durations. If you call a professional, they’ll measure your home in square inches and use a BTU calculator to determine an appropriately sized unit.
If your unit is the correct size for your home but still long-cycles, dirty filters likely restrict airflow. When little controlled air comes from your vents, it’ll continue running until your indoor temperature matches your thermostat setting, which takes longer. Only when it finally heats your home does your thermostat send signals to your furnace to turn off.
Your furnace may also long cycle when:
- Your defective heat exchange isn’t providing enough heat
- The thermostat gives false lower readings and keeps your system running longer
- Inefficient duct systems or long duct passageways cause the air to lose momentum or seep out before reaching your household rooms
4. Furnace Is Short Cycling
If your system short cycles, your furnace heats your home within minutes and shuts off immediately. Your home may feel toasty when this happens, but receiving your monthly utility bills will feel like a cold shower since the constant powering on and off draws more electricity.
Like long cycling, short cycling may originate from an inadequate unit size. If your furnace is too big for your space, you’ll notice this concern from the moment you first purchase your system. Numerous other furnace issues also develop this short-cycling concern.
- Dust and dander buildups within the system cause overheating, which forces the unit to shut off immediately for safety reasons.
- An incorrectly performing thermostat gives higher readings, saying your house is warmer than it feels.
- A damaged electronic system glitches and powers off your unit frequently.
5. Your Unit Is Producing Loud or Unusual Noises
Noises remain one of the common furnace problems that immediately become a nuisance. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all residents take action once unusual sounds develop.
However, you shouldn’t confuse problematic noises for normal furnace functions. For instance, you’ll hear a popping or clicking noise each time your furnace powers on because your burners are igniting. If these noises crescendo into a louder banging noise or refuse to die away as your furnace cycles, you may have dirty burners that cause gas buildup or an igniter that refuses to light.
Banging in your air ducts is also typical as the metal sheets expand and contract, causing a popping sound. Still, this should only be audible as your unit powers off, and the metal cools down and contracts. If you hear the noise constantly alongside rumbling or rattling, you may have debris in your air ducts that need professional and intricate vacuuming.
Some other noises that should turn your attention toward common furnace problems include the following:
- Wheezing or hissing occurs when your furnace forces air through tight or clogged spaces like dirty air filters.
- Squealing or squeaking means parts like the fan belt is loose or damaged, or other components need lubrication, like the shaft bearings or motor.
- Humming or buzzing derives from loose screws or contraptions that vibrate when the system is on.
6. Alarming Smells Are Coming From Your Unit
Furnaces shouldn’t emit smells, but it’s common for them to produce a dust-burning odor after firing up for the first time in a long time. This occurs because dust settles into moving parts, including the heat exchanger and blower motor, and without proper pre-season cleaning, it’ll burn the dust once it starts functioning. However, this smell should dissipate after a few minutes of your first use.
Unfortunately, if the burning smell persists or smells strong, you may have a wiring concern. If your furnace wires become frayed or get too hot, you may more specifically notice a burning plastic smell. Otherwise, it may be a metallic smell from scorching metal components rubbing or grinding against one another. If this occurs, you should turn off your unit and contact a professional immediately.
For Peachy Furnace Repairs, Reach Out Today!
Although these represent the top six common furnace problems we regularly see, plenty of other concerns stem from inadequate furnace maintenance. Whether or not you found your concern on this list, trust us to examine your unit thoroughly and determine the appropriate course of action to get your furnace back on its feet.
Our five-star services have earned us the spot as the #1 HVAC company in Richmond Hill and surrounding areas. From emergency furnace repair help to AC installations and vent cleaning, our trained technicians use top-of-the-line tools and equipment to get the job done right each time.
For more on common furnace problems or to schedule an appointment with a licensed and certified contractor in Richmond Hill, GA, call 912.513.3756. Our Georgia Air Cooling & Heating team is ready to help!