What happens when you fire up your furnace and receive nothing but a huge blast of cold air? Worse yet, what happens when that cold air doesn’t stop and all you get is more and more unheated air circulating throughout your home? A failed furnace is a nightmare for homeowners, particularly in the midst of an east coast cold spell that could send temperatures plunging down into the 10s or even single digits.
What causes this issue and is it possible to prevent it from happening to you? In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at what can cause your furnace to fail at producing heat and some steps you can take to prevent this potentially disastrous situation from happening to you.
What Causes Your Furnace to Blow Cold Air?
You flip on your furnace and hear the blower fan turning on, but all you feel is a long blast of cold air that never warms up. Has your furnace given out for good? Can you fix this problem? The answers to these questions all depend on what actually caused the problem in the first place. A furnace blowing cold air can actually be an indicator of a number of different problems, and identifying which one you’re dealing with could be tricky if you don’t have experience working with furnaces on a regular basis.
Here are a few different problems that can cause your furnace to stop producing heat:
- Fuel supply problem: Both gas and oil-powered furnaces need a supply of fuel to produce heat. If you have a gas-powered furnace, a leak in your line, empty oil tank, or blockage in the line can prevent oil from reaching your heating element where it is consumed. With gas connections, there could be a leak in your line or blockage preventing gas from reaching your furnace. You could also have an issue with the pressure in your gas line being too low—something that can happen when you’re trying to run your stove, oven, water heater, gas dryer, and other gas-dependent appliances all at once. Most homes have a gas line that’s only large enough to supply an amount you might typically need, so any excess demand could spread your supply too thin.
- Electrical connection problem: Your furnace more than likely uses an electronic ignitor to fire up and start producing heat. If your system’s electrical connection is faulty in any way, your heater simply may refuse to start up. Your blower fan could start up and your thermostat could show that everything is working properly, but this simple fault could be preventing your furnace from producing heat.
- Bad pilot light: Has your pilot gone out? Without your pilot light, your furnace simply won’t turn on again when you need it. In many cases, relighting a pilot light is a simple matter that most people can do themselves. However, a pilot light that repeatedly and regularly goes out is one that has issues that need to be fixed.
- Bad heating element: The problem may very well be with your heating element itself. If your heating element is worn considerably or has something preventing it from successfully lighting (other than your pilot light or fuel supply), then your furnace will continually blow cold air.
Solving Cold Air Problems
So now that we’ve identified a few of the reasons why your furnace may be blowing cold air, you may be wondering what to do to fix the problem? Here are a few things we strongly recommend in order to get your much-needed warmth back for your home.
- Get a professional repair: With the exception of relighting a pilot light, all of the problems we mentioned above are something that needs to be inspected and repaired by a professional. A skilled technician can figure out the source of your problem and recommend the ideal repair solution rather than just treating the symptom and hoping the problem is solved. The sooner you call a professional, the sooner they can get to work getting your problem resolved.
- Change your air filter: You wouldn’t believe how many furnace problems can be prevented by simply changing your air filter. Everything from a lack of warm air to inconsistent heating to repeated problems can all trace their causes back at least partially to a dirty air filter.
- Schedule annual maintenance: Want to avoid the hassle of a furnace not creating heat (as well as any other problem it could face)? Annual maintenance is the solution. Annual furnace maintenance can help you save a bundle on your energy and operating costs every year as well as prevent costly breakdowns that prevent you from getting the heat you need when you need it.
Schedule a repair or maintenance service for your furnace problems by calling EnviroSafe Plumbing Heating Air Conditioning Water Treatment at (856) 878-2806 today and we’ll make sure your furnace is as dependable as you demand it to be.