Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Furnace’

Does Your Furnace Have a Repair Hangover from Last Winter?

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Here’s a situation that you don’t want to run into when the first chilly day of winter arrives: a furnace that breaks and stops working almost as soon as it turns on. You might think, “What’s the chance of that happening?” But if you let your heating end the previous winter with possible repair issues left unattended, you’re taking a big chance that it won’t work when you need it from the coming winter.

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Give Your Furnace a “Test Run” This Fall

Monday, October 26th, 2015

The cold weather hasn’t arrived in Burlington, VT yet, but we all know that it’s coming. Now is the best time to find out if your home heating system needs repairs or replacements done so you can have the heater ready to go when the temperature drops.

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What Makes a Furnace High Efficiency?

Monday, March 31st, 2014

In a lot of ways “high efficiency” is in the eye of the beholder. Luckily, you don’t have to depend on subjective opinion to understand what makes a furnace high efficiency. Here in Burlington, VT, heating is no laughing matter and a high efficiency unit can mean big savings during the cold winter months. But who determines what constitutes high efficiency? That is, how can you tell that a “high efficiency” furnace actually is what it claims to be, and not just empty rhetoric from some advertiser somewhere?

The answer starts with the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating, which all furnaces must possess. It measures the percentage of the energy a furnace uses that actually goes into heating your home. So a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80% would spend 80% of its energy on heating and 20% on waste and inefficiency. Obviously, the higher the rating, the more efficient the furnace, which is where the subjectivity comes in. If you spend 20 years using a furnace with an AFUE rating of 60% and install a new one with an AFUE rating of 75%, it’s going to seem very efficient indeed.

The U.S. Department of Energy has established formal criteria for furnace efficiency. The EnergyStar sticker is used to denote furnaces that are particularly energy efficient: with a 95% AFUE rating or higher for gas furnaces, and an 85% AFUE rating or higher for oil furnaces. (That number drops slightly for gas furnaces in warmer parts of the country.) The EnergyStar rating helps eliminate the uncertainty in the equation and let you choose an efficient heater no matter what the circumstances.

For more on what makes a furnace high efficiency, or for installation options, you can call upon Red Rock Mechanical for help. We stand by our assessments with an ironclad guarantee, and we won’t rest until you are completely satisfied with our work. Here in Burlington, VT, heating systems need to be as efficient as possible. Contact one of our trained technicians today and let us help you make that happen!

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Why is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Here in Stowe, VT, heating is a serious concern, and a disruption in service can spell serious problems for your household. “Why is my furnace blowing cold air?” isn’t a question you ever want to contemplate in the depths of winter. As much as we may wish otherwise, such incidents do happen, and when they do you need a first-rate repair services for correct the problem with speed and efficiency. If helps if you understand the process involved in creating the situation. A number of different factors can lead to your furnace blowing cold air.

In some cases, the issue stems from a simple setting with the thermostat. It may be set too low or located in a spot in the house that’s warmer than elsewhere.  Your furnace itself may also contain a faulty component, turning the fan on without igniting the burners or releasing the gas. A repair technician can repair or replace the thermostat, or move it if it needs to be in a different spot, or troubleshoot the sequence of your furnace.

Other problems stem from a lack of fuel, or from the fuel not igniting properly. If you have an older furnace with a pilot light and the light goes out, it won’t produce any hot air. In some cases, clogs or blockages can result in cool air blowing from the furnace as well. For example, if the condensate system is suffering problems, such as the line being clogged with dirt or the reservoir float being closed, then the gas won’t be allowed into the system even if the fans are blowing.

Whatever the cause, it takes a trained professional to determine the source of the problem and correct it. In Stowe, VT, heating repairs can be conducted by the experts at Red Rock Mechanical. We can answer the question “why is my furnace blowing cold air?” then correct the problem with efficiency and care. Give us a call today to make an appointment, and let us show you what we can do!

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Heating Problem: My Electronic Ignition Furnace Won’t Ignite

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The standing pilot light was the regular way to ignite gas-powered furnaces for almost as long as these heating systems have existed. But now an electric ignition system have started to replace pilot lights. Because an electric ignition does not need constant power the way a pilot light does, it contributes to energy savings. The electric ignition is one of the reasons modern furnaces have seen a rise in AFUE ratings (annual fuel utilization efficiency) and have remained competitive with other, newer heating systems.

However, just like a pilot light going out, if your electric ignition fails, the gas jets in the burner will not come on and the furnace will provide no heat. There are a number of reasons this might occur, but whatever is behind the problem, you should not attempt to troubleshoot it yourself. Gas furnaces are potentially hazardous if they receive untrained work. Stay safe and call professionals like the staff at Red Rock Mechanical when you need help with your heating in Williston, VT.

