During the colder winter months, the last appliance that you want to fail is your gas furnace. It’s essential to have your furnace working efficiently to maintain adequate indoor comfort levels when the weather is at its worst. The best way to ensure that your heating system is ready for the cold weather is to schedule a regular annual maintenance visit. This is best carried out early fall, but if you’ve missed that time you can still catch up now. A well maintained heating system will be less likely to break down when you need it most. The heating performance may be improved, and the system will be more energy efficient saving money on your heating bills. Let’s take a closer look at five essential repair bills that you need to be aware of during the winter heating months.
- The Gas Furnace Will Not Start
There are a few possible causes or this particular problem, and some are more serious than others. The first possibility is that there isn’t a problem with the gas furnace and instead the issue may be related to the thermostat. Take a look at your thermostat and check that it’s set to the correct heating mode. Then make sure that there isn’t a break somewhere in the connection between the thermostat and the furnace. Another possible cause could a lack of electrical power caused by a tripped circuit breaker or a power outage. This will affect your electronic ignition system and prevent the furnace from starting up. If none of these issues is the root cause, there may be a more serious problem, and it’s time to call a certified HVAC specialist for expert help.
- The Furnace Will Not Stop
It may be the case that the furnace will not stop, which is especially frustrating if it’s too hot indoors and very cold outside so you cannot open a window. This could also be a thermostat related problem; if the device isn’t working correctly, it could be sending the wrong instructions to the furnace. This will result in a temperature that doesn’t match your current requirements. Another possible cause could be a temperature that is set too high on your thermostat or the air filter in the furnace could be clogged up with dirt and debris. Both of these issues will prevent the furnace from turning off as it will continue to work to meet your desired temperature even if it cannot. If adjusting the thermostat settings and cleaning the air filter doesn’t work an HVAC specialist will be needed to dig into the problem and find a solution.
- Lower Than Expected Heating Output
A loss in heating performance is one of the first indicators that many people notice when it comes to a home heating problem. A gas furnace is exceptionally effective at outputting a lot of heat in a short period of time, and if it begins to struggle, there could be a few different reasons why. The first thing to check is the air filter; if it has become clogged with dirt, dust, and debris, it will be choking off the airflow that the furnace needs. This will prevent your heating system from being able to circulate the required level of heating. Another possible cause could be in the burner assembly. If this component is damaged, the furnace will be incapable of producing any heat at all. If a little heat is being generated, it could mean that only some of the jets are operating. If you look at the gas burner assembly, and you can see that some of the jets are not igniting, it’s time to shut off the furnace and contact a local heating expert for help.
- Hearing Unusual Sounds
Even if you’ve only had your furnace for a single heating season, you will know what types of sounds it makes. Every furnace will generate some noise, but if you start to hear unusual sounds that you’ve not heard before it could be a warning that there is a problem. If you hear a clicking noise, it could indicate that a crack is forming in your heat exchanger and this could result in a carbon monoxide exposure or even a furnace fire. Any scraping, cleaning or squealing noises could be caused by a moving part that has become loose in the furnace. In some cases, an inspection followed by tightening a part or an application of lubrication may be all that’s needed to fix the problem. If the heat exchanger is cracked, it will need to be replaced as soon as possible because it makes the furnace dangerous to use.
- The Furnace Turns On and Off Quickly
When the gas furnace system turns on and then off again rapidly, it’s known as short cycling. If the heating system is brand new, this may indicate that the heating system is too big to suit your home size. If the furnace has been in place for longer and this is a new problem, there are many different reasons why this could be happening. A dirty air filter could be restricting the airflow and preventing it from reaching the heat exchanger. The flame sensor could be corroded, and this will confuse the gas valve. This is a safety measure meant to prevent gas from entering into your home. The thermostat could be receiving false readings if it’s located in a hot area, then the system will realize the mistake and compensate by turning the heating off again. If the flue pipe becomes blocked with debris, the system can overheat, and this will cause the furnace to shut down. All of these problems can be quickly identified and fixed by a local certified HVAC technician.
Many of these issues can be identified during a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment. A heating system that’s well maintained will be more energy efficient and less likely to break down when you need it most.