If you’re like most people in Central Florida, you probably don’t think about your furnace and its condition until it stops working. Prepare for colder weather by ensuring your furnace is in good working order before issues occur. Here is a comprehensive list of the most common furnace issues and how to avoid them. It’s been assembled for your benefit by our team of heating and cooling experts at American Air & Heat.
Clogged Air Filters
Changing your air filter may not be at the top of your to-do list. However, this essential part of routine furnace care is one of the main causes of service calls and repairs. Clogged filters can not only cause poor air circulation and heat cycling problems, but they can also cause air duct problems and dirt buildup. Fortunately, you can help to prevent unnecessary furnace problems by changing your air filter regularly. As a bonus, periodically changing your air filter will improve indoor air quality, and it’s significantly more cost-effective.
Problems Due to an Old Furnace
Just like your vehicle or home, a furnace is an investment for you and your family. That’s why, regardless of your furnace’s age, you should regularly schedule and complete routine maintenance to keep it in top condition for as long as possible.
If your home is older or if you are new to homeownership, it’s important to verify when your furnace was manufactured, purchased, and installed. Knowing your furnace’s age can help you pinpoint common problems in specific models and determine if the cost of repair outweighs the cost of installing a newer heating system.
Your furnace can collect dust, moisture, or dirt during the summer or spring. For that reason, it’s not abnormal to smell a bit of dust burning when you first turn on your furnace. You can usually rectify this issue by changing your air filter and running your furnace for a few hours. You may require a thorough duct cleaning if the dusty and burning smell doesn’t resolve on its own.
If the smell is musty, however, it may indicate potential mold from moisture buildup. Additionally, if you smell burning plastic or rubber, you may have a deeper furnace problem. If you smell burning rubber or plastic, or if it smells musty, it’s best to consult with a heating professional to determine the cause and correct the problem.
One of the most common furnace problems has little to do with the furnace itself. If your thermostat is battery-operated, be sure the batteries are changed frequently. Consider changing your thermostat batteries as often as you change them for anything else.
If your thermostat is electrically wired, make sure the connection is solid by inspecting for loose, blocked, or disconnected wires. If all is in order, inspect for dust, timing issues, or blown fuses. That way, you can be sure your thermostat is ready for changing seasons without unpleasant surprises.
All homes have certain sounds we grow accustomed to hearing, but a noisy furnace is not one of them. Listen for your furnace’s rumbling, rattling, or squeaking sounds to help identify potential problems. If you are unsure what is causing the issue or where the sound is coming from, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for troubleshooting, diagnosis, and repair services.
Intake and Exhaust Vents Are Blocked
No matter the season, debris or furniture can block your furnace’s intake or exhaust vents inside and outside your home. When you change your air filter, be sure you clear any debris from around the unit or vents to help prevent problems from occurring later. If you see ice, however, reach out to us at American Air & Heat for a diagnostic consultation, as ice can indicate something more problematic.
Is Your Gas On?
If your furnace is blowing but the heat isn’t noticeable, it’s possible the gas is not flowing to the unit correctly or the line is disconnected entirely. Check the gas line to see if the switch is off, and ensure the source is correctly connected to the furnace. If you notice that you still have hot water or your gas stove is working, then your furnace burners are likely receiving an ample supply of gas, and something else is the issue. If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur, leave your residence immediately and reach out to your gas company before contacting American Air & Heat as soon as possible. You should always contact a professional when in doubt, particularly when gas is involved.
Wrong Heat Settings
If you’re unfamiliar with your thermostat, you may not know how the heat settings work. Check to be sure the heat setting is on and that you have auto settings ready to function as temperatures fluctuate daily. Set the temperature a few degrees above the thermostat’s room temperature reading for good measure. If no difference occurs, double-check the power source to ensure your furnace keeps the warmth flowing throughout. If you’re unsure how to set this up or where to test your home’s fuses, you can reach out to our technicians at American Air & Heat for guidance.
Issues With the Safety Switch
Did you know your furnace has a safety switch? Installed to prevent potential hazards and damage when the furnace is running, the safety switch is located on your furnace’s door. Although it pops out when the door is removed, it can become dislodged or disconnected, stopping your furnace from operating even if its door is securely and entirely closed. A new safety switch can be ordered from the furnace manufacturer and installed by a technician. Our experts at American Air & Heat would be glad to help you.
Issues With the Burners, Ignition, and Pilot Light
Furnaces operate similarly to kitchen stoves, including an electric ignition or pilot control. Add in dust, dirt, clogs, drafts, debris, clutter, or condensation, and your furnace can quickly become a recipe for disaster. Avoid typical burner, ignition, and pilot light furnace failures by having your furnace burners regularly inspected and cleaned.
Issues With the Flame Sensors
Flame sensors are another addition to the modern furnace’s safety features. Initially created and installed to prevent hazardous and wasteful burning of fuel, your furnace’s flame sensor can malfunction just like any other equipment. Each manufacturer provides specific instructions on cleaning a flame sensor, and you can rely on our professionals from American Air & Heat for assistance.
Lack of Regular Maintenance
Without annual furnace and air duct maintenance, you are blowing potentially contaminated air around your home. That’s why arranging a regular furnace cleaning and tune-up is as crucial to its well-being as your annual physical is to yours. Consult with an experienced and knowledgeable heating and air conditioning professional from American Air & Heat to help guarantee the health of your furnace for years to come.
Preparing for changing seasons should include more than upgrading your tires and updating your wardrobe. No matter your furnace’s age, regular tune-ups are vital to maintaining its condition and preventing common furnace issues from occurring. Ready yourself for this winter by scheduling maintenance with us at American Air & Heat. You can count on us for heating or cooling installation, maintenance, or repair anywhere in the vicinity of Oviedo. Call today.