Six Common Furnace Repairs You May Need Before Winter is Over
There’s a good chance your furnace is overworking itself to keep you warm this winter, which means it may need a few repairs before spring is here. The last thing you want is a busted heating system while it’s still below freezing outside. Without the proper maintenance and occasional repair, your furnace can wear down and lose efficiency. This will cost you in utilities, and your furnace could potentially break down altogether. Damages left untreated may not only result in costly repairs but a dangerous fire hazard. Luckily, most furnace problems can be solved with six common heating repairs.
How to Keep Your Furnace Works Year-Round
Your furnace is a complicated appliance with several components and a ventilation system. Dirt, debris, and a lack of ventilation are common causes for problems but are easily avoided with the right cleaning and care. Some issues are trickier to detect without professional help, but all furnace issues should be repaired as soon as possible. To ensure your furnace continues to work properly, make sure to try the following repairs:
- Change the air filter. One of the most common problems is a dirty filter. How often you should change the air filter will depend on the size of your home, how much you use the furnace, and if you have pets. Your furnace needs proper ventilation in order to function properly, and a dirty, clogged air filter can cause it to overwork itself to heat your home. Changing the air filter at least once a year can help increase your system’s lifespan and efficiency.
- Fix the pilot light. A faulty pilot light not only makes it difficult for your furnace to heat your home, it can also cause a fire hazard. If you suspect your pilot light is damaged, call an HVAC technician immediately. Gas-fueled systems should always have a blue pilot light, meaning that the flame is receiving enough oxygen. If you see a yellow light, the amount of oxygen used to combust fuel is restricted. A common cause for a faulty pilot light is a dirty air intake valve.
- Replace the thermostat. Sometimes the issue has nothing to do with your furnace at all. A thermostat that’s either faulty or installed in the wrong location could cause your system to work more than necessary. If it seems to be cycling more than usual or you feel a fluctuation in temperature, the issue may be the thermostat. If you need to replace your thermostat, now may be a good time to upgrade it to a smart thermostat, which can allow you to monitor your energy usage and even schedule different heating settings.
- Check the switches and breakers. As odd as it sounds, sometimes your furnace just needs to be turned on. There should be a standard wall switch on or around your furnace somewhere. It’s also a good idea to check the fuse for it on the circuit breaker. The front panel covering the furnace’s blower motor should also be securely fastened, as there is a push-in switch underneath that needs to be fully depressed in order for it to operate.
- Clear the air ducts. Your furnace works by circulating heat throughout your home, but over time the air ducts can collect a lot of dust and debris. Dirty air ducts not only wear down your equipment but circulate dirty air throughout your home. If you suspect your air ducts are dirty, it’s best to have a professional clean them to avoid damages. A professional air duct cleaning can also alert you to any air leaks that need to be sealed.
- Clean out vents. Besides keeping your air ducts clear of debris, you’ll also want to check your vents. Any vents that lead to the outside of your home can be prone to clogs, usually from plant debris, pests, or ice. Installing a screen mesh can help keep most debris from clogging the vent, but it should be cleaned frequently. If your home has a heat pump, make sure to keep all grass clippings and leaves away from the fins of the outdoor compressor unit.
Nobody wants to deal with a busted furnace, especially during the winter season. That’s why it needs routine maintenance no matter what season. Keeping up with your heating requires the occasional repair. If you think your furnace is damaged, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible. A damaged furnace is not only costly but dangerous. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call an HVAC technician today to ensure your furnace works as it should.
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