Why is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air? We Answer Your FAQs
This winter, Alaskans are spending more time indoors than ever before. It’s not just because the temperatures are plunging below freezing and the snow is dumping; hunker down orders mean we all need to stay indoors to do our bit to protect our families and our community.
It’s all fine, until your furnace starts blowing cold air. There are a number of reasons why this might be happening, so we’ll run you through some quick troubleshooting steps you can try to get it back up and running before you ask your local HVAC technicians to take a look.
Know you need the experts? Give us a call.
Troubleshoot a furnace blowing cold air
If you’re lucky, the issue will be one you can quickly fix before your home loses too much heat. Here are the basic steps to run through to try and fix your home heating system:
- Check the thermostat.
Everyone has a preferred temperature. Some like it a little warmer; others like it a little cooler. The first step, if you notice a cold stream of air inside your home, is to check the thermostat. Chances are someone has adjusted it slightly without you knowing, or bumped it on accident, so make sure you check this before you call your local HVAC company and pay for them to check it out.
- Check the fan.
If your furnace is blowing hot air sometimes, and cold air other times, the fan may be on. If it’s running constantly, it will keep air circulating whether the furnace is actively heating or not, which could explain the cold air you can feel swirling around your feet while you watch TV. Switching the setting to “Auto” instead of “On” means it will only blow air when it’s heating.
- Check the filter.
Dirty filters can also affect the quality of the warm air circulating your home. If it’s clogged with things like dust or pet danger, it can restrict the airflow, and potentially trip the high limit switch. If your heat exchanger gets too hot, it will automatically shut your furnace down. You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to change the filter, or call your local HVAC technicians.
- Check the pilot light.
If you have an older model of furnace, it probably relies on a small blue flame that burns constantly. If it goes out, your burners won’t light, meaning you won’t have any heat. Start by turning your thermostat off, then check your instruction manual and follow the steps. If the flame won’t light, it keeps going out, or it’s burning yellow instead of blue, it’s time to call for help. It could mean it’s time to consider upgrading your furnace to a newer model.
- Reset your system.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you have a newer model with an electronic control panel, it’s possible the system may have glitched. Just like restarting your computer, often the simplest fix is to power your system down, wait five minutes, and simply start it back up again.
Furnace still blowing cold air?
If your furnace is still blowing cold air, it sounds like you’re going to need some professional help to get things working. It could be an issue with the gas valves, a faulty thermocouple, a clogged oil filter, a faulty ignition, leaking ducts, a compromised sensor, or a dirty burner. Your technicians will be able to tell you whether it will need to be repaired or upgraded.
Obviously, if you’re having these issues in the middle of an Alaskan winter, it’s an emergency. Your first priority, after calling your local HVAC service, should be to keep your family warm, so start by layering on clothes and making some hot drinks. Here at Moore Heating, we’ve been serving the Anchorage community for more than 30 years, and our trained and experienced technicians are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so they can quickly handle situations like this.
The best way to avoid breakdowns is to keep your furnace properly maintained. We’ve developed a 15-5 Preventative Maintenance Program that offers discounts during spring that will ensure your furnace is serviced, repaired, and ready to fire up again in the fall. This will allow you to save up to 15% on annual maintenance while avoiding potentially expensive emergency repairs. You can also view the 21-point Service Check List we run through to make sure everything is running smoothly.
There’s nothing worse than having your furnace fail on the coldest night of the year. If you want to make sure your furnace keeps working seamlessly, you know where to find us.
Ready to talk maintenance or upgrades? Call our team today.