In places like the Stryker, Bryan, and Napoleon, OH area, it can get incredibly cold in the winter. When the temperature drops down to below freezing, you need your furnace to work. Many home and business owners don’t pay any attention to their furnace until it stops working. There are things you can do to your furnace to ensure that it doesn’t go out randomly throughout the year. If you keep your eye out for the signs that you need gas furnace maintenance, you’ll be more likely to catch smaller issues before they turn into larger problems. But what are the signs to look for that you need gas furnace repairs or upkeep? What does having your gas furnace serviced even really mean? What are the benefits of having a certified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, or HVAC, technician come to your home to work on your furnace? Can you clean your furnace by yourself? A lack of preventative maintenance and care can create more issues than the standard wear and tear that comes with time.
Common Furnace Problems
If you fail to maintain your furnace properly, it can start to show signs of different parts breaking down. You may also notice that something is wrong with some of the components in it. Your furnace needs to be cleaned, and it needs new filters because it cycles air through a system. Something has to filter out the dirt particles, so they don’t jam the furnace equipment. Here are some of the signs to look for to determine if your furnace needs servicing.
- Blower Runs Constantly If your furnace continues to cycle repeated, it’s a sign that something could be wrong with the blower. This component push the hot air into your ducts, ensuring it circulates through your entire home, so if this goes out it will need to be replaced. This could also cause, or be indicative of, a problem with the limit switch.
- No Heat If your furnace isn’t warming your entire home like it used to, the filter could be clogged up, causing the heater to lose efficiency.
Noisy Unit If your furnace is making a lot of noises that it wasn’t before, this could indicate a mechanical problem somewhere in the interior. This could mean some parts are dirty or shaking loose.
- Heater Won’t Start This could be a problem with the electronics in your thermostat. If it has shorted out, or some of the connections are bad, it could cause the furnace to not respond to the thermostat. There could be loose wiring in your furnace itself as well.
- Thermostat Giving Incorrect Readings If your thermostat is telling you that your home is a toasty 75 degrees, but it is actually the same 32 degrees inside as it is outside, this could be indicative of an electrical problem, or a connection issue with the temperature sensor.
- Clogged Exhaust Port If your gas furnace releases gas exhaust from the heating process, that gas needs to go somewhere. There is a flue connected to your furnace that vents this gas outside of your home. If you start getting headaches when your furnace is on, or if you have a carbon monoxide detector and it is going off, this means your furnace’s exhaust could be clogged and need to be cleared out. This is odorless, so the CO2 monitor is a must for someone with a gas furnace.
- Gas Leak We’re talking about gas furnaces, and that means talking about the potential of a gas leak. A gas leak poses a serious health risk to you and your family. Natural gas also has the potential to explode if trapped in an enclosed space. Natural gas is odorless, but companies put in an additive to give it a smell. If you think you smell rotten eggs in your home, or start to get light-headed and feel nauseous, you may have a gas leak. If you suspect you have a gas leak, turn off the gas line if it is safe to do so, call emergency services, and then contact a certified plumber or the utility company. Emergency services will help evacuate the area while the plumbers or utility crew can help find the source of the leak.
Gas Furnace Maintenance and Service
It’s true, some components just break over time. But if you’re not caring for your furnace, you run the risk that it will break sooner than it is supposed to. Most experts agrees that you should have your gas furnace and natural gas lines inspected and serviced at least once a year. There are some options for do it yourself furnace tune-ups, but professional service is still recommended to ensure there isn’t a gas leak. The easiest thing you can do to keep your heater from needing gas furnace repairs is to change the air filter. Some websites recommend changing the air filter every 3 months. However, if you don’t run the furnace that often, you can inspect it to see if it is dirty and make a judgment call as to whether or not it needs to be changed. If you feel comfortable working with other components in your furnace, you can clean the blower. That’s where the majority of the dirt and dust particles that get past the air filter will go. Cleaning the debris off of the blower can prevent the dirt from causing it to short out.
How do technicians service gas furnaces? HVAC techs go through a checklist when they work on your heater. They check to make sure your vents and ducts aren’t clogged. They remove parts of the blower and check for dirt and debris that may have been missed during your own home maintenance. They ensure all of your electrical lines are connected and functioning properly, and check for corrosion or wear and tear on components and belts. For gas furnaces, they check the unit’s thermocouple, combustion gases, pilot lights, and natural gas lines. These are the components where damage can be a health hazard to you and the people around you. That’s why it’s important to have these components checked out by a professional. A faulty thermocouple can lead to an explosion, although this is a very rare occurrence. Because of the danger associated with gas furnace components and fuel, we recommend using a professional HVAC service that can provide quality service when you need it. If you want to schedule gas furnace maintenance or an inspection in Stryker, Bryan, and Napoleon, OH, contact the HVAC experts of Woolace & Johnson at 419-546-8424.