Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog


furnace cool

Whether you’re hitting the slopes with the family, cross country skiing through the backcountry, or just making a snowman with the kids out back, there is a lot to love about winter in Colorado.

If you’re not able to heat your home effectively, though, it’s a lot tougher to keep your enthusiasm up.

That’s why any necessary furnace repairs in Loveland, CO need to be handled promptly. You don’t want to ignore a minor problem, only to have it cause serious issues down the road. You also don’t want to be scheduling repairs that aren’t actually needed, either. 

Today, we’re going to talk about an alarming situation with a lot of potential causes—a furnace blowing cool air. The cause of the problem isn’t always very serious, but it may be. That’s why a professional diagnosis, and a bit of working knowledge, is so important!

#1 The Best-Case Scenario

Before you even pick up the phone to schedule furnace repairs with us, go ahead and check your thermostat.

We know, it sounds obvious. We’re not accusing anyone of anything. But you definitely don’t need us to fix this problem!

Is it possible that the thermostat was accidentally switched over to cooling? Do you have a fan-only mode that may be enabled? If so, that fan will continue running even when heat is not being generated.

Using a smart or programmable thermostat? Check the programs you’ve created, and make sure that they’re still seasonally appropriate. If you can’t find an obvious cause at the thermostat, there are other, more serious possibilities.

#2 Leaky Ductwork

Is the air cold coming out of the vents during extended fan cycles or when the fan first comes on? It is possible that you have leaky ductwork or that it may need to be insulated, and you’ll need to have them professionally sealed or insulated to resolve the issue.

When ducts leak, heat escapes. Then, the air that has now cooled down is distributed throughout the house. Depending on where the leak is and how serious it is, you may only notice a specific area affected. However, it could be more pervasive. Professional inspection and testing of your ducts is the only way to determine for certain if this is the issue. Fortunately, we offer duct testing and sealing services to get things resolved the right way.

#3 Fan Limit Switch Malfunction

Your furnace has a number of different controls and features that help it to function effectively and safely. One of these is the fan limit switch. Basically, this switch tracks temperatures in your furnace plenum. If the air in the plenum gets too hot from a failed motor, restricted air flow or dirty filter it can cause the limit to fail. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

If the limit switch malfunctions, the blower may run even when heat is not being generated (just like that fan-only mode), and you’ll feel cool air coming from the vents as a result. A properly functioning limit switch ensures that the furnace will not overheat and if it does will normally reset itself. If it sticks open and fails to reset the furnace will not come on.

Schedule your furnace services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Every year, Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning helps out a local family in need of a new furnace. We accept nominations from mid-October through mid-November, announce the winner shortly after Thanksgiving, and install it before Christmas. It has been a difficult year for everyone in our community and we appreciate the opportunity to help out a neighbor in need.

This year’s winner was a Fort Collins woman whose furnace was over 25 years old. She has been replacing small parts of the old unit every single year. After raising 11 kids in her 55-year-old house, she told us it would be nice to finally have a dependable heat source. Our video below tells the rest of the story.


5 Potential Furnace Problems

Ideally, you’d never have to worry about the need for furnace repair in Windsor, CO. Realistically?

You’re going to need furnace repairs at some point.

The best thing that you can do for your furnace is to schedule your professional furnace repairs at the very first sign of trouble. What does furnace trouble look like?  Or smell like? Or sound like? Or feel like?

As you can guess from our phrasing, furnace problems can present themselves in a variety of ways. Here are a number of common issues that you should be aware of, so that you can act fast.


#1. Your Furnace Shuts Down Too Soon

This is called short cycling, and it can happen with any system. In the case of a furnace, it may be the result of any number of problems. Some are simple to resolve. A very dirty air filter could be to blame, for instance. Airflow is restricted, and the system can overheat and cycle down.

However, you could also have a faulty thermocouple that is shutting the system down too early. Or, that thermocouple could be working just fine, shutting down the system because safe combustion temperatures aren’t achieved. We’ll figure out precisely what the problem is.

