As the weather takes a turn and the mercury begins to plunge, many people experience problems with their furnaces. It has been observed that some of the issues are common. Of course, there are a few basic troubleshooting that you can do yourself, like check the thermostat setting or changing the air filter, for others, you should also get a qualified technician to diagnose and fix your furnace. Gas-powered furnaces not only generate extremely high temperatures at the burner but also produce toxic byproducts, like carbon monoxide. Hence, to ensure your safety and wellbeing, you should also use a trained and certified furnace repair professional like the one at Home Aire Care.
Here are some of the most common issues that crop up in furnaces:
Most furnace breakdowns and malfunctions occur due to a lack of preventive maintenance. It is necessary that you opt for furnace tune-up annually so that the technician can find out developing problems and nip them at the bud. That way, the issue will be resolved early on before it grows into a more expensive problem. It is prudent to remember that if your furnace is under warranty, you would need annual preventive maintenance to ensure the warranty stays valid.
Enhanced Operating Costs
In case you find that your monthly gas bill is getting higher each year during the winter, it indicates that your furnace is consuming more fuel than it should. More often than not, as a furnace age, it becomes less fuel-efficient. A furnace loses approximately 1% of its annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating each year that you operate it. Hence, after a decade, a furnace with an 80% AFUE rating will not be as efficient as you would like it to be. So, it may be best to replace it if you are looking to lower fuel consumption and operating costs.
Poor Heating Performance
You may notice that you run the furnace for a long time but it may not be adequately heating your living space. Usually, this issue occurs when the airflow is low in the furnace. It indicates a clogged filter and replacing it with a new one every couple of months will ensure optimal furnace performance. If after changing the filter there is still no improvement, it is best to call a qualified HVAC technician to check the blower motor, ductwork, and other ancillary systems.
Problems with the Ignition
A furnace burner is supposed to ignite the moment it gets a signal from the thermostat. In case that does not happen, there could be a problem with the ignition system. Older gas furnaces and even a few of the new ones still use a pilot flame to ignite the burner. You have a thermocouple issue if the pilot flame frequently goes off. In furnaces with electronic ignition, wear and tear in the circuitry or wiring can lead to ignition issues.
Old furnaces have mercury-type thermostats that are manual. These thermostats have metallic springs and contact switches which can weaken and malfunction over time. Hence, the thermostat will not function or show the correct temperature. It is best to upgrade to a programmable thermostat that will enable you to heat your indoor living space based on your preference and you will have complete control over it. When used correctly, programmable thermostats have the ability to reduce operating costs of the furnace.
Strange and Weird Noises
It is essential to remember that furnaces cycle on and off, and when they do this, noises can emanate due to expansion and contraction. However, if you hear strange noises, like squeaks and screeches, there is a problem with either the blower motor or the bearing. On the other hand, if you hear a roar, the furnace has a combustion problem. Weird noises should be checked by a qualified technician right away.
These are some of the common issues that users face with their furnaces. If you experience them, get in touch with an HVAC technician right away.