Common Heating Repairs You May Need This Winter
There’s a good chance your furnace is overworking itself to keep you warm this winter, which means it may need a few repairs before spring is here. The last thing you want is a busted furnace while it’s still below freezing outside. Without the proper maintenance and occasional repair, however, your furnace can wear down, losing its efficiency, costing you higher utility bills, and eventually breaking down altogether. The winter season puts enough strain on your furnace, and damages left untreated can not only result in costly repairs but a dangerous fire hazard. Luckily most furnace problems can be solved with these six common heating repairs.
How to Ensure Your Furnace Works Year-Round
- Change the air filter. One of the most common furnace problems is a dirty filter. How often you should change the air filter will depend on the size of your home, how much you use the furnace, and if you have pets. Your furnace needs proper ventilation in order to function properly, and a dirty, clogged air filter can cause it to overwork itself to heat your home. Changing the air filter at least once a year can help increase your furnace’s lifespan and efficiency.
- Fix the pilot light. A faulty pilot light not only makes it difficult for your furnace to heat your home, but it can also cause a fire hazard. If you suspect your furnace’s pilot light is damaged, call an HVAC technician immediately. Gas-fueled furnaces, for example, should always have a blue pilot light, meaning that the flame is receiving enough oxygen. A yellow light indicates that the amount of oxygen used to combust fuel is restricted. A common cause for a faulty pilot light is a dirty air intake valve.
- Replace the thermostat. Sometimes the issue has nothing to do with your furnace at all. A thermostat that’s either faulty or installed in the wrong location could cause your furnace to work more than necessary. If your furnace seems to be cycling more than usual or you feel a fluctuation in temperature, the issue may be the thermostat. If you need to replace your thermostat, now may be a good time to upgrade it to a smart thermostat, which can allow you to monitor your energy usage and even schedule different heating settings.
- Check the switches and breakers. As odd as it sounds, sometimes all your furnace needs is to be turned on. There should be a standard wall switch on or around your furnace somewhere. It’s also a good idea to check the fuse for it on the circuit breaker. The front panel covering the furnace’s blower motor should also be securely fastened, as there is a push-in switch underneath that needs to be fully depressed in order for it to operate.
- Clear the air ducts. Your furnace works by circulating heat throughout your home, but over time the air ducts can collect a lot of dust and debris. Dirty air ducts not only wear down your furnace, but circulate dirty air throughout your home. If you suspect your air ducts are dirty, it’s best to have a professional clean them to avoid damages. A professional air duct cleaner can also alert you of any air leaks that need to be sealed.
- Clean out vents. Besides keeping your air ducts clear of debris, you’ll also want to check your furnace vents. Any vents that lead to the outside of your home can be prone to clogs, usually from plant debris, pests, or ice. Installing a screen mesh can help keep most debris from clogging the vent, but it should be cleaned frequently. If your home has a heat pump, make sure to keep all grass clippings and leaves away from the fins of the outdoor compressor unit.
Blue Star Heating and Air offers furnace repairs and installation services to the Watauga, TX area. For all of your heating needs this winter, call Blue Star!