#2. Your Furnace Heats Unevenly

If your furnace has always failed to heat your home evenly, it is possible that it is just too small. It isn’t able to generate enough heat to reach every corner of the house. That would require a professional replacement or some very creative zoning to resolve.

However, if the problem is new, you may have issues with leaky ductwork. Professional duct sealing is what you’d need to resolve that problem, as it is not an issue that you can resolve on your own. Drop the duct tape and pick up the phone!

#3. Your Furnace Makes Strange Sounds

Just because your furnace is heating your home doesn’t mean that it is doing the job properly. If you hear screeching or grinding sounds coming from your furnace, you need to let us know right away. Yes, even if your home is warm and comfy.

When you ignore such signs of trouble, you wind up giving problems the time they need to cause major damage. A loose component or bent fan blades made not be a major issue at the start, but over time can do serious damage.

#4. Your Furnace Smells Like Burning

When you fire up your furnace, you may smell burning at first—particularly if it’s been a while since you’ve used it. If that odor goes away quickly, it’s probably just dust burning off.

If the odor persists, though, or has a plastic tinge to it, contact us ASAP. Wiring issues and other problems could be to blame, and these problems can be dangerous.

#5. Your Furnace Costs too Much to Run!

This one is frustrating, but has a simple solution—routine maintenance! Pretty much any operational problem will cause a drop in efficiency. But routine maintenance keeps your system in prime working condition, and that keeps operating costs in check.

Schedule your heating repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Heater Needs Repairs

We know, we know. The heating season has barely even gotten started. And here we are, already talking about the things that could go wrong. Well, it may not be the most fun topic in the world, but it’s one of the most important. After all, thinking about these warning signs now will help you to get out ahead of any heating problems during the coldest time of the year.

And trust us, you’ll run into heating problems eventually. Boy, we really aren’t all sunshine today, are we? Sometimes you just have to speak practically, though. Even the best heaters, and even those that are properly maintained, are going to require professional heating repairs in Loveland, CO, from time to time. So keep this info in mind—and our phone number handy!


Your Heater Runs in Short Bursts

When you heat your home, your heater should run in even, effective cycles. It should bring the temperature up consistently and will keep air moving through the house. What it definitely should not do is start up, run for a few minutes, shut down, start up again after a few minutes, and fall into this “short cycling,” well, cycle. If your heater is short cycling, it could be a sign of a serious problem—or a very simple one that you can resolve on your own. This is where things get tricky.

If your heater is short cycling, first check the air filter in a forced-air system. It could be that your filter is dirty enough that it is causing the system to overheat, leading to the short cycling. If that isn’t the case, and your thermostat is set correctly, then you may have a problem with the electrical controls. You could even have a refrigerant leak in a heat pump, if you use one. Rule out the filter, then call for professional service.

Strange Noises or Odors

It’s not all about “spotting” problems when it comes to recognizing operational issues. Sometimes, it is about hearing them or even smelling them! Depending on the type of heater that you use to keep your home warm, you may be used to different levels of noise. A boiler/radiant system may make a bit of sound as it cycles on, but will otherwise be pretty silent. With a furnace or a heat pump, you may get a bit more noise with air being forced through ducts by the fan.

However, you know what normal operating sounds are like. That means that you should be able to recognize abnormal sounds, too. Any brand new sounds suddenly developing, or louder than usual sounds, should be checked out promptly. Same with odors. If you smell a little burning dust when the system first comes on, but it goes right away, that’s normal. If you smell a burning plastic odor, or you ever smell gas in your home, that’s not! Schedule service immediately.

Shocking Operational Costs

We’ll keep this short—keep your eye on your utility bills. If you notice a major spike in costs when you start running your heater, despite not using it any differently than you have previously, don’t just write that off. It could be that you’re overpaying to heat your home due to a problem cutting down energy efficiency.

