Did you know that 538,000 homes in 2020 in the United States were built with furnaces? A proper heating system is one of the most important things to have in the home, especially when heating season rolls around.
Part of having a proper heating system is making sure it works perfectly. Are you in need of furnace repair?
If you don’t know, that’s okay. We’ll explain how to recognize a malfunctioning furnace, a damaged furnace, or other furnace issues you might come across.
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to identify if your furnace needs repairing and how to find the right person to repair it.
Is Your Furnace Damaged or Malfunctioning?
Malfunctioning furnaces are very different from a damaged furnace. Malfunctioning furnaces can be made to function quite easily. Some of the ways to stop your furnace from malfunctioning are as simple as preventing common problems making sure there’s no leaky ductwork.
Your furnace has to draw air from outside in order to warm your home. This air and heat has to travel through specific ducts in order to heat your home properly. These ducts are fed by large duct pipes, which are held together with tape and specialized mounts.
As time goes by, cracks may begin to form in the ductwork. This means that cold air will mix with warm air, creating frigid indoor temperatures. All you can do here is to make sure these cracks are repaired as quickly as possible.
Another common furnace issue is pilot light malfunctions. If your home is one of the many in America that are over twenty-five years old, your heating unit likely has a pilot light.
Pilot lights help ensure that natural gas pulled into the furnace is ignited properly. If the light goes out, this won’t ignite, and it will be impossible to heat your home. Do not try and fix pilot light issues in your home – let the professionals handle this, as doing otherwise is incredibly dangerous.
The final potential problem is dirty air filters. Air filters should be changed every two months. Doing so is vital to the long-term health of your furnace.
Dirty air filters are caused by air being pulled into your home. This air is pushed through filters to get rid of allergens, dust, and dirt particles. This clogs the filter, making it harder for air to get through and making your furnace less effective.
Signs of a Damaged Furnace
If you’re worried your furnace is failing, you’ll want to know what to look for. Luckily for you, there are plenty of signs that your furnace is damaged and may need repairs done.
One easy thing to look for is if your furnace is cycling or repeatedly starting and stopping. This happens when something in the system is causing it to cut off before it can complete a full heating cycle. Unfortunately, cycling can be an indicator of many different problems in the furnace.
Another sign of potential trouble is a rusted flue. This is incredibly dangerous. If your flue has rusted through, carbon monoxide cannot be properly vented outside where it belongs.
Learn to recognize the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, as it is another indicator that something is very wrong with your furnace. Carbon monoxide can cause phantom noises, hallucinations, and a general sense of unease. It has physical symptoms as well – look out for nausea, headaches, dizziness or flu-like symptoms.
Another easy way to tell if something is wrong is by looking at your utility bills and seeing if they’ve increased lately. While furnaces do have to work harder the colder it is, they shouldn’t be working so hard that they’re struggling to get the job done.
Lastly, if your furnace is twenty years old or older, it could simply be too old to function. Installing a new unit is more energy efficient, and it makes it easier for you to stay warm.
Other Furnace Issues
Although we recommend hiring a professional to help you with your furnace issues, there are some furnace issues you don’t need a professional to manage. These are all pretty small problems that you can fix yourself.
One of the easiest things you can do to prevent problems is to keep the area around your furnace clean. Your furnace needs plenty of room around it to be able to operate. Don’t let clutter build up during the summer just because the basement is a safe space to store things.
Another easy thing you can do is double-check that your thermostat is on and turned up at least five degrees above room temperature. This sounds obvious, but many people forget to do this before they make a call to request service.
You should also walk around your house and check the vents there. A stray curtain or other objects could be blocking one of the vent openings and prevent heat flow. Checking the vents to make sure they’re accessible is an easy method of troubleshooting why your heat isn’t working as well as it should be.
Lastly, if your furnace vents outside, check the heat pumps or intake and exhaust vents. During the year, leaves and grass or other debris can easily build up in these and block proper airflow through your house. If you see ice, however, that could be a sign of a bigger problem.
How to Prevent Furnace Damage
Preventing furnace damage is an easy way to make sure your furnace keeps functioning for a long time. Making sure your furnace doesn’t get damaged also makes you safer in turn. This saves both your money and your health.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways to prevent furnace damage.
