Why is my furnace blowing cold air?
With the winter season in full swing, many of us have our minds focused on one question: What can I do to stay warm? We use blankets, wear multiple layers, drink warm beverages – we’ll do anything to stave off the winter chills. Our first line of defense, however, is our home’s furnace. The last thing anyone wants during this season is for their furnace to succumb to the cold temperatures. Before you call in the professionals for some furnace maintenance, here are some tips to try if you notice cold air coming from your vents.
- Check your thermostat. Often times, the simplest solution is the correct solution. If your thermostat is switched to “On” instead of “Auto”, the fan will continuously run without providing heat. Also, check the batteries in your thermostat. Finally, if you’ve recently installed a new thermostat, it may be incompatible with your heating system. If you feel this is the case, consult an HVAC professional.
- Check your pilot light. For gas furnaces, this is another simple solution to a cold air problem. There are a variety of reasons a pilot light may have gone out, and simply relighting it will solve the cold air issue. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, however, check your gas supply to ensure enough fuel is making it to the furnace.
- Check your air filter. A dirty filter restricts air flow to the furnace, thereby causing the furnace to possibly overheat and shut down.
- Check your air ducts. This is where things get a little trickier. Holes or leaks in your ductwork can give the appearance of a furnace malfunction. Cold air from your attic or crawlspace can get in through these openings and come out your vents. Inspect your ductwork for leaks, as well as dirt and debris accumulation. Again, if this is an intimidating task, let the experts take care of it.
- Check your oil filter. For oil heaters, a clogged oil filter can be restricting your system’s efficiency. A simple swap-out for a new one may do the trick.
If you’ve run through these tips and are still having cold air issues, it may be time to call in the experts, who will be more than capable of hunting down the source of the problem.