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.
As winter comes, homeowners everywhere are beginning to think about the condition of their furnaces. Some, having neglected their furnace during the blistering summer months are just now turning them on to find unknown odors, unnatural sounds, or furnaces that don’t work at all. These home owners are needing furnace repairs due to a lack of maintenance when the furnace was out of sight and out of mind. More attentive home owners, having scheduled regular furnace maintenance by their calendars instead of their thermostats, are switching their furnaces and battling the encroaching cold with a well heated home. However, some homeowners are in danger of making a crucial mistake after the first cold morning sent them running to their furnaces. As the air conditioners in San Antonio begin to switch off, homeowners could be neglecting to ensure those air conditioners are ready to be called upon in the event that San Antonio temperatures climb unexpectedly. Just as furnace maintenance is important in the beginning stages of autumn, so too is AC repair as the sun sets on the unforgiving south Texan summer.
Should you need AC repair, it is important to hire an expert that you can trust, someone with experience and reputation. Some AC repair needs immediate attention in order to ensure the continuing comfort of your home should temperatures spike again. Residential AC units can avoid costly or emergency AC repair by regular maintenance. Regular maintenance visits can help prevent emergency AC repair, as technicians will continually check your unit for signs of leaks, or broken pieces. Such checks are essential to not only maintain your unit, but also to catch troubling signs before they blossom into an emergency you will only notice upon using your air conditioner again, which could be months from the last time you use it. Technicians will also clean the filters and the vents, and replace any that need attention or are showing signs of wear. This will have a dual benefit, as air conditioners with quality, regularly serviced parts will help their owners save money both on their energy bills and also in possible tax credits for energy efficiency. Though you may not be thinking of it when reaching for that extra layer in the morning, or opening your long neglected drawer of winter clothes, AC maintenance and AC repair are just as crucial to the homeowner in the beginning of winter than ever.
With your air conditioner receiving that last AC repair or regularly scheduled maintenance, you have the peace of mind necessary for ensuring your home is comfortable and energy efficient in the event of quickly rising temperatures, but what about that furnace? Have you stumbled into your basement or opened the door to your furnace, switched it on, only to find that your furnace is exhibiting one of the telltale signs of needing immediate furnace repairs? If this is the case, you must call a professional as quickly as possible and take care of the problem immediately. There are many tips to ensure your furnace repairs go well and you receive the furnace repair services you need. Early repairs mean that problem developing in your furnace can be prevented from worsening. Compared with the costs of multiplied problems or even perhaps replacing your furnace entirely, quick furnace repair is relatively inexpensive. Think of it like taking your car into the shop immediately after you hear your breaks squeaking or a strange knock from the engine compartment instead of waiting until the car is nigh on inoperable. Furnace repair is the same way; the sooner you move to deal with the problem, the less expensive it will be, and the less you have to deal with a cold home.
After you have identified the problem with your furnace, it is crucial that you contact an expert. People who consider themselves “handy” will try solving any problems at home themselves first, and this is a bad idea with something as important as furnace repair. Furnaces are not only expensive, they require a significant amount of care to keep from being damaged. By attempting furnace repairs yourself, you are increasing the chances of such damages and possibly doing further harm to a furnace that may have been easily fixed by a trained and experienced technician. One thing you can do is ensure the unit is ready for furnace repair by a trained technician. You can do this by making sure the furnace has cooled down completely. Furnaces are obviously meant to keep heat, meaning they will stay hot for a long time after they are engaged. A hot unit could spell trouble for a technician doing furnace repair, so be sure to put out the unit’s heat source as quickly as possible, which will allow the technician doing the furnace repair to work quickly and efficiently without the fear of getting burned or more seriously injured. When you choose a technician with great experience and a great reputation, you will be amazed by how quickly and easily your furnace repairs go.
So, as the winter months approach and the thermostats start dropping, remember that the heating and cooling needs of your home can change rapidly. To combat this, ensure that you schedule regular maintenance on both your air conditioning units and your furnaces. Remember, one way to help avoid AC repair and furnace repair is to have these units regularly serviced by trained professionals, because you have worked hard to maintain and care for your home, so make sure it takes care of you.
TASCO Air is one of San Antonio’s oldest air conditioning and heating repair companies with over 30 years of experience helping our neighbors. We are there for you in the summer when your AC needs a repair with scorching temperatures outside. We are here for you in the fall and winter when your family needs a reliable furnace to keep them warm at night.