Do you have a heater that blows cold air every time it kicks on? That can be a serious problem, especially if you live in an area that gets extremely cold in the winter. While the issue may be so serious that you need professional heating repair service, very often these issues can be solved with some quick troubleshooting. The simplest explanation is often the cause of furnace issues. Below are three easy troubleshooting steps you can take to see if you can resolve the issue yourself. If these steps don't work, then it's probably time to call in professional help.
Check the thermostat. A thermostat issue is usually the simplest explanation. Check your thermostat to make sure that it is set to the auto setting and that the set temperature is higher than the temperature in the home. When you have it on the auto setting, the heat will only kick on if the temperature in the home falls below your designated temperature. It will then automatically blow hot air to heat up the home.
However, if you have the fan set to "on," then the fan may blow continuously, whether hot air is needed or not. If the fan is blowing when hot air isn't needed, then it will blow cold air.
Inspect your ductwork. Another common issue is that hot air is escaping through a hole somewhere in your ductwork. Cold air then gets inside your duct and ends up coming out of your vents. Check your vents to see whether all of them are blowing cold air. If it's only a few specific vents, try to find the ducts that connect to those vents and look for holes or gaps in the seams. You may need to go in your basement or into your attic to complete this.
If there is a hole, you may be able to replace it by purchasing a replacement duct segment at your local hardware store. Also, if the problem is a loose seam, you may just need to replace some screws to get the duct back together. However, if you don't feel comfortable repairing the duct, call in a professional to do the job.
Replace the filter. Your furnace pulls in cold air from your home and then reheats it before blowing it out the vents. However, before the air is reheated, it goes through a filter that pulls out dirt and other contaminants. That filter needs to be replaced regularly, otherwise it will get clogged and won't allow air to get through. That means that there's not much hair getting reheated, which means the vent will likely just blow cold air instead. Try replacing your filter and then see if that helps the situation.
If none of these steps work, contact a heating installation professional. They can inspect your furnace and recommend the best solution.