During increasingly severe winters, it is crucial to have a well-functioning heating system. There are a number of reasons why you may need a costly furnace repair. Some of the most common issues are easily prevented with regular attention and maintenance. Some of the reasons your heating system may be having trouble include the following.
Lack of Professional Maintenance
You keep the oil changed and tires rotated for your car on a regular basis. You should do the same for the major equipment that operates your home’s heating and cooling system. Many furnace repair services will offer regular maintenance plans to keep your system running smoothly. The cost of the plan may be less than the cost of repairs. During regular maintenance, a technician may provide some of these services:
– Run diagnostic tests of all the working components of the system
– Conduct a safety inspection, including for carbon monoxide
– Check the condition of all mechanical and electrical components
– Remove debris in the ductwork
Dirty or Clogged Filters
Between visits from a licensed specialist, you should keep your filters clean and free of dust and dirt. When they are clogged, your system has to work harder. That means the equipment is under more strain and may wear out. It also means your energy costs will increase since the system will run longer to do its job.
You should replace filters on a monthly basis. If you don’t have a replacement handy, vacuum them thoroughly to try and remove as much dust as possible.
Mechanical Wear and Tear
The furnace has many moving parts, such as belts, bearings, coils, and wiring. While regular maintenance and changing filters can help reduce the wear and tear on these parts, you won’t be able to prevent all issues with the equipment. Some common problems are poor heating control or airflow problems when the motor is worn out. A homeowner needs to be aware of any mechanical breakages or changes to the functioning of their system.
Pilot or Ignition Control Problems
Most systems today have two types of ignition methods: hot surface ignition or intermittent pilot. It is not unusual to have an issue with the ignition system if your furnace is providing only intermittent or no warmth at all. The ignition system powers the heater when the thermostat reaches the configured temperature. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, some reasons may include a loose or faulty thermocouple, a clogged orifice, or a flame that is set too low. You can clear a clogged orifice using a piece of thin wire; just be sure to cut off the gas and power to the equipment first. Also, check the flame adjustment screw for the pilot light if your equipment has one. Refer to your owner’s manual to see how to turn the screw to adjust the flame level.
As stated above, the thermostat tells the system how much heat to provide. If you have problems, you may have no heat, no fan to push the hot air through, or intermittent warmth that cuts off and on. The system could have faulty wiring due to age, or it may need a new transformer. Many times, excessive dust can cause issues, and a simple cleaning will solve the problem. You can use a small paintbrush to gently wipe off accumulated dust and debris from the components.
Even though you may be able to address some of your furnace repair needs yourself, it’s a good idea to have a professional you can call when needed. Do your part by keeping filters changed and having regular maintenance checks to keep your system running as smoothly as possible.