Schedule your heating repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Fresh Furnace Filter

We really value our customers. If there was a way in which we could guarantee a 100% reliable performance from your home heating system, trust us—we’d do it. That is just not possible, unfortunately. Even the best heaters made by the top manufacturers in the industry are prone to occasional repair needs. That does not mean that you have to invite problems with your home heating system, however. And there is one specific way in which homeowners do this that we want to address today.

We’re talking about leaving a very dirty air filter in your furnace. If you don’t keep that filter fresh, then you are absolutely increasing the risk of needing furnace repair in Windsor, CO. As we’ll touch upon below, there is really no excuse for letting things get to this point. So read on, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about procuring the right filter for your furnace, how to change it, etc. We’ll help you succeed!

What This Filter Does—and Doesn’t—Do

A lot of people think their furnace filter is just fine because they don’t really understand the purpose of this filter. Well, it doesn’t seem like the indoor air quality in my home is all that bad, so the filter must still be fine, right? Wrong. We’re glad that you’re thinking about your IAQ, of course, but that’s not as directly linked to this air filter as you may think. Sure, a very filthy furnace filter may exacerbate air quality issues. However, its primary function is not really to clean the air in your home. It’s to protect the furnace itself from problems caused by pollutants.

Basically, this filter is keeping dust, dirt, and other pollutants from building up within your heating system and on sensitive components in your heater. That could definitely lead to operational problems. And if this filter gets too dirty, it is going to make things worse by really driving up airflow resistance in the system. The harder that your furnace has to work in order to force air through the filter and throughout your home, the greater the wear and tear on the system.

That is going to increase the risk of overheating and damages to the system. Again, not changing the air filter will put your system in peril! Aside from the routine, professional maintenance that we provide, simply changing your air filter regularly is the best thing that you can do for your system.

And It Is Simple!

These filters are quite cheap. You’ll want to be changing yours every 1-3 months, depending on various factors in your home, but it’s not going to break the bank to do so. And, if you’re worried about getting your hands dirty with a complex job, don’t worry about that. We wouldn’t ever advise DIY jobs that the average homeowner couldn’t handle. You should never attempt to service your furnace on your own, but pulling out an old filter and sliding a new one in is, well—as simple as it sounds!

Schedule your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.


Furnace Repair Loveland CO

It would be great if there was always a clear cut sign that you needed something like furnace repair in Loveland, CO, wouldn’t it? Well, there actually are quite a few such signs,  but they may not be quite as clear as you’d like. The clearest need for furnace repair would probably be a completely broken down furnace, right? Well, sure—but you obviously don’t want to wait for your furnace to break down entirely before you have it repaired!

That’s where these tips are going to come in handy. And the “good” news is that these are problems that you are already aware of. You just may not realize that they alone are enough to justify system repairs or, at the very least, a call to us to have your system evaluated. So keep them in mind, and keep your system functioning properly and safely by scheduling prompt furnace repairs the moment that you have cause to suspect there is a problem.

Your Furnace Isn’t Blowing Warm Enough Air

That’s odd, you think, the air coming from the furnace doesn’t seem hot enough. Oh well, it’s pretty cold out. The house will heat up eventually, even if it takes a little longer than usual.

No. Uh-uh. Stop. Stop making excuses for problems like this.

Regardless of how cold it may be outside, your furnace should be capable of heating the air in your home effectively. If it doesn’t seem like the air is hot enough,  there could be quite a few problems at play. It’s possible, for instance, that you have leaky ducts that are pulling unheated air from unheated areas of the house (like between walls) into the system. You could also have a problem with your thermostat or with your fuel delivery/combustion mechanisms. We’ll figure out precisely what is going wrong so that you can go back to heating your home effectively.

