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Is Your Furnace Blowing Cold Air? Here's What To Check

by Feride Halma

If your furnace blows out cool air on a winter day, you will want to find out what is wrong right away. Since it is at least blowing air, you can rule out a few things such as a power failure, fan malfunction, or leak in your ducts. The problem is likely in your burner. There are a few different things that can cause your burner or heating element to shut down. You might be able to fix some of them on your own, but it's likely you'll need to call Climec Residential Inc. to make the repairs. Here is what you should try:

Clean The System

If air can't flow through the system very well, the burner may shut down to keep it from overheating. Clean or replace your filter if it needs it, and clean dust from the air vents on your HVAC system. Reboot your furnace by turning it off and back on to see if the air gets warm. Keep in mind, you need to wait a few minutes for your furnace to put out warm air because it will flush out all the cool air first.

Check The Thermostat

Make sure your thermostat is on the "auto" setting and in "heat" mode. In that setting, your fan only kicks on when the furnace runs, so the air that comes out is warm. If you have your thermostat dialed to the "on" setting, the fan will run constantly. During the time the furnace isn't heating, the fan blows out cool air.

Light The Pilot Flame

If you have a gas furnace, the pilot light has to be burning, so the heater can ignite. you'll need to relight it if it's gone out. If you aren't familiar with how your furnace works, have a professional help you. If you are familiar with your system, start by turning off the gas valve and waiting a few minutes for the gas to dissipate. Then turn the valve to the "pilot" setting, and push the reset button while lighting the pilot flame with a match. Once the flame is burning, turn the valve back on.

If you have your HVAC manual, be sure to read your specific instructions for resetting the pilot light. If the line is clogged or a part is faulty, the light may not stay lit. In that case, you'll need to call a contractor to make your furnace repairs.

Your furnace can develop other malfunctions that cause the heating mechanism to shut down as a safety measure. These also require the services of a professional. You can often avoid having problems like these by having your HVAC serviced before winter starts. The contractor thoroughly cleans out your system and replaces parts that are worn, so you can avoid the problem of a furnace blowing cold air when it's freezing outside.