Efficient and effective home heating is essential for the well-being and comfort of a home, and a good furnace can make that happen. The furnace is an essential investment, especially during the cold months. This is because it keeps the home warm and nice. It can be quite frustrating to have an ill-operating furnace in times when you need it the most. As such, it is important to have it prepared before the season to make sure that it serves your need during the cold months effectively. How can you do this? It’s quite simple- Maintenance. You have to maintain your furnace in order to get the best out of it. Here are some of the things you can do to maintain your furnace in preparation to enjoy the most from it.
1| Clean The Filter Or Replace It
Most people make the mistake of underestimating the filter, yet it is a vital part of any heating and air conditioning unit. A clogged one will definitely hamper hot air flow requiring the unit to work harder to deliver the desired heat which can be damaging. You can have Bradford Air & Heating handle the cleaning or replacements if need be.
2| Vacuum Furnace Interior
It helps in getting rid of the debris and dust that builds up with time. The burner and heater bases are the most sensitive in collecting dust and a vacuum should do the job just fine. It is important to remember that oil heaters require special soot cleaners to get effective results with the cleaning.
3| Care for The Blower Belt and Motor
A clogged blower assembly can wreak havoc on a furnace, making it inefficient. The furnace must work harder to create the same amount of heat, expending more energy. This also reduces unit life and costs the homeowner extra money in utilities. A loose blower creates for an ineffective furnace, and it can result from increased operating time of the unit. You should also replace a cracked or frayed belt. To ensure that your motor keeps running smoothly, use a few drops of oil to make improvements. If you are not very sure whether your motor has a belt or requires oiling, ask Bradford Air & Heating to evaluate and advise you on the way forward. While the furnace is open for the filter inspection, check and clean the blower assembly at least once a year. Some models have a squirrel cage wire unit over the blower fan. The cage must be removed in order to access the fan, which may contain dirt and dust build-up.
4| Replace The Blower Doors Properly
This is because poorly replaced blower doors can lead to the circulation of carbon monoxide and other combustion byproducts in warm air around the house which can be dangerous. This is why it is important to always have professionals like Bradford Air & Heating carry out your maintenance to ensure that you don’t leave anything to chance.
5| Keep The Vents Unobstructed
Clogged vents can also lead to a malfunctioning furnace. When they are clogged, the air ends up being pumped through the pipes, and it will be harder for it to reach the desired areas. The vents should not be obstructed by dirt or things such as furniture, carpets, and blinds.
6| Check Exhaust Flue
Most of the furnace units have this, and its purpose is allowing combustion byproducts to escape, and this process should not in any way be prevented since it can cause a buildup in the unit leading to energy wastage and even cause damage to the unit. You can have all these things checked, repaired and replaced by hiring Bradford Air & Heating. When Bradford Air & Heating handle the residential and commercial furnace repair, you know that you can relax easy knowing that your furnace is ready for the winter months ahead.
7| Give The System a Trial Run
To avoid some costly furnace repair bills, it is essential to give the system a functional test before the cold months. Check the filter and system as directed above, then turn on the system and observe its performance. Using the side panel, you can diagnose its flame elements to determine if they are delivering proper heating or not. It should look equally blue and comfortable. Also, notice that the system does not cause any rattling noise when you switch on the unit.
8| Spot Check the System
At least once every month, you should randomly examine your furnace, especially if they are not in use, to avoid major problems which can lead to repair. Check the outside air inlet and the roof opening to ensure that leaves or frost does not accumulate around the ducts.
9| Perform Regular Maintenance
Your furnace, like your car, requires regular maintenance to work at an optimal efficiency. Little spending on regular maintenance can prevent major problems. Hiring Bradford Air & Heating to clean your furnace and fix it once a year or every six months let your furnace work at its maximum, and may allow you see (and sometimes avoid) the problems that will be harder or costly to repair.
10| Give it a Rest
If you do not take the steps to increase your home’s energy efficiency, not only will you lose money by paying larger utility bills, but you will be making your furnace work much harder to warm your home during cold months. Simple upgrades (such as re-caulking where required) can make a big difference in efficiency and make your furnace work smoother.
11| Check it Yourself
If your furnace develops some problems, you can check out some simple things yourself (and save the repair costs). Make sure the pilot light is on (instructions to re-light it, if necessary, are usually on the side of the furnace). Also, make sure your thermostat is clean and accurate; sometimes the solution is as simple as replacing the batteries in the thermostat! Also, check the fuse box; make sure that the circuit breaker of your furnace is on.