Your Furnace Is Running in Short Cycles

This is called short cycling. Not the most inventive name, is it? Well, regardless of how inventive it is, it’s apt. Why? Because a heater is not supposed to run in short cycles. Short cycling is a problem. You want a heater to run in full, even cycles. So if you notice short cycling in your home, you may need repairs. We say “may,” because there is one situation that you should rule out on your own before scheduling repairs. That is a dirty air filter.

A very dirty filter can actually create so much airflow resistance that the system winds up overheating, causing it to shut down to avoid damages. Then it starts up again, only to cycle back down before long. If the filter isn’t dirty, then you likely have a problem that is going to require professional service.

Your Bills Are Going Up

There is very little that is truly “free” in this life, and heating your home is no exception. You’re going to have to pay for your comfort. That doesn’t mean that you should accept overpaying for your comfort, though. If your energy bills are too high, it could definitely be a result of a compromised system in need of repair.

Schedule your furnace repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big Enough to Serve, Small Enough to Care.


Before & After

Every year, Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning accepts nominations for local families in our community who need a new furnace. There were so many great entries this year, but one stood out above the rest.

The winner of the free furnace is a woman from Wellington who lives on a fixed income because she had broken her back and can’t work. Her daughter-in-law, Sarah P, nominated her. The following is taken from her official entry:

“I would like to nominate my mother-in-law Cecelia R. She is on a fixed income (SSDI) which makes it difficult to make necessary home improvements. Not only is she in need of a new furnace, but she has been living without a central air conditioning unit for at least two years. She watches our two girls for us 4 days a week and we’d love to help give back to her for all that she does for us.”

Free Furnace

We were very excited to be able to help provide Cecelia with comfort in her home. Before we installed the new furnace, she had to bang the old one just to get it going! However, When we heard about her situation, we not only gave her a new furnace, but a new air conditioner as well. It was emotional for all of us. From our family to yours, have a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!


Furnace Running Properly

Make no mistake about it—you are going to require professional furnace repair in Wellington, CO, at some point. No amount of planning or precaution is going to completely prevent the risk of problems developing. That being said, you can take some measures to ensure that any problems with your furnace are kept as few and far between as possible. That’s what we’re going to be focusing on today. Our technicians have the tips and tricks you’re looking for!

The truth of the matter is that there is really no “trick” about it. If you take good care of your furnace, your furnace is going to take good care of you. It’s just a matter of educating yourself about what your furnace actually needs from you. This is a combination of doing the things that you should do for your furnace, and not doing the things that are best left to trained professionals. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Get Your Furnace Off to the Right Start

We know that most homeowners, even those that are pretty DIY-driven, wouldn’t actually try to install a furnace on their own. However, not doing it on your own is not the same as not doing it right. While you may well know a handyperson in the neighborhood or have one in your family, this is a job for qualified professionals only. Not even the most skilled handyperson can install a furnace if they’re not trained and licensed appropriately.

When a furnace is first installed in a home, there is a whole lot to consider. This includes the sizing of the furnace to optimize performance and efficiency levels. the layout of the ductwork to be installed, electrical wiring matters, and much more. It’s a very complex job, and only a heating professional can be trusted to do it right every step of the way.

Maintain Proper Airflow

Wait, what? I thought I’m not supposed to work on my furnace myself?  

No, you’re not. And maintaining proper airflow doesn’t require that you do so. It simply requires that you change your air filter regularly to ensure that your system is not fighting against excessive airflow resistance, and that you don’t obstruct the registers in the house.

Changing your air filter is actually the best thing that you yourself can do for your system, and it’s incredibly easy. As for the registers, just make sure that you’re not pushing your furniture up against them by accident. And, if you’re looking to maintain different temperatures in different areas of your home, make sure that you talk to us about zoning your system—don’t just close off registers in an attempt to achieve the desired effect.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

This is what it all comes down to. Schedule annual heating maintenance to keep your system in the best working condition possible. Nothing is better for your heater, furnace or otherwise, than giving it a clean bill of health through professional maintenance from a qualified heating technician.

