It always seems like the furnace breaks down on the coldest day of the year. Furnace repairs are inconvenient, and in some cases they can be expensive. The most common causes of furnace repairs, however, are usually preventable. While it is true that your furnace may have to be repaired eventually due to normal wear and tear, you can avoid unnecessary repairs by knowing what leads to breakdowns and how to properly care for your furnace.
Infrequent maintenance is the number-one cause of furnace repairs. Routine maintenance and inspections performed by a professional furnace technician actually help the unit run more efficiently and detect problems before they turn into costly repairs. Failing to maintain your furnace is like failing to maintain your car. If you don’t change the oil in your car it will still run for a time, but eventually it will cause the engine to fail and lead to expensive repairs or replacements. You shouldn’t skip an oil change and you shouldn’t skip furnace maintenance. Right now, Lenz Heating & Cooling is offering a furnace tune-up special for only $69.99. If you can’t remember the last time you had your unit looked at by a professional, give us a call!
Dirty or Clogged Filters
If lack of maintenance is the number-one cause of furnace repairs, then dirty or clogged filters are a close second. A dirty filter restricts airflow, causing the furnace to work harder to circulate warm air throughout the house. Many homeowners call a service technician out to inspect their furnace because it isn’t working properly, when all they really need to do is replace the furnace filter. If the dirty filter goes unchanged for a long period of time, the added wear and tear to your unit can cause the furnace to fail prematurely. Remember that proper furnace maintenance involves replacing the filter every three months or so. Replacing the filter periodically is a much lower expense and inconvenience than having to pay for an unexpected furnace repair due to wear and tear caused by a dirty filter.
A faulty thermostat has the biggest effect on the comfort level of your home, but it can also affect the furnace fan. Because the thermostat controls when heat is circulated and how much, it can make it seem as if the furnace isn’t producing any heat, the fan isn’t forcing hot air through your home, or the heat is so sporadic that it makes your house uncomfortably cold. Sometimes, all you need to do change the battery. If a new battery in the thermostat doesn’t help the furnace run properly , call a professional to diagnose the problem.
Your furnace does have a life expectancy, usually about 15–20 years, so mechanical failure caused by normal wear and tear is common. There are many components to a furnace to ensure its proper function, so if any of these parts fails, issues such as low airflow, poor heating control, overheating, and fan motor problems can all result. Typically, belts and bearings are the culprits of mechanical failure, but really any furnace part can hinder the performance of your unit.
Malfunctioning Ignition or Pilot Control
Most modern furnace units no longer rely on a pilot-light system, but they still require an igniter to electronically light the gas and heat your home. Malfunctioning ignition control can cause intermittent heat or no heat at all. Even drafts or clogs in the unit can prevent a pilot light from igniting.
When it comes to common furnace problems, routine maintenance from a professional technician is key to ensuring the proper function and efficiency of the unit. Homeowners must also frequently replace the filter to keep the furnace heating the house the way it should. If the furnace still isn’t heating your home properly, call Lenz Heating & Cooling to accurately diagnose and repair your furnace!