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My Furnace Blows Cold Air. Do I Need to Call For Furnace Repair in Rochester, NY?

If your furnace still blows cold air after you check a few possible causes, call an HVAC professional. It’s a sign something is wrong. And, it can damage your system if you ignore it.

Getting a sudden blast of cold air out of your vents in the winter can be more than irritating. Fortunately, you can do some troubleshooting before you call for a furnace repair.

In this article, we’ll explain why this happens and what to check if you notice it. And, if you can’t take care of the problem yourself, call us at (585) 641-3080.

We’ll look over your system and get your home warm again as soon as possible.

Call Us About Your Furnace 585-641-3080

Why Does My Furnace Blow Cold Air?

Ultimately, the problem is that your furnace is overheating. Even though its job is to produce warm air, it’s not designed to contain it. Eventually, those high temperatures will cause damage, so the system blows cold air to cool it down. But, that will become a problem after a while.
While the cool air prevents damage in the short-term, it’s not meant to keep doing it. Subjecting the inner components to sudden, sever temperature swings from very hot to very cold can cause permanent damage. In these cases, it’s also common for the heat exchanger to crack.

The heat exchanger is a part deep inside the unit where combustion occurs. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of the combustion process. 

Usually, that poisonous gas gets expelled safely through the exhaust. But, if the heat exchanger cracks, the gas can seep into your home. Unfortunately, you can’t fix a heat exchanger. It’s one ceramic piece, so there’s no swapping out one part of it. And, it’s too risky to patch.

When the heat exchanger is cracked, the furnace must be replaced. It becomes a much bigger issue at that point - which is why you should take things seriously if you start feeling cold air through the vents.

So, let’s talk about how to troubleshoot the problem.

Three Reasons Your Furnace Blows Cold Air

If your furnace blows cold air, it’s overheating. Usually it’s because the air isn’t circulating properly. Three common reasons are:
  1. A Vent is Blocked
  2. The Air Filter is Clogged
  3. The Furnace is Oversized
Let’s take a closer look.

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A Vent is Blocked

This is an easy fix — if you don’t mind moving furniture. Every vent in your home should have a foot of space around it. That’s so the air can circulate once it comes out.

When you block the vent, the air backs up into the system. Sometimes, it’s not too much of a problem. You may end up with some weak air circulation further down the line, or just some uneven temperatures. But, if the treated air has nowhere to go, it ends up staying in the unit. And, that causes the system to overheat. So, check each vent in the house. You may have to rearrange a room or two, but it’s better than buying a new unit.

The Air Filter is Clogged

Next, head down to the furnace and pull out the air filter. If you don’t know what or where it is, that may be what’s causing the problem. The air filter is a screen that prevents allergens, dust, dirt, pet dander, and other debris from getting into the system and circulating through the air.

You place it in a slot between the ductwork and the unit, where it traps all that junk. But, eventually, it becomes clogged.

When that happens, it won’t let enough air pass through, either. Then, you’ll end up with weak air circulation — and heat that doesn’t have enough pressure to move through the system.

Generally, you should change your air filter every three months. That’s once a season. So, pull yours out, especially if you haven’t in a while. The cloth screen was white when it went in. Is it gray now? If so, it’s probably been in there way too long.
Try changing it out more often. That may take care of the problem.

How To Change Your Filter

The Furnace is Oversized

Bigger isn’t always better — especially when it comes to HVAC. An oversized furnace blasts too much warm air into a small space too quickly. All that heat has nowhere to go, so it gets backed up. Meanwhile, the thermostat may suddenly show a drastic rise in temperature. That can also kick on the cold air.

How to Tell If Your HVAC System is Oversized

You can’t know for sure if this is the problem just by looking at the system. Instead, you’d need to know how many BTU’s (British Thermal Units) your home needs, and how many your system provides.

To do this right, you need a professional load calculation that factors in square footage, insulation, room layout, and other factors. It’s pretty specific, so we’re not surprised at how often we find homes with HVAC systems way too powerful than they need.

One other sign that this may be the problem is if the system short-cycles. Typically, it runs for 10 to 15 minutes a few times an hour. If it keeps going on and off more often than that, then the problem could be the thermostat reaching its call too soon and shutting down the unit. But, then the temperature drops because it didn’t get enough heat to sustain the warmth.

Your Oversized HVAC System Can Be A Problem

When to Call For Furnace Repair When Your Furnace Blows Cold Air

If your furnace blows cold air, check the air filter and vents. If the filter is clear and each vent enough space, call for a furnace repair. Otherwise, you run the risk of a breakdown or cracked heat exchanger.
In the Rochester area, call Airquip for HVAC service from a trusted, reliable company. We’ve been providing professional, personalized service for over 25 years.
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