The first thing you can do is change your air filters on time. As stated earlier in the article, your air filter should be changed about every two months. You’ll need to remind yourself to do this, as air filters don’t alert you when they need replacing.
Neglecting your air filter overtaxes the motor and can make the heat exchanger overheat. If this happens, you’ll be without heat for several days and need costly repairs.
In addition to regular air filter changes, try to keep the ducts clean. Air ducts can be surprisingly effective at trapping things that make it clog, which can cause mold growth. This is both unhealthy and raises the pressure in the furnace too much.
Try not to overwork your furnace. Contrary to what you might think, you should not close vents to prevent this from happening. To avoid overworking your heating system, simply give it a break every now and then.
Many people think that closing vents means the heat will go elsewhere. This works in a car but not in your home. In your home, even one closed duct vent can raise the pressure in your furnace beyond what it’s able to handle.
The last thing you can do to prevent furnace damage – and the easiest – is to keep your system maintained. By getting regular maintenance, you’re preventing any malfunctions from happening. You’re also making sure that any potential damage gets caught when it’s a small problem, meaning it’s an easy fix.
When Is It Time to Call a Furnace Repair Company?
Although there are small fixes that you can perform on your own, we recommend going to a professional for the most part.
One of the most notable things to contact a professional over is if your furnace is having trouble producing heat. Any malfunctioning furnace problems have many indicators. Keep in mind, however, that a malfunctioning furnace results in higher levels of carbon monoxide emissions.
Carbon monoxide generally doesn’t have a smell, meaning you need to be aware of how your furnace is functioning or if you have symptoms.
If you smell gas, then it is also time to call in a professional. Signs of a gas leak other than smell include unusual soil movement, bubbling water, or dying vegetation in otherwise moist areas. You may also hear whistling, roaring, or hissing noises.
When it comes to natural gas, you shouldn’t take chances. Leave the area as soon as you notice signs of problems and call the repair company. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Damaged furnaces or repairing a furnace doesn’t need to be the only times you call in a professional, however. You should also call a professional for regular maintenance.
Your furnace plays an important role in your comfort and health. It makes sense to make sure it’s constantly in the best condition it can be in.
Consider investing in regular service maintenance. Ideally, you should be receiving an inspection at least twice a year.
Why You Shouldn’t Try Repairing a Furnace on Your Own
Repairing a furnace on your own is one of the last things that you should be doing. Leave the furnace repair to the professionals. There are plenty of reasons why you should do this.
The first and most important reason to avoid repairing a furnace on your own is that there’s a high risk of personal injury. Furnaces use all kinds of natural gas, chemicals, or electricity to keep your heat system going. If you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re new to repairing furnaces, you could easily hurt yourself.
Next, you could also cause problems for your home’s safety. Loosening the wrong connection or not putting everything in its place could lead to a deadly gas leak in your home. A DIY repair on a furnace could even lead to an explosion if done the wrong way.
Lastly, if you try to repair your furnace when you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up causing worse damage to your heating system. Effective repairs require years of training to learn how to do, as well as special tools for the job.
What could have been a quick and easy repair could turn into a complicated and costly one. If you cause too much damage to your furnace, you could even need to replace the heating system.
Leaving the furnace repair to the professionals is the best thing you can do.
Furnace Repair: Choosing a Professional
When choosing a professional for furnace repair, you need to consider what you want. You’ll want a professional that offers a wide variety of services. You’ll also want someone who can work on a wide variety of makes and models, no matter how old or new they are.
That’s why you should consider KD-Mechanical. We have both of these qualities, as well as many others. Here at KD-Mechanical, we take care to stay up-to-date on training so we can evolve with the industry.
Getting an inspection with us can ensure that you stay ahead of any potential malfunctions. With yearly maintenance, you can expect us to perform off an extensive checklist targeted toward safety, efficiency, and reliability.
We’ll also restore your equipment to peak condition. This will extend the service life of your furnace, ensure quiet operation, and prevent the need for most repairs.
Schedule Service Today
Now that you’ve heard all about recognizing when you need furnace repair, you can identify if your furnace is damaged or malfunctioning. If it is, you’ll want to schedule service or request a quote.
Don’t wait to get the assistance you need — it’s heating season, and you’ll be needing a working furnace as soon as possible. Instead of waiting, contact us here to schedule service or request a quote for furnace repair.