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Things to Do Now to Avoid a Furnace Repair Later

The last thing you want in the middle of a cold winter night is to realize that your furnace has stopped working. In the best case scenario, a faulty furnace will make your home uncomfortable, but depending on the weather, this could also be a dangerous problem to have.

In addition to its impact on your physical comfort and personal safety, a furnace that is not working can cost you a lot of money. This is partly because technicians often charge higher fees for emergencies in winter and because this problem can lead to other damage to your home, warns Out Fast Management in Clearwater.

What causes a furnace to need repair, and what can you do to avoid this problem?

1. The igniter is faulty

The igniter is faulty

If this component is faulty, the fuel will not be ignited, and the furnace cannot generate heat. If the furnace igniter is chipped, warped, frayed, or cracked, it will not work and must be replaced.

2. Short cycling

This is when the furnace turns off and on within short intervals. The problem is caused by clogged filters and impeded airflow. Faulty or mismatched components may also cause this problem.

3. Control board issues

The control board is the leading electrical component inside the furnace. If it is faulty, the furnace will shut down or there will be sudden uncomfortable temperature changes inside your home.

4. The flame sensor is clogged

This safety device ensures that your furnace is only turned on when a flame is available for combustion. If the sensor doesn’t detect a flame, the furnace will not work.

5. Cracked heat exchanger

Cracked heat

The heat exchanger transfers the heat from combustion to the air used to warm your home. If it is cracked, the furnace will lose its efficiency.

How to avoid furnace repairs   

All of the above issues can be prevented by simple precautions. Furnaces that are inspected and maintained on a schedule are less likely to break down. Even if problems happen, they can be discovered before they have the time to do major damage. Here are a few things you can do as a homeowner to ensure your furnace doesn’t leave you in a bad situation.

● Clean or replace furnace filters regularly

Clean or replace furnace filters regularly

Problems caused by a dirty or damaged furnace filter rank as the number two most common furnace problem. A dirty furnace filter can stop your furnace from working. Although furnace filters are meant to last three months, they only last long when you barely use the furnace (such as during fall).

During winter, the filter will get clogged in 3-4 weeks when the furnace runs full time. If your furnace is making a whistling sound that stops when you take the filter out, you know it is time to replace the filter.

● Duct cleaning

If you have done some renovation work involving sheetrock or there is significant dust in the home, your ducts will get dirty very quickly. In addition to the dirty ducts, the furnace will have difficulty working if the evaporative coils are clogged with dirt.

Duct cleaning is not something you can do yourself; you need a professional for this. Ensure the coil is cleaned along with the ducts; this is vital. Note that because of all the loose dirt inside the duct, you may need to replace your filter one week after the duct is cleaned.

● Clean the flame sensor

A dirty flame sensor is the number one furnace problem for homeowners. Carbon buildup from combustion and debris from the furnace blower are some of the things that can make the flame sensor dirty. Flame sensors also get dirtier if a drying machine is near the furnace.

It would help if you had your furnace flame sensor cleaned every 1-2 years; doing this will save you headaches in the future. To clean the sensor, scrub it with a scouring pad; do not use sandpaper.

● Watch the vents and airflow

You should never close more than 20% of the registers in your home unless your HVAC technician advises otherwise. Restricting airflow to your furnace will put the system under strain and make it more liable to break down. Objects capable of blocking airflow should not be placed near the furnace, as they can block the return air grilles on the furnace.

● Stay up to date with preventative maintenance

Only a professional should handle most of the issues that might stop your furnace from working. But you do not have to wait until problems arise before you call an expert. Getting your HVAC technician to do periodic inspections of the furnace will help you stay ahead of trouble.

Instead of reacting to problems, you will be preempting and preventing them. A preventive program for maintaining your HVAC is the best way to avoid future repairs.

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