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Fall 2014

Don’t Go through Winter without Adequate Heating

Insufficient heat is a common problem for heating systems of any type. If your heater pushes out cold air or if your home just can’t seem to get warm enough, you should likely call for heating repair. There are a number of possible causes for this and we wanted to put together a quick list of the most common ones. Call your local heating contractor to perform any work on your heater. Trying to fix the problem yourself could lead to further damage to your system, or even cause personal injury.

Furnaces

If you aren’t getting enough heat from your furnace it could be caused by one of several different things.

  • Clogged air filter. Probably the most common cause of all furnace problems is a clogged air filter. Your furnace uses a filter to keep out particles like dust and insect parts. If the filter gets clogged, it will restrict the flow of air through your furnace which could create a lack of hot air.
  • Thermocouple. If your furnace is blowing out plenty of air but it isn’t warm, then you likely have a problem with the burner, and the thermocouple is a possible culprit. A thermocouple is a safety feature that shuts the flow of gas off to the system if it detects that the flames on the burner have gone out. This prevents the area around your furnace from filling with gas. But if the thermocouple malfunctions, then you won’t get any flames and your home won’t get heated even though the furnace’s fan might still run.
  • Dirty burner. Speaking of the burner, over time it can get clogged and may not light: keeping you from getting any heat.

Heat Pumps

Another common type of heater is the heat pump. These types of systems don’t burn any fuel to heat your home. Instead, they absorb heat from the outside air and move it into your home.

  • Air filter. Remember how we said that a clogged air filter is a common cause of furnace problems? The same is true for the heat pump. Make sure that you always regularly change your air filter.
  • Compressor. In order to move heat into your home, your heat pump uses a compressed refrigerant. In order to compress that refrigerant, the system needs an operational compressor. If the compressor breaks, the system won’t be able to properly heat your home.
  • Low refrigerant. If refrigerant levels in your heat pump run low, it won’t be able to absorb enough heat from the outdoor air to heat your home. This results in plenty of air from your system but not enough hot air.

If you’re having any issues with your heating system, make sure that you call your local contractor for professional repair. Ignoring issues like inadequate heat won’t make them go away. 

 

Five Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace

For many people, the sound of a furnace kicking on reminds them of the winter and a warm home. But while furnaces are regarded as one of the most efficient and consistent heating systems on the market, they will eventually break down and need to be replaced. Knowing when that time has come for your furnace can be difficult though. Take a look below to see some of the signs that indicate a need to replace your furnace rather than just repairing it.

  • Rattling. If your furnace makes a rattling noise, it could just be a loose part. But it could also be a cracked heat exchanger allowing carbon monoxide to leak into your home. (Your furnace’s heat exchanger is a long tube of metal that gets heated by the burner and warms the air coming into your home.) The exchanger is also responsible for removing all of the dangerous combustion gases from your home. If it gets cracked, it almost always needs to be replaced instead of repaired.
  • Rust. If your furnace is coupled with an air conditioner system, condensation from the AC can actually drip down onto the furnace. This usually happens when the condensate drain system gets clogged and overflows. The water often drips onto the heat exchanger and rusts it until a hole develops in the heat exchanger, necessitating replacement.
  • Inefficiency. As your furnace ages, it will start to deteriorate. Even if you get it serviced twice a year, time marches on and your furnace won’t be able to heat your home as well. If you start to notice an increase in your utility bill, you should probably call for repair or replacement. Your heating technician can tell you whether he or she can repair the system and improve its efficiency or if it’s time to start thinking about replacing it.
  • Frequent repair. Your furnace shouldn’t require that much professional attention except for some maintenance visits each year. If you have to call for repairs on a regular basis, you may be better off spending that money on a new system.
  • Age. Age can be a very important determining factor in whether or not you decide to replace your furnace. You don’t always have to wait until your furnace is completely dead in order to consider replacing it. As your furnace ages, it will likely develop several of the issues listed above. You could save yourself a lot of headaches by replacing it early.

Whenever you detect any problems with your furnace, make sure that a professional performs any replacements and installations. Also, be sure to call early when you notice any problems so that you can keep them from developing into larger, more costly issues.  

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