When those chilly nights arrive, you want to know you can rely on your heating system. However, there are times when the heater blows out cold air from the vents. This situation may be annoying, but the solution is often a simple fix, so don’t panic. In most cases, you can correct the problem by yourself. However, if these quick fixes don’t remedy the issue, you may have to call a professional HVAC technician to handle the job. If you’re experiencing cold air problems with your heating system, here are a couple of tips.
Thermostat Settings Need Adjustment
It may seem like a silly problem, but many homeowners forget to set their thermostats back to heat after the summer. If there is cold air blowing from the vents in the summer, you don’t think twice about the settings. Before you call a repair company, you want to check that the thermostat is set to blow warm air into your home.
Wrong Fan Settings
Wrong fan settings can cause problems with the furnace. Furnaces use a fan to push warm air throughout your ducts. For those homes with cold air blowing into the house, you need to check the fan button for your system. If the button is positioned to the “on” setting, you need to switch it over to “auto.” When it is set to “on,” the fan will continuously operate throughout the day. With this setting, the furnace burners will shut off as the heating cycle ends. However, your fan will continue to operate. Since the furnace is no longer producing heat, the air will feel cold.
These settings are very important for your system. The thermostat should be switched to the heat setting, and you will want to set the fan to “auto.” The “auto” setting allows the fan to operate when the heating system is producing heat. If this step has not fixed your problem, it may be time to call a professional to inspect the system. You might have another issue causing the furnace to produce cold air.
Leaky Air Ducts
If your system’s settings are correct, there might be other issues causing your furnace to produce cold air. You may want to check your ductwork. For most systems, there are ducts traveling throughout your home. They take the hot air from the furnace and distribute it around your home. A leak in your ductwork means that cold air can get sucked into your house. As the cold air mixes with the warm air, the air will be cooler than normal.
Leaking ductwork can cause other problems around your home. You’ll probably notice your cooling and heating system struggles to reach the desired temperature in your rooms. There might even be individual rooms that can never cool down or warm up. These spaces might feel stuffy or have an excess of dust in the air. Finally, leaky ductwork can cause your energy bills to spike. If you’re noticing these issues around your home, it could be the result of leaky ductwork.
While you may want to tackle this problem by yourself, a home’s ductwork needs to be inspected by a professional. A trained technician will examine your ducts for any signs of leakage. For those small leaks, the technician can usually repair a single leak in the same visit. However, any excessive leaks will require a complete resealing of your ductwork system.
Limit Switch Problems
Limit switches can cause problems with your furnace. There are a few symptoms associated with this problem. When the system starts, the air coming from the vents will feel very chilly. The air may eventually warm up, but then the furnace could produce cold air again. Your fan will operate, but it gets cut off between the heating cycles. If this is the case with your home, the limit switch might be the cause of the problem.
The fan’s limit switch is located under the hood of the furnace. It is responsible for turning the fan on and off. When it stops working, the fan and furnace will have an irregular heating cycle. Under normal circumstances, the switch allows the burners to warm up before the fan is activated. The fan will continue to operate until the burners have cooled down. With this process, the system can avoid overheating. You will want to check that the limit switch is set to the correct position. If there is cold air coming from your vents, you might have to replace this component.
Finally, your furnace might be overheating. There are a couple of ways to know if this is your issue. A furnace that blows out hot and cold air might be the result of overheating. If your furnace randomly shuts off, then it could have overheating issues. For those homes that have quick heating cycles, it is often an issue with an overheating furnace.
If the furnace starts to overheat, the heat exchanger is getting too hot in your system. When that happens, the fan limit switch will shut down those burners. However, the fan continues to operate until the heat exchanger cools down. Once the exchanger cools down, the furnace may turn on to warm your home. You will notice that your heater might be operating in quick on/off cycles. The air vents blow out cold air from the fan since the furnace is no longer producing heat.
There are a few ways to fix this issue. You’ll want to check the air filters in your home. Filters with excessive dust and debris must be replaced. A clogged filter will restrict the amount of air that flows through your furnace. When the airflow is blocked, then the furnace can overheat.
You should also check all those supply vents around your home. If the vents are blocked, then excess pressure builds up in the duct system. All that extra pressure can put a strain on the furnace blower. In turn, the system will start to slow down, and it will not push out air over the heat exchanger. When the heat exchanger cannot cool down, it will overheat. An air filter replacement and open vents should resolve these issues, but you may continue to have problems with your system. In those cases, you need to schedule a service call with a trained HVAC technician.
We Can Help With Your Furnace Issues
Located in Hanover, MD, Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating is a locally owned business. We specialize in residential and commercial heating, cooling, and ventilation services. If you’re having cold air issues with your furnace, our technicians are ready to help. With our extensive experience, we’ll find a solution to your heating, cooling, and ventilation problems. If you would like to schedule a service call for your Hanover home or business, give Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating a call today! We’d be happy to serve you!