Furnace Maintenance 101
With these beautiful warm temperatures, it doesn’t feel much like fall. However, it is time to think about getting your furnace ready for winter and prepare for colder temperatures. Many of us take our heating and cooling systems for granted. We often overlook how important it is to maintain our furnaces and cooling systems, but a little bit of planning can reduce the need for emergency furnace repairs down the road.
Unless you’ve experienced a time when your furnace went out on a cold winter night you might not think too much about your furnace. If you’ve experienced an emergency repair you may understand that furnace maintenance can actually prevent unexpected repairs. To illustrate the importance of maintenance we put together some visual representations of what your furnace feels like:
1. Clogged / Dirty Furnace Filters
A clogged dirty filter inhibits air flow and your air handler must work harder and longer to compensate for the blockage of air flow. Not only can this increase your heating bills, the reduced airflow can cause your heat exchanger to cycle on and off.
2. Bad Furnace Capacitor
A capacitor starts the blower. If it is not running properly it will struggle to reach the desired temperature and maintain that temperature. It may also cause the furnace to cycle on and off.
3. Bad Hot Surface Igniter
When the thermostat triggers the furnace to start it is a similar process to inserting a key to start your car. If your hot surface igniter goes bad, the furnace will not be able to start.
4. Dirty Flame Sensor Rod
A flame sensor is a small metal rod that is designed to shut down the gas to the furnace as a safety precaution. It has a small electric current that allows it to shut down the gas to the furnace if the burner has failed to light. If they become dirty this interferes with the signal between the burner and the flame sensor so it immediately goes into safety mode and shuts down the gas. It may continue to try to start when ignited and just shut down short cycling the system.
In these images above we want to illustrate how you furnace feels, since it is often overlooked in your home. It is always best to get an expert to perform a furnace inspection to look for these and any other issues. As we described above, a lot of these things happen due to lack of furnace maintenance if we can make this a topic you can relate to it will only benefit you in the end and save you some headaches.
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