The most frequent question about furnace maintenance is how often it should be done. Experts recommend a professional service for furnace troubleshooting some time before cold weather hits. Read on to know why.
By undertaking furnace maintenance before the cold weather, your system wont conk out when you need it the most. Take note of this; about 75% of all ''no heat'' calls made to HVAC companies in winter are related to poor (and even lack of) maintenance. Just like your car, the more you ignore a problem, the more things start to jam. The bottomline is; arrange for a furnace inspection at least twice a year. Doing so not only prolongs the 'life' of the system, it also saves energy and decreases your exposure to health hazards.
Benefits of furnace inspection
If the furnace is left unserviced for long, chances are highly likely that it can stop working suddenly leaving your household cold. Carbon monoxide accumulates in the system and poses a health hazard if nothing is done about it.
This odorless and colorless gas often leads to nausea, dizziness, headaches and in extreme cases death. Don't be a statistic (about 500 people succumb and 15 000 are taken to emergency rooms as a result of this exposure). Contact a professional furnace repair and maintenance service to eliminate this threat.
A poorly-maintained furnace does not function as efficiently as it should. In fact it works harder thus increasing your energy bill. All it takes is a small tune-up of the system (of course at a reasonable fee) and the system should be working at its optimal level. During furnace maintenance, the following components may be tinkered;
1. The condensate drain is cleaned such that it is devoid of any obstruction
2.The start-up and shut-down controls are checked.
3. The filters may be changed
4. All moving parts are lubricated and so much more.
As is evident, this service should be undertaken by a professional. Most plumbing service companies should be in a good position to offer their expertise.
Get the right technician
The furnace is a complex system. Any attempts to repair it on your own could void the warranty. To avoid such a scenario, call in a furnace repair and maintenance service. All states have licensing requirements for such contractors so when you're done with the selection, make a point of ensuring that the contractor you've called for the job is insured, bonded and has been listed in the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Check out Google Review, Yelp or Angie's List for an honest review of the service provider. These authority sites allow clients who have used furnace repair and maintenance services in to give their feedback about the quality of the service they received. That should help you get started.
Don't be left out in the cold
Get your furnace back to its optimal performance level and protect your family from potential health hazards that an unserviced one poses. Call in a professional furnace repair and maintenance service. Get the best one that your town has to offer. You deserve the best.
Additional furnace troubleshooting tips for you
These usually apply when your furnace runs but the heat provided is just not enough;
* Make sure that nothing is blocking the flow of air into the system.
* Check to see whether the thermostat is working - for this, raise the temperatures to 5 degrees then wait for a few minutes.
* Check the air filter; if it's clogged with dirt, replace it. Otherwise ensure that the rooms' heating registers are open.
When colder weather strikes, you rely heavily on your furnace for comfort and safety. You and your family count on a well-running and efficient furnace to keep you toasty warm inside while the air grows frosty outside. If you encounter furnace problems that might require heating repair, check out these troubleshooting tips below that will help you understand what's wrong and whether it's time to call your furnace technician.
Cold days are miserable when your furnace doesn't release any heat at all. Depending on the type of furnace you own, the problem could range from something simple involving the thermostat to a more serious problem.
Check the thermostat to make sure the proper setting for the furnace has been selected. Next, check the circuit breaker, and reset the switch if necessary. Some furnaces have a motor reset button; if yours does, press it to see if that solves your problem. A loss of heat from a gas furnace may be caused by something as simple as a pilot light that has gone out.
Too Little Heat
It's almost as bad to feel too little heat coming from your furnace as to feel no heat at all. Fortunately, the solutions for this issue may be easier. Check the air vents to ensure that nothing is blocking them, and see if the heating registers are open.
Is the thermostat set properly? Try raising the heat a few degrees and see if that helps. Be sure to check the filter and replace it if it's dirty. Check the ducts for leaks; if you find any, use duct tape to seal them. If these steps don't work, you should have a professional service technician check your furnace blower.
