Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air (And Other Signs It's Time To Get It Looked At)
One thing’s for certain: Your furnace should be keeping you warm — not blowing cold air. Here are the most common signs of a faulty furnace.
HVAC systems can be confusing, but one thing’s for certain: Your furnace should blow hot air, and your air conditioner should blow cool air. That’s common sense, right? Most folks are aware of these two appliances, as well as their uses. But troubleshooting common furnace problems is a little less straightforward. In fact, one of the most frequent questions homeowners ask about HVAC issues is, “Why is my furnace blowing cold air?” That’s definitely a sign something’s wrong with your furnace!
Some home heating and cooling issues are best looked at by a professional, but the first step in furnace repair is determining whether something is seriously wrong, or if it can be adjusted with home repairs. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common indications that professional furnace repairs are needed.
1. Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?
There are a few major reasons why your furnace is blowing cold air. Some are easy to pinpoint and can even be fixed yourself. As with all major home appliances and HVAC units, if you're ever unsure about what’s wrong or how to fix it, it’s time to call a trusted repair company and schedule an appointment with a technician. Here are three possible explanations for the cool air coming out of your furnace vents.
Is The Furnace Fan On?
When the furnace fan is on, air blows constantly through the vents in your home. Furnaces aren’t running 24 hours a day (unless you’re constantly increasing the temperature in your home). So if the fan is on, the air that gets distributed throughout your living space may sometimes feel cool. When the furnace kicks on, the air you feel should be warm. If this cycling bothers you, simply turn the fan to “auto” rather than “on.”
Is The Furnace Filter Dirty?
A dirty furnace filter is the root cause of many problems. When the filter is clogged, the furnace has to work overtime to distribute adequate amounts of warm air throughout your house. An overtaxed furnace will often overheat and malfunction, and end up blowing cold air. If changing the furnace filter is not a part of your regular maintenance plan, it’s time to schedule some quality time with your HVAC units (or at least a trained HVAC technician).
Is the Furnace Pilot Light Off?
Do you have a gas furnace? Gas furnaces with pilot lights sometimes need to be re-lit. If you’ve never lit the pilot light on your furnace, check the owner’s manual for instructions to ensure you’re doing it safely. Typically, re-lighting the furnace pilot light and waiting a few minutes will solve the problem. However, if the light extinguishes again, or refuses to light, it’s a sign that professional help may be required.
2. Why Isn’t My Furnace Blowing Any Air?
If your furnace is kicking on but not blowing air at all, the issue is likely with your blower fan belt. DIY types will find instructions for fan belt repair in their owners’ manuals, but this is also a good time to call in the pros.
3. Why Is My Furnace Making Weird Noises?
Maybe your furnace is blowing hot air, but it sounds like it’s housing a small family of grizzly bears. First, check to ensure there are no grizzly bears. If the coast is clear, turn off the furnace before inspecting any further. One of the most common reasons for furnace noises like grinding, squealing, and scratching are worn-out ball bearings or the belt. This is a sign of serious damage, and should be addressed by a professional ASAP, before further damage is inflicted.
If your furnace is blowing cold air, not blowing any air at all, or making odd noises, it’s important to schedule a repair as soon as possible. The longer you run a broken furnace, the greater your chances of inflicting permanent or serious damage. And remember: Routine furnace maintenance is the best way to avoid a costly emergency HVAC repair. Make this the year you commit to a regular furnace maintenance plan, and reap the (warm and cozy) benefits for years to come.
Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 249-4898 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.