The Five Most Common Furnace and Heating Problems
Furnace repair and maintenance is not something just anyone can do, but it is definitely one of the most important facets of a comfortable and energy efficient homes. Having regular maintenance performed on your furnace can not only help reduce the need for eventual furnace repair, but can also limit the kind of heating problems which raise energy bills and lower the comfort of your home. However, even top-of-the-line furnaces can break down periodically and necessitate furnace repair. Here are five of the most common heating problems you might experience.
1. Lack of Maintenance
One of the most common heating problems requiring furnace repair is lack of maintenance. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest to solve. We’ve written before about how regular maintenance can forestall many heating problems, and how it’s something to keep in mind during all times of the year. Ideally, furnace owners should have their furnaces appraised by an experienced professional just before temperatures start climbing; this ensures that, when the calendar flips towards those colder months, homeowners are enjoying their operational and efficient furnaces instead of facing heating problems and eventual furnace repair. Aside from being completely inoperable, a furnace that hasn’t been regularly tended to will work less efficiently and substantially raise your heating costs. Luckily, heating and furnace experts can regularly maintain your furnace at nearly a moment’s notice.
2. Pilot Light or Ignition Problems
Furnaces with pilot light or ignition problems will often blow cold air or only intermittently blow arm air. While many furnace models allow homeowners to check the pilot light themselves, it is never advisable to relight the pilot light yourself. Rather, homeowners suspecting their heating problems are attributable to an unlit pilot light or malfunctioning ignition should immediately contact a professional who can not only relight the pilot light or fix the ignition, but also educate the homeowner as to what led to needing furnace repair in the first place. These heating problems can be especially worrying, especially if the furnace is still operational. Often, operational but malfunctioning furnaces will continuously blow cold air, leading to higher energy bills and an extremely uncomfortable wintertime household.
3. Filter Problems
One hallmark of a furnace lacking regular maintenance is problems with the unit’s filters. However, this problem is one of the most preventable. Filters can affect a furnace’s performance when they become clogged from the dirt and dust in the air around the unit. Dirt and dust restrict air flow, and this can lead to clogged filters which will overheat the heat exchanger. A dirty filter also causes soot buildup on the heat exchanger, which can lead to reduced efficiency and, more problematically, a shorter life for your furnace. Filters can be easily maintained by cleaning them and changing them at least monthly to ensure your unit is operating at peak efficiency and will not contribute to heating problems and necessitate furnace repair.
4. Air Flow Problems
Mechanical problems ranging from broken belts to worn bearings can lead to often very serious heating problems. These problems are most often felt with a lack of air flow throughout the home. Air flow is crucial for proper performance of your home’s system and can be hindered by any number of seemingly miniscule problems. According to Energy Star, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. Leaky ducts can be signified by cold spots in your home, dust emanating from your furnace unit, and, of course, higher utility bills due to an inefficient system. Proper air flow is essential to the comfort of your home and efficiency of your furnace. As most homeowners cannot diagnose the root causes of these heating problems, it is always best contact an experienced furnace repair representative who can not only perform furnace repair but also inform the homeowner about better practices for maintaining the furnace, stopping heating problems, and can offer more tips about faulty furnaces.
5. Thermostat Issues
A furnace’s thermostat operates as the control device that determines when and how much heat the furnace will produce. In other words, it is one of the most important devices in a home heating system and operates as a kind of nerve center for the whole system. So obviously, thermostat problems will lead to heating problems very quickly and may signify that significant furnace repair is needed. And any homeowner will definitely know if there is a problem with the thermostat, as their home is either overheated or not heated at all. Any given homeowner may think that, because the thermostat is a such a seemingly simple device, it can be repaired or tended to easily. However, this is usually not the case, as thermostat issues can often be emblematic of issues that require furnace repair. Any potential thermostat issue should be tended to an experienced professional who, ideally, knows about your unit and has serviced it in the past.
Furnace maintenance and furnace repair are major concerns for your home heating system. If you’re noticing heating problems as the calendar turns toward the colder months, don’t hesitate to contact your preferred furnace repair expert. Furnaces are very complicated and essential pieces of the home which, when operating efficiently, can be a boon to both your home’s comfort and your energy bill savings. As the days grow shorter and temperatures begin to fall, understand that a functioning, efficient home heating system is your first line of defense from the cold. Furnace maintenance and furnace repair can greatly enhance your peace of mind and keep you confident that your house will be a comfortable and safe home when you go to turn your thermostat up.