12| Call for Help
If you have checked the basics and still have problems with the furnace, call Bradford Air & Heating right away. Your furnace is an important equipment, and it is not worth the risk of damaging it or even harming yourself because the furnaces are working on elements that can be very flammable.
13| Update, Already!
This may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes you will save more money by simply purchasing a new furnace. This is particularly true if your furnace is old. Newer versions are much more energy-efficient, which will help you reduce your electricity bills and are less likely to need expensive repairs in the future. Properly maintained, the new furnace should not be a problem!
A properly maintained furnace should not give you very many problems. However, problems do sometimes arise. Some of the more common problems might not require you to call a professional for furnace repair. Knowing the difference can save you time and money. So, what problems are your furnace likely to have and how can you solve these problems? Read on if you like to know.
Q| Furnace Is Not Producing Heat
This problem could be the result of a few different malfunctions. Your thermostat could be broken, or it might not be receiving electricity. For a non-electronic ignition system, the pilot light might be out. For an electronic system, the igniter could be faulty.
To troubleshoot these problems, you should check to make sure the thermostat is turned on and set to a temperature that would draw heat. If the thermostat will not turn on, flip the circuit breaker if it has flipped. If a fuse is blown, replace it. Lastly, make sure the pilot light is lit. If you have an electronic ignition system, follow the directions on your system to troubleshoot it. If the system is still not producing heat at this point, you might need to call Bradford Air & Heating for professional furnace repair.
Q| Furnace Produces Heat but Not Enough
A dirty air filter or dirty gas burners could create this problem. Alternately, the burners could need adjusting, or something could be obstructing air flow to the combustion chamber.
If the air filter is dirty, then you should replace it as soon as possible. If the burners are dirty, then you should clean them. However, if the burners need to be adjusted, you will have to call Bradford Air & Heating. Also, make sure that nothing is blocking airflow to the combustion chamber.
Q| Furnace Runs Too Frequently
If your system keeps turning on and off frequently, you might have a thermostat problem. Other possible causes could be a dirty air filter or a problem with the blower motor.
First, replace your dirty air filter. If you have a mechanical thermostat, try adjusting the heat anticipator. If you have an electronic thermostat, follow the instructions included with the device to troubleshoot any possible problems. If this still does not solve your problem, you might have a blower motor problem. Try oiling the blower motor lubrication ports which are usually located at each end of the shaft. Also, check the tension in the motor belt. If it is too loose, tighten it. If it is frayed, replace it.
If any of this seems like more work than you are comfortable performing, call a Bradford Air & Heating. You should be careful not to make the problem worse.
Q| Blower Runs Constantly
If your system’s fan is running non-stop, you might have the system set to “continuous.” If your thermostat does not have a “fan” setting, but it still runs without stopping, you could have a problem with your fan limit control switch.
Replacing or resetting the fan limit switch inside the furnace should fix this problem.
Q| Thermostat Issues
The thermostat tells the system how much heat to provide. If you have problems, you may have no heat, no fan to push the hot air through, or intermittent warmth that cuts off and on.
The system could have faulty wiring due to age, or it may need a new transformer. Many times, excessive dust can cause issues, and a simple cleaning will solve the problem. You can use a small paintbrush to gently wipe off accumulated dust and debris from the components.
Q| Pilot or Ignition Control Problems
Most systems today have two types of ignition methods: hot surface ignition or intermittent pilot. It is not unusual to have an issue with the ignition system if your furnace is providing only intermittent or no warmth at all. The ignition system powers the heater when the thermostat reaches the configured temperature. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, some reasons may include a loose or faulty thermocouple, a clogged orifice, or a flame that is set too low.
You can clear a clogged orifice using a piece of thin wire; just be sure to cut off the gas and power to the equipment first. Also, check the flame adjustment screw for the pilot light if your equipment has one. Refer to your owner’s manual to see how to turn the screw to adjust the flame level.
Maintain your furnace by taking into account these things as this will help you avoid expensive repair costs and ensure effective performance during the winter season. All these tips are easy to follow. In any case, the repair and maintenance of the furnace should be a priority for all homeowners, especially in the height of cold winter weather. It is crucial to have Bradford Air & Heating fix all problems developed by your furnace so as not to have any interruptions in the heating of the house. At Bradford Air & Heating, we provide HVAC services for both residential and commercial customers in Livermore, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Concord, Danville, Pleasanton in Alameda and Contra Costa County, CA. We repair, install, and maintain HVAC systems with our team of licensed and certified cooling and heating technicians. We deliver exceptional customer service and receive high satisfaction ratings from our customers. For more information about Bradford Air & Heating, click here
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