Does your furnace run but you don't feel any air coming out? You may need a new belt connecting the furnace motor with the blower. This is a fairly manageable repair that you can do yourself. The old belt will have a number stamped on it; you can obtain a replacement for the part from your local home center.
Or, if you prefer, give your furnace technician a call. If the blower never stops running, check the thermostat to make sure the fan switch hasn't been set to "on" instead of "auto." If this is not the case, a service call may be needed.
Off and On
If your furnace keeps turning on and off too often, you may have a problem with your thermostat. You could try setting the calibration lever a bit longer, if your thermostat has one, or you may need to replace your thermostat, especially if it has been in use a long time. This problem could also be due to a dirty filter or clogged blower; cleaning and replacement as needed may help.
Often, you'll hear noises coming from your furnace or ducts. Most of these sounds in the ductwork come from the temperature changes as the furnace runs; you might consider having a heating contractor install insulated ductwork. Squeaking sounds may indicate a worn or slipped blower belt. If the blower motor makes grinding noises, turn off the furnace and contact a repair technician.
Carbon monoxide usually buildup and gas leaks are possibly deadly hazards if they are not promptly attended to. Most gas furnaces produce a very small amount of carbon monoxide during normal operation. Still, it is necessary to have a working carbon monoxide detector to warn if the amount present has reached a dangerous level due to a damaged furnace. In cases of high carbon monoxide status, exit the building immediately and let a heating repair service area take care of it.
Signs that your furnace may be getting on in years include an increasing tendency for the heated air to be too dry, for the heating to be inconsistent from room to room and rising energy bills as the furnace's efficiency declines with age. A furnace technician may be able to help remedy some of these problems, but if your furnace is more than 15 to 20 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it.
Practically, gas furnaces use either propane or just natural gas to heat an enclosed space. One significant benefit of this method of temperature control is that gas is known to burn orderly than the oil used in oil furnaces. As a consequence, mechanical difficulties tend to arise less frequently when using gas furnaces. And when they do, they are easier to realize and faster to correct.
Many furnace problems are simple enough for you to solve on your own. But if you encounter a serious problem or have other questions about your heating, be sure to contact an experienced technician for heating repair.
Maintaining Your Furnace
With the exception of the filter, the furnace must always be turned off before performing repairs. Otherwise, the furnace might turn on accidentally. To make sure you do not forget to replace the filter, replace an old thermostat with a digital one that tells you to want to replace your filter. By regularly replacing the filter, the furnace will perform optimally.
Every couple of months, vacuum the furnace to keep it clean. Try to vacuum any part of the furnace that is accessible. Make sure that the furnace exhaust vent does not have anything blocking it.
Check to see if the blower is powered by a V-belt with an electric motor. If it is, check the V-belt to see if it is cracking or fraying. If so, it needs to be replaced. If the belt moves further than an inch when it's touched, it needs to be tightened.
Unfortunately, when the furniture is not working, the cause of the problem is not always clear. If the furnace is not working at all, there might be a blown a fuse. Restore the circuit. The pilot light sometimes goes out. If it does, relight it. If there's no gas, make sure that the gas valve to the furnace opens completely.
However, there are times when the pilot light won't work or will light, but will only stay lit briefly. If it doesn't light, the opening might need to be cleaned, or the pilot light button might need to be depressed more.
If it only lights up briefly, there might be an issue with the thermocouple. Tighten the thermocouple nut. If that doesn't work, the thermocouple is broken and needs to be replaced. Make sure the pilot flame is at least two inches long.
What to do when the furnace doesn't heat at all
1. Ensure that the system or rather the heater's thermostat is set to heat.
2. Check to see whether the circuit breaker is on and if the fuse hasn't blown.
3. Confirm that the furnace has been turned on - if it isn't then that could be the reason as to why you aren't getting heat.
4. In case you suspect an overload then reset the furnace. This can be done by switching on a reset button which is located near the blower's power switch.
Note that these furnace troubleshooting tips should help you figure out where the problems is. When a pro comes in, let them handle the problem. Don't jeopardize yourself by tinkering with the furnace.
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