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Furnace “Whys”

Most of us take our Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems for granted. We don’t give them a second thought until something unusual happens or one of the components doesn’t function the way we expect it to. Here are some commonly asked questions and possible resolutions or reasons…when in doubt, call your trusted HVAC contractor for some professional advice and assistance.

WHY IS MY FURNACE SO LOUD?

Possible causes of whistling noises could be gaps in the duct, a clogged filter, or ducts that are too small. You can easily change out the filter but should consider calling in the experts to determine any issues with your ductwork.

Rattling from vibrations could be from loose ducts. You can try adding more screws or duct tape to tighten things up.

A loud noise right as the furnace kicks on may be due to a serious problem referred to as delayed ignition. This is not a common problem but is one that requires an immediate call your HVAC specialist.

WHY IS MY FURNACE LEAKING?

The leak could be a result of a clogged floor drain. Check it and clean out any debris or sludge.

The condensation tubing could be clogged or have a break somewhere in the line. Depending on your level of comfort, you can check it out and replace it yourself or call in the experts.

If your furnace has a humidifier that could be leaking inside your furnace. This is an example of an issue that would easily be caught during an annual HVAC service check.

WHY IS MY FURNACE FILTER SO DIRTY?

Has it been colder than usual? The filter gets clogged more quickly the more the system is running so you may find you need to change out your filter a bit more often as the temperatures drop.

Time for honesty – did you skimp the last time you bought a filter? Winter months, when the house is all closed up, are a great time to invest in higher-quality filters. If you aren’t sure, your trusted HVAC professionals will be happy to give you suggestions on which choice of filters might be best for your system.

If your furnace fan is set to “on” instead of “auto” it is running 24/7 and will collect more contaminants.

WHY ISN’T MY THERMOSTAT WORKING?

Is your thermostat wired to the house’s electrical system or battery powered? Don’t roll your eyes – have you checked the battery? Always a great place to start. If you have an annual house “thing” you do, consider also making that the “change the thermostat battery” time of year as well.

Open the thermostat and check for debris or dust that may be clogging it. Gently blow on things and try it again.

Dig out the thermostat manual. It may have, inadvertently, been set on a timer and needs to be reprogrammed.

Double-check that the breaker is on and that the fuse for the furnace is intact. Issues with either of those usually mean it is time to call in the professionals.

WHY IS MY FURNACE BLOWING COLD AIR INSTEAD OF HEAT?

Is the thermostat fan control set to “on”? If so, it just continuously pushes air through the house even if the furnace isn’t heating the air at that time. Setting the control to “auto” will help.

Your furnace may have overheated due to a clogged air filter and the blower is on to cool down the furnace. Check the filter, replace it if it is dirty. If that doesn’t solve the problem, call your HVAC contractor. 

Have your system inspected periodically. Regular maintenance can help you stay ahead of costly repairs. The HVAC professionals at GVs Heating and Cooling have been providing high-quality service to the residents of Chicago’s North Shore for almost thirty years and are ready to help you with all of your HVAC needs. Contact us today!