Once you feel the first chilly notes of winter coming, it is time to turn your furnace on after several months of non-operation. However, what if you find that instead of blowing hot air, your furnace is blowing cold air? While it can be immensely exasperating to deal with a faulty furnace, do not panic just yet. As frustrating as your situation might be, there is a chance that the solution to your cold air problem is something you can do yourself. That being said, here are the most common reasons why your furnace is blowing cold air.
The Thermostat Is Set Incorrectly
Check the setting of your thermostat to see if your fan is set to auto or on if you feel a stable flow of cold air from your furnace. When you turn your furnace on for the first time after not being used for a long time and it is set to on, the furnace fan will run constantly even if your furnace is not heating air. Thus, before turning your furnace on, make sure that it is set to auto so that it will operate only when the furnace is actually turned on.
The Furnace Is Not Sufficiently Warmed Up
It is normal to feel a flow of cold air upon turning on your furnace for the first time because it needs to warm up before it can produce hot air. Think of your furnace as your faucet. It needs to warm up and expel cold water out before it can deliver hot water. This is how your furnace also operates; it should push all the cold air out before it can deliver hot air. Contact an experienced HVAC technician in Knoxville, Tennessee if you cannot seem to figure out the problem or fix the system.
The Flame Sensor Is Filthy
A pilotless ignition furnace utilizes a flame sensor for ensuring that the furnace keeps on burning once turned on. If your flame sensor is filthy, your furnace will not heat up. It could but then could turn cold in a couple of minutes. You can clean the flame sensor but only if you are 100% sure that you can do it properly and safely. Otherwise, leave the job to a pro.
The Pilot Light Has Gone Out
If you have an older furnace that is giving you cold air, the pilot light might need to be lit again. You can do this by following your furnace’s instruction manual or calling an HVAC technician. Once your pilot light has been lit but then goes out again, it might need further inspection and repair.
As you can see, you can easily deal with most of the issues mentioned above. On the other hand, if your DIY efforts do not work, you might be dealing with issues that are beyond your DIY troubleshooting skills. Cold air coming from your furnace could mean damaged ductwork, a faulty circuit board, a malfunctioning igniter, or other more complex issues that you simply cannot fix on your own. This is when you need to seek help from an HVAC specialist. A competent HVAC technician can get the root of your issues and repair them efficiently and safely.