Solving the Mystery: Troubleshooting Your Furnace Blowing Cold Air

As the chill of winter settles in, there’s nothing quite as unsettling as discovering that your furnace is blowing cold air instead of the cozy warmth you crave. If you’re here, chances are you’re facing the frustration of a cold home despite your furnace being on. You’re not alone. Many residents in Wichita, KS, and surrounding areas encounter similar challenges, especially during the chilly winter months.

Since 1983, Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning has been the go-to HVAC experts in Wichita, earning the trust of the community through generations of dedicated service. As a family-owned business with deep roots in the area, we understand the importance of a warm and comfortable home, especially when temperatures fall.

In this blog, we’re thrilled to share our family’s wealth of knowledge and experience to help you tackle the mystery behind your furnace blowing cold air. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just seeking guidance before calling in the pros, our multi-generational expertise has you covered.

So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s embark on a journey to restore warmth and comfort to your home. With Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning by your side, you can trust your HVAC needs are in capable hands. Let’s dive in and solve the puzzle of your chilly home together!

Hanna Heating & Air team of owners, managers and professional HVAC experts

Here are the 9 most common reasons your furnace is blowing cold air.

1. Thermostat Issues
The first most common cause of your furnace blowing cold air is your thermostat. Since your thermostat controls your home’s temperature, incorrect configuration can lead to cold air coming through your vents. You’ll want to verify the settings and your thermostat to make sure that someone hasn’t changed them. You want to ensure the thermostat is set to ‘heat’ and not ‘cool, make sure the fan is set to ‘auto’, and make the temperature is set where you would like it. A furnace with dead or dying batteries, can also cause the thermostat to malfunction, so changing your batteries may be helpful as well. If any of these settings are incorrect, make the appropriate changes and your furnace should begin blowing warm air. Keep in mind it takes about 15 minutes for a furnace to heat up, so please be patient and allow it time to warm up.

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2. Dirty Air Filter
If your furnace is still blowing cold air, the next place to check is your air filter. Your air filter traps dirt, dust, and debris within your system and if not changed routinely can lead to restricted airflow in your system. When the airflow is restricted, the cold air entering the furnace from the return ducts is limited and leads to your furnace not having sufficient air to heat. Further, a dirty air filter and cause your furnace to overheat and go into safety mode. Depending on household factors like pets and allergies, it’s recommended that your furnace filter be changed every 30 to 90 days. If it’s been a while, putting in a fresh air filter just might do the trick.

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3. High Limit Switch Issues
If your furnace filter was dirty and replacing it didn’t help, the issue may be a faulty high limit switch. This switch measures the temperature of the air that passes over the heat exchanger within your system and shuts down the furnace if it overheats. Lack of airflow is a very typical cause of your furnace overheating. If you experience frequent tripping of the high limit switch, it can cause the switch to fail. If your blower continues to run between cycles or cycles on and off, this typically indicates a faulty limit switch. Give the professionals at Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning a call at (316)945-3481; we’d be happy to get this issue taken care of for you.

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4. Fuel Issues
A lack of fuel can be another common cause of a furnace blowing cold air. Based on your type of furnace, it runs on either electricity or fuel.

    1. If you have an electric furnace, it won’t function without electricity. You will want to ensure that the switch in your utility room that powers your furnace is in the ‘on’ position. You will also want to check at your breaker box and make sure that the breaker is in the ‘on’ position and has not tripped.
    2. If you have a gas furnace, it won’t heat up if the gas supply has been shut off, the gas valve has been turned off or has seized, or if the propane/oil tank is empty. You will want to check to make sure there are no issues with your gas supply and that the appropriate gas valve is open.

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5. Clogged Condensate Line
Another common cause of your furnace blowing cold air is a clogged condensate line. Condensation from your furnace drains away via the condensate line, which is a white PVC pipe that runs down the furnace’s outside and empties into a floor drain. If the pipe becomes clogged, the condensation will accumulate in the drip pan and trigger the float switch. The float switch is a safety feature that shuts down the furnace when the condensation doesn’t properly drain to prevent water from spilling over the drip pan.

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If you find a clogged condensate line is your issue, the clog must be cleared for your furnace to function properly. As a homeowner, you can try to take on this maintenance task, but the professionals at Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning have specialized tools to make the job easier and more efficient –

    1. Before trying to clear the clog, you will want to make sure you turn off the power to your furnace. You can do this by flipping the switch (resembles a light switch) on the furnace or by turning off the breaker for your furnace at your circuit breaker.
    2. Inspect the end of the condensate white PVC pipe for debris. If you find any, they can be removed with a brush or a small screwdriver.
    3. If you didn’t find any clogs at the end of the pipe, you can remove the cap near the top of the pipe and flush the line with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and hot water. You can repeat this process several times if needed.
    4. Once you have cleared the clog, restore power to your furnace and give it time to warm up.

6. Ductwork Issues
Leaking or incorrectly sized ductwork can also lead to issues with your furnace blowing cold air. Call in the experts at Hanna to properly check and repair your ductwork to ensure optimal heating performance of your furnace.