Schedule your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Heater Running Consistently

There are a lot of different problems that may develop with your home heating system. If you think the fact that your heater is starting up and functioning at all means that all is well, then think again! Not every problem is going to result in an immediate breakdown. There are plenty of problems that can do damage over time even as your heater is still technically running. You cannot afford to ignore any signs of trouble for this exact reason.

One huge red flag that you should be aware of is short cycling. Short cycling is what we call it when a heater (or an AC, for that matter) starts up alright, but then runs only briefly before shutting back down. That heater is then going to start back up, only to complete its cycle in rapid succession once more. Why should you be concerned if the system is starting and stopping, though? Well, let’s take a closer look.

You’re Definitely Wasting Money

How do we know that? Because if you’re running a short cycling heater, then you’re definitely wasting energy! It takes more energy to get a heater up and running than it does to keep a heater up and running. That’s true of any mechanical system. So, if your system is starting and stopping over and over again rapidly, it is costing you more to run than it should. That’s not the only potential way in which your short cycling system is costing you, though.

Your System Is at Risk!

All of that starting and stopping may not cause an immediate breakdown, but you still want immediate HVAC services in Loveland, CO. Why? Because your system is suffering excessive wear and tear that it otherwise would not. All of that wear and tear will further degrade energy efficiency over time. However, it is also going to wind up increasing the risk of operational problems and, eventually, a breakdown. You’re  going to wind up paying for repairs that likely could have been avoided, had you fixed the problem to begin with.

You’re Not as Comfortable

What’s worse than overpaying to heat a home during the coldest time of the year? Living uncomfortably anyway, despite the amount that you’re paying to heat your home. It’s very frustrating, but that’s what’s going to happen if you continue to use a short cycling heater to heat your house. It just is not going to do as effective a job of it as a heater that is running in full, complete cycles.

There are a few different reasons why a heater may short cycle. It may be as simple as a very dirty air filter that is causing the system to overheat. However, you could also have a faulty thermostat or thermocouple. You could even have a refrigerant leak in a heat pump, which will literally destroy that system if you don’t have the problem addressed in a timely manner. When in doubt, reach out to a member of our team to get your heater back in proper working condition.

Schedule your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.


Every year, Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning accepts nominations for local families in need of a new furnace. We accept nominations from mid-October through mid-November and announce the winner shortly after Thanksgiving. This year, we had an overwhelming number of well-deserving nominees, which shows the need within our community to reach out to our neighbors to help when we can.

The winner of the free furnace was a local woman with years of medical issues and a passion to help others. She lives in a 40-year-old home in Laporte that still operates on the original furnace. Here is a snippet of the nomination letter we received from her former daughter in law:

“She has raised 3 children as a single mother and domestic violence survivor. She has been in a wheelchair for over 20 years, but that has never stopped her and hardly slows her down. She has an auto-immune disease that gnarls her joints and bones much like Rheumatoid Arthritis, but has never been diagnosed to a particular name. It is an idiopathic disease in which her own body attacks its own joints and bones for an unknown reason. This has brought her tremendous pain throughout her life. She has never felt sorry for herself or let her disabilities take her to a victim mentality. … I remember about 6 years ago, in the summer, I stopped by after work and found her on the front porch, in her wheelchair, sanding the paint on her house and deck with the one good arm she had! I asked her what on Earth she was doing?! She simply said, sanding the house and the deck for a fresh coat of paint that I plan to do over the next few weeks. We laughed and I offered to help her, but ended up visiting with her instead. She didn’t need my help and has always valued conversation and time with her family over everything else! … She has shared her home with so many in need, even though she has very little to give. … She continues to clean her home and even painted her living room walls from her wheelchair this past year. This is a woman with so many reasons to lay down and give up, but she continues to have hope day after day!”

We are excited to be able to give back to her and provide her comfort in her home. She is certainly well-deserving of this giveaway.

From our family to yours, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season!


Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog