Top 5 Reasons Why Your Heating System Is Blowing Cold Air
  • Posted on January 9, 2023
  • By Rod Miller

It’s a cold winter night, and you’re looking forward to coming home and relaxing in a warm house. But as you walk through the door, you’re met with a blast of cold air. 

You check the thermostat, and it seems to be functioning correctly, but your heating system is blowing cold air. You’re left shivering—wondering what could be causing this issue. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. 

Many homeowners experience this frustrating problem at some point. The bad news is that many possible explanations exist for a heating system blowing cold air. 

The good news?

We’re here to help you figure them out.

In this blog post, we’ll go over the top 8 reasons why your heating system may behave this way and what you can do to fix it. Let’s get started!

1. Your Thermostat Is Set Incorrectly

Unfortunately, one of the top reasons for this problem is user error – yes, it’s possible you just need to flip a switch.

Many people have their thermostat set to “heat” and the fan switch set to the “on” position, which means the fan will blow cold air non-stop until it is manually turned off. This continual airflow can feel cooler or closer to room temperature, even when the heat is turned on.

But don’t worry; this issue is easily fixable. Set your thermostat to “heat” and “auto,” and your fan will blow warm air when the heat is turned on, circulating it more effectively throughout the room. 

Also, check that your thermostat is not set to “cool.” It may seem an obvious mistake, but it can be easily made.

If you need assistance programming your thermostat, check out this helpful article, or don’t hesitate to reach out for help from your friendly neighborhood Rod Miller technician

2. Your Air Filter Needs to Be Changed

Another reason why your heating system may be blowing cold air is due to a dirty air filter. The air filter is an important component of your heating system as it helps to remove contaminants from the air and improve indoor air quality.

 However, over time, the filter can become clogged with dirt, dust, and other debris, restricting airflow and making your heating system shut off and try to cool itself down.

This is called a limit fault. In this situation, your system runs the fan to cool down the heat exchange and other components. The air feels cold, and your unit struggles to turn back on because of restricted airflow. To fix this issue, it’s essential to check and replace your air filter as needed regularly. 

Depending on the type of filter you have and the level of contamination in your home, it’s generally recommended to replace your air filter every 60 to 90 days. Keeping your air filter clean can help ensure that your heating system runs at its best.

3. Your System Is Running a Purge Cycle

Your HVAC system is designed to keep you comfortable all year round, but it may experience issues that cause it to stop operation. Enter the purge cycle.

A purge cycle in your HVAC system is a process that occurs when an issue has occurred, such as a limit fault, power outage, or damaged condensing line. The purpose of a purge cycle is to clear out any excess heat or cool air and stabilize the temperature in your home. You will know when a purge cycle has been initiated when your unit switches off and runs the fan for a minute or two. 

During this process, you may feel like your heating system has shut off and may experience a blast of cold air. This is because the fan is blowing to cool down your unit and releases gasses. 

While a purge cycle can be a regular part of your HVAC system’s operation, if you notice that it is frequently occurring or if the issue persists, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

Note: this purge cycle occurs mainly with gas furnaces. If you own a heat pump, this next section is for you.

4. Your Heat Pump Is Defrosting

If you notice that your heat pump is blowing cold air, it could be because the condenser coil is covered in ice.

Heat pumps are designed to protect their outdoor coils from freezing in the winter by going through a defrosting period every hour or so. During this process, the heat pump will blow out cold air to melt any ice accumulated on the condenser coil. This defrosting period only lasts a few minutes and should not significantly affect the overall temperature of your home.

However, if you notice that your heat pump is blowing cold air for an extended period or if the ice on the condenser coil is not melting, there could be a problem with your heat pump.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact a Rod Miller professional for assistance with this issue or any other heat pump concerns.

5. Your Unit Is Aging or Poorly Installed

If you have an old or poorly installed heating system, it may be prone to several issues that can cause it to blow cold air. 

For example, leaking ducts can allow warm air to escape, making it difficult for your system to heat your home efficiently. Low gas pressure can cause your heating system to blow cold air as it struggles to generate enough heat to warm your home.

To fix these issues, a professional HVAC technician must have your heating system regularly inspected and maintained. They can identify problems and recommend and complete repairs or upgrades to your system without hassle.

Looking to Stop Your Heating System from Blowing Cold Air?

By understanding the common causes of a heating system blowing cold air, you can take the necessary steps to fix the problem and enjoy a warm and comfortable home all winter.

If you’re having trouble identifying the cause of your heating system’s cold air or need help with repairs, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Rod Miller. Our experienced technicians are here to help you get your heating system back up and running in no time. 

So don’t let cold air ruin your winter – call us at 301-569-7993 and let us help keep you warm and cozy all season long.


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