Top 5 Furnace Problems

You know how they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Nowhere in there does it imply that if it isn’t broke, you shouldn’t maintain it – which is true for your HVAC unit. Scheduling a yearly maintenance with a reputable service expert can and will save you lots of costs for repairs in the long run. The reason for stressing the importance of maintenance is because people often find themselves stuck in the dead of winter with broken furnaces… you don’t want that to be the moment when you begin wishing you gave your heater its routine check-up! If you find yourself in this position, though, it doesn’t hurt to be able to diagnose what might be wrong with the unit. Though literally hundreds of different things could go wrong, there are five main problems that commonly arise.

Pilot or electronic ignition failure.

If you have a gas furnace, than you also have a pilot light and an ignition that lights when the heat is turned on. Some older units sometimes require that the pilot be relit after not being used for several seasons. When turning on the unit, check to see that the pilot light is lighting and that the flame seems strong. If not, you will most likely need to have the unit serviced with a professional, and it’s best to turn the unit off until then.

Clogged filters.

This is one of the reasons routine maintenance is so important. Filters become clogged with time, and with a routine cleaning, the servicer will always change the filters. However, if you haven’t had the unit serviced in a while, it is likely that the filters will cause the unit not to work to its full potential. It could also do harm to the unit itself – and that harm will be expensive in the long run – as well as cause detriments to your family’s health. If your filters are clogged, it’s time for some HVAC maintenance.


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Broken thermostat.

In many cases, the unit is in perfect working condition but there is a wiring or technical issue with the thermostat. You may find that you are able to fix this problem on your own, but sometimes, it is best to call a service expert to the house for the job.

Broken or worn-out fan motor, belts, and bearings.

We hate to keep bringing up the importance of maintenance, but routine service includes a visual inspection during which the technician will inform you if one of the unit’s components is about to wear out. You could replace it then and there to avoid these issues before they (ever so inconveniently) arise. Worn out parts could cause weak air flow, inefficient heating, overheating of the unit, and lack of control over temperature.

Mold in the ventilation.

If your home is humid, there may be mold in the vents of your unit. This could become a significant health risk, and it is important to have a professional clean your vents if this is the case. To prevent the problem in the future, utilize the A/C unit and dehumidifiers in humid months and keep your home properly ventilated. These steps will help conserve your furnace and it’s components.

Brendan Kenny is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @Beekayyyyyy.

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