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Why is my Heater Blowing Cold Air?

Updated: 2 days ago

Temperatures are finally dropping! We don’t know if y’all are excited about it–but we sure are. Summer can get old after ten and a half months on it. However, as temperatures steadily dip lower and lower outside, we may find ourselves in a pretty uncomfortable situation: we are shivering, and our heater or furnace is blowing cold air and making the whole situation worse. Why is this happening, and do you need an emergency repair to fix it?

guy working on a heater

Below, we’ll outline some common reasons why your furnace may not be blowing hot air, and what to do about it.

  • It needs to warm up. If you’re turning on your heater for the very first time in a long time, a cold blast of air in the very beginning is nothing to be alarmed at. This is because your furnace simply needs to heat up. This is common if you rarely use it or if you’ve just booted it on for the first time of the season. After a few minutes, you should be receiving toasty waves.

  • The filter is dirty. Much like your air conditioner, your furnace also has a filter that can get dirty and clogged up. It may not be something you think about, especially if you only use your heater for a couple of months out of the year–but that filter needs to be changed, too! The lack of hot air could possibly be attributed to a blocked airflow, which can cause your heater to overheat, turn off, and not provide your home with hot air. In order to check for this, make sure to turn your furnace off completely before going in to inspect the air filter. Like your air conditioner’s filter, it should be changed about every 90 days. If you find that the air filter is causing the problem, change it out and set a reminder for the next one!

  • It’s overheating. It may sound like an oxymoron–but it definitely happens. Overheating will cause your heater to shut off, which causes some moments of blowing cold air as it shuts down. Overheating can be caused by many things, including:

    • Dirt buildup. If your air filter was the issue, it’s very possible that some of that debris has made its way into other parts of the furnace, which can cause it to trigger a shutdown. This would require a professional to come in and clean up the inside of the furnace.

    • Age. As furnaces age, so do all the components inside. With the wear and tear during a furnace's average 15-year lifespan, lots of components will get old and they will malfunction. If your furnace is old and it’s blowing cold air, it’s likely that there’s a case of age-induced mechanical failure within.

  • Leaky air ducts. If you have poorly insulated or old unkempt air ducts, this could be the cause of the cold air. Unmaintained air ducts can end up with cracks and holes, which allow the air to easily escape or allow cold air to easily enter and ruin your hot air. In this case, having a certified tech take a look is the wisest choice.

  • Clogged condensate line. If your furnace has a condensate line that runs away from the unit, a clogged line can likely be the culprit. Dust and debris can easily clog this line up, especially if your unit hasn’t been treated to seasonal cleaning. If the line is clogged, it can prevent the pilot from igniting, which means no warm air.

Call us

Exhausted all DIY avenues in diagnosing your furnace’s lack of heat? Give us a call here at Tri-Point so we can send a certified and experienced technician your way to get to the root of your problem and get your home warm. Don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community. Or check out our website at

<a href="">Image by pvproductions</a> on Freepik


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