Possible causes for electronic ignition failure

  • Igniter age: An electric ignition system is not designed to last as long as a furnace itself and it will need occasional replacements after it wears out. A repair technician will be able to determine if this is indeed the problem and find the proper replacement part.
  • Wrong igniter for the furnace: Here is a good example of why calling for professionals is best. If the wrong type of igniter is in the furnace with incorrectly matched voltage, it will soon fail.
  • High temperature limit switch affecting the igniter: The high temperature limit switch is an important safety feature of a furnace that prevents it from becoming too hot. The switch will turn the furnace off when the temperature rises too high. But a clogged air filter can cause the switch to start turning off the igniter early. The limit switch itself can often malfunction, preventing the igniter from turning on at all.
  • High current in the home: A power surge can cause the electric igniter to burn out, especially if it is a “hot surface” igniter, which functions similar to a light bulb with a burning filament.

Don’t go “do-it-yourself”

Although the electronic igniter in your furnace is a small and replaceable component, you should never attempt to change it yourself. First of all, you won’t know for certain what caused the igniter to fail, and there may be other issues that need attention. Second, you should never interfere with any natural gas system because of the possibility of carbon monoxide exposure and other hazards.

Call Red Rock Mechanical and our 24/7 emergency service for assistance with a gas furnace. Take no chances with your heating in Williston, VT: rely on our NATE-certified repair technicians.

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How to Keep Your Furnace Up and Running

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Getting through a beautiful—but icy cold—winter in Vermont requires a heating system that is up to the task. Furnaces have kept many homes in this state warm and cozy through the cold months, and advancing technology has kept modern furnaces competitive in the HVAC market.

However… you have to be good to your furnace to make sure that it stays up and running during the coming cold. We’ll give you some guidance on how to do that in this post. Red Rock Mechanical has 23 years of experience working with furnaces and other heating systems, and when you need prompt professional assistance to keep your heater up and running, give us a call.

Ways to prevent a breakdown in your furnace

Schedule regular preventive maintenance: We put this first because it’s the best method to make sure you don’t experience a chilly period of shutdown on the coldest day of the year. Any machine requires regular maintenance to ensure its continued efficient operation, and with the amount of work a furnace needs to do during a Burlington winter, it should get at least a yearly check-up. Sign up for a maintenance program with a reliable HVAC company; they should be able to take care of your air conditioner as well.

Change the filter regularly: The filter in a furnace traps debris that might otherwise get into the cabinet and damage the components. During the heating season, you should change the filter once a month to prevent it from developing so much dust and dirt that it can no longer function adequately. Also, make sure you change the filter before heating season begins, so your furnace has a fresh start.

Get repairs done immediately: The moment that your furnace gives you any warning that something is wrong—reduced air flow, odd smells from the vents, tripped circuit breakers, uneven heating, strange noises—call in an HVAC specialist to find out what is wrong and repair it before it can grow into a bigger, more expensive problem or a full breakdown.

Red Rock Mechanical can take care of the repair and maintenance needs that will make sure your furnace in Burlington, VT stays healthy this coming season. We back all our work with a one-year warranty.

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Reasons Why Your Furnace Won’t Turn On

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Many homes in Plattsburgh NY are heated by a gas furnace. The technology is reliable and relatively inexpensive: burning gas to heat air which is then distributed through your home. If your furnace won’t turn on, you need to call a professional repair service to address the issue, especially in the winters when the snows start to fall. A low air flow or a lack of heat is bad enough, but if the furnace won’t turn on at all, it may indicate a serious issue. Here’s a list of some of the more prominent reasons why your furnace won’t turn on.

  • Pilot light out. The gas in your furnace is ignited by a pilot light, which should be on all the time in order to provide heat when you need it. If the pilot light goes out, the furnace won’t turn on. In most cases, the pilot light apparatus will need to be replaced, though it can be relit if the problem isn’t substantial.
  • Thermocouple. The thermocouple is a safety valve near the pilot light (sometimes a part of the same component) which regulates the flow of gas into the combustion chamber. If there’s a problem with the gas line or the pilot light, the thermocouple with turn off the gas automatically so that it won’t flood your home.
  • Electrical issues. Some furnaces use electricity to run certain components, including the blower fan and possibly the pilot light as well. If there’s an overload or a problem with the wiring, the furnace won’t receive any power and you won’t have any heat generated.

No matter what the cause, you need a professional to determine why your furnace won’t turn on. Call the professionals at Red Rock Mechanical for help.  We handle Plattsburgh, NY heating issues of all varieties, and our trained experts can determine the cause of your heater malfunction. We also perform installation services, and can set up a maintenance schedule to keep your furnace clean and running. We’re standing by to help, so give us a call today.

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