The middle of the winter is the point when you may have concerns about the performance of your home’s furnace. It’s wise to be on the lookout for potential problems. It’s not only the coldest time of the year, but the furnace has done a half season of work and has another half ahead of it.
There are a number of reasons why you may need to have professionals give your furnace a look and make fixes and adjustments in mid-winter. Schedule your heater service in Burlington, VT or the surrounding areas to ensure you don’t have a furnace that fails for any of the following reasons:
- The furnace missed fall maintenance: The top reason for any heating system to suffer a malfunction during the year is lack of regular attention with professional maintenance. We can’t emphasize how critical it is to schedule an inspection and tune-up with a licensed HVAC technician before winter starts—every year! If you didn’t have maintenance in fall, it’s still not too late to have it done and head off some serious problems.
- The blower motor is running down: The mechanical part of a furnace that does the most labor is the blower motor. (Yes, gas furnaces have crucial electrical components as well!) If any part is going to wear out from use during the winter, it’s likely to be this motor. Grime, lack of lubrication, worn-out bearings, and overheating can lead to the motor burning out—and that means no air moving through the furnace or the ventilation system.
- Limit switch failure: The furnace limit switch turns off the burners and the fan when the temperature in the combustion chamber reaches a set point. A failed limit switch can mean a furnace that either won’t turn on or won’t turn off.
- Burner combustion trouble: A layer of grime over the burners makes it more difficult for them to ignite because they can’t draw sufficient oxygen. When you notice a delay with the burners firing, or if you aren’t receiving hot enough air from the vents, the burner may need to be cleaned. (Don’t try to do this yourself; it requires a professional.)
- Failed electronic ignition system: Electronic ignition has replaced the old standing pilot light in new furnaces. They’re more reliable—but they can still crack and break or burn out. Experts can replace a dead igniter with a new one.
- Poor venting: A gas furnace sends exhaust gas from the combustion process up through a flue or chimney. If the flue becomes partially blocked, the poor ventilation will cause the furnace to work harder. It may even lead to unhealthy gases flowing into the home.
- Broken sequencer: This is a specific problem for electric furnaces. The sequencer staggers turning on the heating elements so they don’t create too much electrical demand and overwhelm the circuit. If the sequencer malfunctions, too many heating elements may come on at once and trip the circuit breaker, or too few could come on.
Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. We have 24-hour emergency service available to fix your furnace!