The last thing you want as a homeowner is to have to deal with a cold Alberta winter without a working furnace.
It’s no secret how cold Calgary gets in the middle of winter, which is why ensuring that your furnace is always in good condition is so important. The thing is, furnace problems crop up when we least expect them, and it’s not always financially doable to pay for furnace repair. If you’re going to avoid costly repairs, you need to know when to recognize the most common furnace problems. In this post, we’ll tell you 6 of them and give you a few tips on what to do when they crop up.
It’s always better to deal with more minor issues when they crop up by doing it yourself or calling your furnace company. Furnace replacement and furnace repair can be far from cheap, so keep reading and learn how to take care of your furnace more effectively.
- Dirty Ducts
One of the most common problems that confuse homeowners is also the simplest fix. If you don’t clean your ducts on a regular basis, then you’re going to stop feeling the hot air coming through the vents. As dirt and debris build-up, they create a film that the air has trouble penetrating. The main sign of dirty ducts is when you stop feeling the furnace heating your home. When everything appears to be in working order on the furnace itself, you’ve got to turn your attention to the ducts. You can clean parts of your ducts on your own, but it helps to have more thorough duct cleaning by an HVAC professional. Doing this on a semi-regular basis will prevent this issue from cropping up.
- Old Filters
When your ducts become too dirty for air to pass through, it probably means that your air filters are also old. Every furnace has a filter that blocks allergens and pollutants from entering your home and tainting the air quality. After a while, these filters become fully clogged with debris, and they stop doing their job properly. You need to change the air filter on your furnace every few months and give it a clean with your furnace filter whenever you notice that it’s looking dirty. Changing the filter is important because the above-mentioned debris will start entering your ducts. A dirty filter also makes your furnace work a lot harder to try to heat your home, which is going to make your energy bills skyrocket.
- Thermostat Issues
When you set your thermostat, it’s supposed to communicate with your furnace to tell it when to turn on and how much hot air to blow. Should the thermostat stop working effectively, it’s going to have a real negative impact on your furnace’s performance as well. It may appear to you that your thermostat is working as usual, which is why this issue can be so confusing. Instead, it’ll seem like a problem with your furnace – heating erratically, short cycling, not turning on or off at all. The first thing to try is switching out the batteries on your thermostat. If that doesn’t work, there’s a possibility that it’s dead and needs replacing.
- Pilot Light Out
One of the most important parts of a furnace is the ignitor or “pilot light”. As the furnace turns on to heat your home, the pilot light gives off a flame as it burns from your natural gas hookup. If your pilot light is out, you’ll hear your furnace trying to turn on over and over. Without the light there, the furnace won’t be able to go through a heating cycle. This is one of the easiest furnace problems to identify, but it’s going to require the help of a furnace company to fix. Because you’re dealing with fire and gas, it’s important to have a trained technician work on your pilot light. At AAA Heating and Plumbing, we can help you with any emergency furnace repairs, such as a broken pilot light.
- Not Blowing Properly
Furnaces have blower mechanisms that push the hot air generated in the furnace out into and through the ductwork. When the furnace stops blowing hot air, it could be due to an issue with some aspect of the blowing mechanism. If you hear a scraping noise, it could have to do with the blower’s ball bearings. These are easily damaged and wear out over time when you’ll start to hear a scraping noise. Contact an HVAC specialist right away to have them replaced, as continuing to run your furnace will damage them further. Hearing a squeal from the blower it’s more likely an issue with the blower belt. The belt is part of the fan, and it can easily slip out of place. These will start to wear out as you run your furnace. The last part of the blower that could be causing issues is the capacitor. This sends energy to the blower, which is how its motor runs. If the capacitor is ruined, the blower will get its energy from the circuit board, which can trip a breaker or cause a short circuit.
- Limit Switch
Your furnace’s limit switch is important for the proper functioning of the furnace, but it also plays a big role in your safety. It’s what detects the amount of heat being generated in the furnace and tells the fan to turn on and/or off. If your furnace is getting too hot, your limit switch will turn the furnace off so that you don’t have any fires. Obviously, a house fire is a worst-case scenario, but a dangerously hot furnace can damage multiple furnace components. When the furnace runs continuously, even when your home is warm, it could be an issue with the limit switch. You should have this dealt with immediately so as to avoid any emergency situations.
Dealing With Furnace Problems in Calgary
Having a working furnace is crucial to combatting the cropping cold of a Calgary winter. If you experience any of these furnace problems, it’s important to deal with them as soon as possible. Some things you can do on your own, like replacing a filter or cleaning ducts, but other things require professional expertise. For any furnace emergencies, your best bet is to contact AAA Heating and Plumbing. We offer 24/7 emergency repair services, so whatever is wrong with your furnace, you can rely on us to fix it anytime, day or night.