During a blustery Pacific Northwest winter, your residential or commercial furnace has a big job: to keep your your family, employees, or customers warm and comfortable. The last thing you want to feel is cold air coming out of your vents. If this happens, you might panic, thinking the machine is broken. Here are a few reasons why your furnace might be blowing cold air and what you should do.

Reason #1: There might be a clogged filter.
Air filters play a critical role in the overall function of your furnace. When was the last time you changed them or cleaned them? Dirty air filters clog with dust, pet hair, dander, and other harmful particles that restrict airflow. This not only causes problems with running the machine, but it can cause it to run longer and use more energy. If this happens continuously, the furnace could overheat and only bring cold air in. You should clean or replace your air filter every other month. This keeps things running at peak efficiency and will also lengthen the lifespan of the system.

Reason #2: Your thermostat might be set wrong.
Check to ensure your thermostat is set to ‘auto’. If you’re only using the ‘on’ function, then the furnace could be running even when it’s not heating the air. Keeping things set to ‘auto’ means the fan will only run when the furnace heats the air. Also, this can help save energy and keep your utility bills from increasing in the winter.

Reason #3: The furnace isn’t warmed up.
It’s normal for furnaces to blow cool air after initially turning it on. That’s because it takes a few minutes for the air to warm up and push through the vents. In other words, don’t expect instant heat the moment you turn it on. Think of it like letting the water in the shower or bath tub heat up. It gradually gets warmer. If the air is still cold after a few minutes, there might be a problem and it’s best not to keep it running. Instead, turn it off and call our team at Specialty Heating and Cooling to describe the issue and schedule a service call.

It’s a good idea to troubleshoot before getting nervous about a potentially broken machine. But if these above tips didn’t work, there may be something more serious going on. Perhaps it’s a broken circuit board, a faulty igniter, or something else. Don’t attempt a do-it-yourself repair. Our professional team of licensed technicians at Specialty Heating and Cooling will determine the problem and discuss your options. Maybe a simple repair is needed, or a furnace replacement is the best choice. So, contact us today for help with your questions or to schedule a service call. We’re standing by to help!


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