Is your furnace blowing cold air this winter? HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) issues can be frustrating because your home comfort and convenience depends on everything functioning properly. There are several reasons your furnace may be putting out colder air than expected. Let’s take a look at causes you can fix, and when you should contact Wyckoff Heating & Cooling for assistance.
- The thermostat is set to “On.” Is the furnace’s blower constantly running? You may have noticed air in your home seems cool, but oddly your home is maintaining its set temperature. Check your thermostat to ensure the fan setting is set to Auto rather than On. Why? If your thermostat fan setting is set to On, the furnace blower will run even when your furnace isn’t heating the air. The air you feel coming out of your vents (when the furnace is not running) will seem cool since it’s at room temperature.
- The furnace overheated. If you noticed your furnace started distributing cold air and then shut down altogether, the system may have overheated. The most common cause is a dirty air filter.Dirty air filters restrict airflow into your furnace, causing it to work overtime in an effort to heat your home. Overworked means overheating, and ultimately will result in the limit switch, a safety control mechanism, to shut off system burners. The blower will keep working in an attempt to cool the furnace.
What can you do to fix the issue? Take a few minutes to check and replace your furnace air filter. Wait to see if your furnace begins to distribute warm air again, but don’t ignore the problem. Overheating damages the system’s heat exchanger, a costly repair.
- The pilot light is out. After you have checked your thermostat setting and air filter, check to see if the pilot light is out on your gas furnace. There are a few ways you can resolve the issue. First, relight the pilot light. It may stay on after your first attempt and your heating will be restored immediately.However, if the pilot refuses to light, check to ensure gas is flowing into the furnace. You can do this by inspecting the gas valve switch. The switch should be in the “On” position or parallel with the gas supply pipe. If you confirm the switch is on, but still cannot get the pilot to light, clean the pilot to allow gas to get through.
If the pilot lights initially, but will not hold a light, there may be an issue with the thermocouple. This is the copper piece the pilot light typically touches. The thermocouple may need adjustment or replacement. Contact a Wyckoff technician for assistance.
- Your ventilation system is unbalanced. If you have a new home, you may have a different issue than those living in older homes. New, energy-efficient homes are sealed so effectively the Environmental Protection Agency requires a whole house ventilation system, with dedicated ducting, to aid in indoor air quality. There are four basic mechanical whole-house ventilation systems – exhaust, supply, balanced and energy recovery. Each system pulls outdoor air in to be heated for your home comfort. If you have a new home, contact a Wyckoff professional to inspect your whole house ventilation system.
- Damaged, corroded or collapsed ductwork. Holes and leaks in air ducts can make it seem like your furnace isn’t working. Ducts are the path warm air must travel to heat your home. If that path isn’t clean, clear and free of obstructions, cold air can get in, while the warm air escapes. Contact Wyckoff Heating & Cooling for ductwork inspections or concerns.
- Your furnace is the wrong size. If your furnace is improperly fitted for your home, size could be the cause of your cold air. Too small of furnace cannot effectively heat your home. Too large of furnace will cycle on and off. Have an HVAC technician out to help you determine the right fit for your home.