    1. If your ductwork is leaking, it can cause warm air to leak out as well as allow cold air to enter through the openings in the ducts. Leaks are caused when ducts become disconnected or cracked.
    2. If your ductwork is incorrectly sized, it can cause issues with the heating performance of your system. If your return ductwork is too small, it won’t be able to handle the volume of air that’s needed to properly heat your home. This will need to reduced airflow through the system and will cause your furnace to blow cold air. Ductwork that is too big causes the air pressure to significantly decrease and therefore the airflow doesn’t make it to all the parts of your home.

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7. Flame Sensor Issues
A dirty or malfunctioning flame sensor can be another common cause for your furnace blowing cold air. The flame sensor is a safety device that will turn off the gas supply to the burners in your furnace if they don’t ignite. These sensors can become coated with dirt, soot, or other carbon deposits and make them incapable of sensing the flame.

You can access and try to clean off the flame sensor or call in the professionals at Hanna if you don’t feel comfortable or if you think the sensor needs replaced. Call us anytime at (316)945-3481.

First, make sure you turn off the gas to the furnace and then remove the front panel where you will find the ignitor or ignition sensor near the burners. If the sensor or ignitor is dirty, you can remove it carefully with a screwdriver and gently clean it – be careful not to break it. Once cleaned, replace it back how you found it, put the front panel back on, turn on the gas, and then turn your furnace on.

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8. Electric Ignition / Pilot Light Issues
A faulty electric ignition or an issue with your pilot light can also cause your furnace to blow cold air. If your furnace was manufactured prior to 2010, they generally were still using pilot lights. More modern furnaces will use an electronic ignition.

    1. If your furnace has a pilot light, check to see if the flame has been blown out by a strong draft. If the flame has blown out, you will want to consult your furnace’s manual for instructions on re-lighting the pilot light. If the flame continues to go out, there may be dust or debris built up on the pilot light causing a bad connection.
    2. If you have a more modern furnace with an electric ignition, these electronic ignitions can fail and would require a call to the professionals at Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning at (316)945-3481.

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9. Incorrectly Sized Furnace
Another common cause of a furnace blowing cold air is an incorrectly sized furnace for the home. Size matters when it comes to your furnace system. If you’ve recently installed a new furnace and find yourself puzzled by its failure to product hot air, chances are it’s undersized for your home. An improperly sized furnace can result in the circulation of cold air and can lead to issues with both effectiveness and efficiency.

When your furnace is too small for your home, it struggles to accurately gauge the internal temperature, often resulting in the distribution of cool air. Conversely, an oversized furnace may cycle on and off unexpectedly, causing disruption to your comfort and potentially leading to higher energy bills.

Our HVAC professionals are expertly trained to help your select the right size furnace for your house and your individual comfort needs. You can request an appointment anytime –

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There are a handful of more serious issues that could be causing your furnace to blow cold air and would require a call to the professionals at Hanna. Our technicians are expertly trained to diagnose and resolve these issues and have you back up and running quickly! Call now at (316)945-3481!

    • Malfunctioning Gas Valves
    • Cracked Heat Exchanger
    • Blocked Burner
    • Clogged Coil
    • Faulty Circuit Control Board

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Opting for professional furnace maintenance with our VIP Home Maintenance Program through Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning is a proactive step towards safeguarded your home comfort. Our skilled technicians offer a comprehensive inspection of your heating system, proactively identifying potential issues before they lead to your furnace blowing cold air. By addressing these concerns, our team not only boosts your furnace’s efficiency but also guarantees its safe and dependable performance.

Our trained experts can pinpoint and resolve underlying issues that might escape the untrained eye, preventing unforeseen breakdowns and sparing you from expensive repairs down the line. With Hanna’s VIP Home Maintenance Program, you can rest assured that your furnace is in optimal condition, ready to keep you warm and cozy all season long. Learn more here –

Graphic image of Hanna’s VIP Maintenance program

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide to troubleshooting your furnace with Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning, we hope you’ve found the insights and tips helpful in addressing any heating challenges you may be facing. Remember, maintaining your furnace is crucial to ensuring its efficiency and reliability, and sometimes, a bit of DIY troubleshooting can save you time and money.

However, if you’ve exhausted all the suggestions provided and your furnace is still blowing cold air, don’t hesitate to reach out to the trusted professionals at Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning. With over three decades of dedicated service to the Wichita community, our multi-generational family team is here to provide prompt and effective solutions to your HVAC needs.

Your comfort and satisfaction are our top priorities, and we’re committed to delivering exceptional service that keeps your home warm and cozy year-round. Whether it’s routine maintenance, repairs, or a system upgrade, you can rely on Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning to get the job done right.

Thank you for entrusting us with your HVAC needs. Remember, Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning is here for you, ensuring that your home remains a haven of warmth and comfort, no matter the weather outside. Stay cozy, Wichita!

Hanna Heating & Air Conditioning 40th Anniversary in Wichita, KS

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Hanna Heating and Air has been a trusted name in Wichita for 3 generations. With locations in Wichita, Newton and Andover, trust our HVAC technicians to be ready to deliver the services you need. Stop by and see our showroom of products on display at our main Wichita location at 220 N. West St. We are conveniently near the center of town. From Kellogg, take the West St. exit heading north. Our large West Wichita location is just a mile up the road on your right.

Need a repair today? With more than 70 trucks in the field, you can be sure no other local heating and air company can deliver faster professional service.

Whether you need repair, maintenance, or new installation of your furnace or air conditioner, contact us today to let us get our comfort specialists right to work on your home or business.

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