You rush through the cold air and enter your home in California, expecting to be enveloped by a welcoming blanket of heat. But to your surprise, only cool air is blowing from your vent.

Inadequate heat is among homeowners’ top furnace problems, especially if they have high-efficiency furnaces. And seeing your furnace blow cold air falls under this category.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a guide on how to pinpoint the cause of a furnace blowing cold air, as well as how to solve this issue in Petaluma, CA.

Let’s jump in!

Malfunctioning Thermostat

One of the common causes of a furnace blowing cold air is a bad thermostat.

A home’s thermostat signals the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to release heat when the house reaches the desired temperature. The thermostat does this by messaging your system’s circuit control board.

When this occurs, the furnace’s burner and blower are supposed to be activated. However, if the furnace is producing cold air, your thermostat may be signaling for the system’s blower motor to be switched on instead of the burner.

If the burner isn’t activated, the air that enters your house from the furnace won’t be heated.

Fortunately, fixing or replacing your thermostat can easily help you to solve this problem.

Malfunctioning Pilot Light or Ignition

Another reason your furnace may be producing cold air is that your pilot light isn’t working correctly.

If your pilot light or the ignition for your electric furnace is broken, you won’t have the fire needed to heat the cold air you are trying to make warm. Note that your furnace likely has a pilot light if it is older. Meanwhile, an ignition is present in a modern furnace.

A furnace repair company can fix a broken ignition or pilot light to get your system in proper working order again.

Circuit Control Board Issues

Yet another cause of a furnace blowing cold air is a malfunctioning control board.

This board is essentially your furnace’s brain, as it relays directions to the furnace’s various components. When this board receives your thermostat’s heating cycle instruction, it signals for the furnace burner and blower to be turned on.

If this board isn’t working correctly, the furnace burner may not be turned on even though your furnace blower is. As a result, the air that is blown into your house might not be hot.

Control boards may fail for various reasons, with a common one being poor maintenance and cleaning.

In addition, the board may be permanently damaged if your furnace leaks water and the water drips onto the control board. That’s because the water will disable and corrupt your board’s electrical components. For this reason, if you discover that your furnace is leaking, you should get it repaired right away to avoid going without heat when you need it.

Fuel Lacking

Your furnace might also be blowing cool air simply because you don’t have enough gas if you have a gas furnace. This gas could be either natural gas or propane depending on your type of furnace. Refilling the supply is all it takes to keep your home heating system running like a dream.

Furnace Warmup Period Needed

Cold air may also be coming from your furnace if you haven’t given the system sufficient time to warm up after turning it on.

A warmup period of 1-2 minutes is necessary to push cold air out from your home’s vents before the system sends out heated air.

This phenomenon is similar to what happens when you take a shower. The water comes out cold and then becomes hot.

If the air is still cold after a few minutes, you may need a furnace repair company to assess and address your issue.

Flame Sensors Are Dirty

You may also struggle with getting your furnace to produce hot air if your furnace doesn’t have pilot lights and the flame sensors are dirty.

If your sensors are covered in grime or dirt, this may cause your burner to turn off. That means your heater will begin to blow cold air. Alternatively, it might cycle quickly between cold and warm.

A simple flame sensor cleaning performed by a furnace technician is all you need to resolve this furnace problem. 

Dirty Air Filters

Finally, your home furnace may be producing cold air if your air filter is dirty. That’s because air filters restrict airflow when they are dirty, and this causes furnaces to run for extended periods. The furnaces can then overheat and stop sending hot air out altogether.

To prevent this problem, you should change your filter every three months. Do this more often if it accumulates lint or dust quickly.

If your furnace still isn’t producing hot air several hours after you’ve replaced the air filters, a professional will need to examine your system and fix the problem for you.

How We Can Help You with a Furnace Blowing Cold Air

The problem of a home furnace blowing cold air could stem from dirty flame sensors or air filters. Other potential culprits could be a malfunctioning ignition or the absence of fuel.

Fortunately, at Milano Mechanical, we take pride in diagnosing and repairing a wide range of furnace issues, including cold air problems. We serve homeowners in multiple service areas in California, including Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Roseville, and Rocklin.

Contact us to learn more about our services, and schedule a repair today!

Petaluma Roseville