What Does It Mean If Your Furnace Is Blowing Unheated Air?

Posted on: 19 April 2016

Your furnace may be blowing cold air, but that doesn't mean that your appliance is having a devastating technical issue. The following FAQ will help you troubleshoot the problem, so you can potentially fix your issue without calling in an expert.

What does it mean if your furnace is blowing unheated air?

Some common reasons that your furnace might be blowing cold air includes:

  • Your air filter is dirty. All the air in your HVAC system flows through the air ducts and through the blower. Between the blower and the return air duct is a filter that cleans the air of dirt and pollen. If your air filter is dirty, this could be causing your furnace to work harder than necessary in order to force the air out through your ducts. When this happens, the furnace can become overheated, causing the unit to shut down.
  • Your HVAC fan is on. Your HVAC system comes with a blower that can circulate air throughout your home. If the fan is left in the "on" position, it will still blow air through your home even after the furnace has heated your home to the proper temperature.
  • Pilot light has gone out. If the pilot light on your furnace is no longer lit, your furnace won't be able to warm up the air.
  • A technical issue. If none of the problems above are the reason that your furnace is blowing cold air, the unit could be experiencing a technical problem that needs to be solved by a furnace repair professional.

How can you find out what the problem is?

You can find out the problem by troubleshooting the unit and eliminating the possibilities. Start by checking the thermostat to see if the fan is on. While you're there, you can also check to see if the thermostat has been set to "auto," which would force the air conditioner to turn on if your home heats up greater than temperature setting on the thermostat.

Next, check the air filter in your HVAC system. Turn off the furnace and remove the air filter from its slot. If the filter is dirty, take it to the hardware store and purchase a replacement. Put the air filter back in its place, then turn the furnace back on. If the furnace still isn't working, check the pilot light. Instructions for checking and lighting your pilot light are generally posted on the furnace, but if they're not, check with your appliance's owner's manual.

If none of this fixes the problem, then it's time to call a residential furnace repair person. Call a reputable HVAC specialist in your area, like those at United Heating Cooling and Plumbing Inc or a similar location, for more information.


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After we purchased our very first home, I realized that I was really struggling with paying for the heating and cooling costs. We were spending much, much more money every month than we thought we were going to, and it was really difficult to figure out what we should do. We thought long and hard about how to minimize our expenses, but we didn't really get anywhere until we talked with an HVAC contractor. He mentioned specific, actionable ways to lower our bill, such as programming our thermostat and using more of our ceiling fans. This blog is all about lowering your bill.

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