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Here’s Why You Aren’t Getting the Performance You Need From Your Furnace

woman-in-sweaterIt’s frustrating, not to mention uncomfortable, to have the winter start only to discover your home’s furnace can’t battle the cold the way it’s supposed to. It’s running, you can feel heat coming from the vents, but the house still seems colder than the setting on the thermostat. You’re layering up more and piling on the blankets when this was never the case before.

What’s going on?

We’ll try to answer that question in the post—several answers, since we don’t know which one applies to your furnace. If basic troubleshooting won’t correct the problem, the way to get to the bottom of your furnace’s poor performance is to call us for professional heater service in Plattsburgh, NY.

ONE: Clogged air filter

We’ve written about this many times, but there’s a reason: clogged filters are one of the most common sources of poorly performing heaters as well as one of the easiest to avoid. If you haven’t changed your filter’s furnace in months, then it’s probably so dirty with dust and lint that it’s choking off airflow. Low airflow means less air receiving heat and going to the rooms. A clean filter may solve the problem—and even if it won’t, put in a clean one anyway.

TWO: A bad thermostat

Thermostats can “go bad” in a variety of ways. One we often see that results in a house that won’t get warm enough is when a thermostat miscalibration reads the house as hotter than it actually is. A thermostat set for 68°F may shut down at only 65°F. The thermostat may also have a bad connection to the furnace. You’ll need pros to fix or replace the thermostat. 

THREE: Blower fan trouble

The blower fan does the job of circulating air through the furnace and around the house. Blower motors are susceptible to dirt and dust that can cause them to operate poorly, and this will lower how much heated air is moved through the rooms. 

FOUR: Gas burner problems

The burners in a gas furnace generate the heat that goes into the heat exchanger and then to the air pushed through the house. If there are troubles with gas flow to the burners or the flame sensor is malfunctioning and shutting the burners off early, the furnace won’t be able to provide the heat you expect. Please leave anything connected to the gas in your furnace to professionals—for your own safety!

FIVE: Undersized/Oversized furnace

If this is a new furnace, it may not be the right size for your house. This can occur because of an amateur installation. An undersized furnace will never be able to deliver enough heat, and an undersized one will continue to shut down early. The only “fix” for this is to put in a new furnace.

SIX: A furnace that’s too old

Poor heating performance is a major warning sign that an old furnace needs to retire. Gas furnaces can last around 15 years and electric furnaces for 20. If your furnace is older than this and isn’t heating your house well, it’s time to replace. 

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Contact us if you need help getting better performance from your furnace.

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