Homeowners often don’t realize how easy it is to avoid heater repairs and the inconvenience and safety issues associated with furnace problems. Aside from routine maintenance, there are things you can do occasionally to keep your heater in good shape. No one wants to deal with a broken furnace on a cold winter night. But you don’t have to; we’ll look at six ways to avoid heater repair, including professional furnace maintenance.
1. Don’t Forget About the Air Filter
A clogged filter is a common reason for a heater to stop working or run inefficiently. The heat exchange process requires adequate airflow. If you forget to clean or change the filter as recommended, restricted airflow can cause the system to provide less heat, overheat, or stop running. It can also allow dirt, dust, and other particles into the unit, which can damage coils, blower motors, and other sensitive components. Changing the air filter can avoid costly repairs and even extend the life of your furnace.
2. Inspect the Furnace for Issues
Looking around the outside of the unit and opening the panel doesn’t require a professional. It can enable you to spot potential problems and call for help before there’s a costly, even dangerous, problem. To ensure your safety and the system’s energy efficiency, check for:
- Cabinet clearance
- Cracked heat exchanger
- Dirt in the blower housing
- Loose fan belt
- Broken fan blades
- Build up on burners
- Damaged ignitors
- Dirty flame sensors
- Clogged ducts
- Loose connections
3. Don’t Ignore Symptoms of a Problem
The most common signs you need heater repair include a lack of heating not caused by an improperly set thermostat. An ignition problem can cause it. If the furnace turns on and off more frequently, the safety switch is likely shutting it down for some reason. A lack of airflow is a likely culprit and can cause additional damage.
The furnace should also turn on automatically. If not, there may be a quick fix or a more serious equipment issue. A furnace that shuts off before it reaches the set temperature should also be checked by a professional, as it should if the temperatures in your home don’t stay consistent or fluctuate from room to room. Another troubling sign is noise, such as knocking, rattling, and loud rumbling. Call for help if these occur or if your furnace is leaking water.
The sooner you call in a contractor, the more likely you can avoid a major heater repair.
4. Keep the Vents Open
Closing too many vents won’t save you energy. It can do the opposite. By blocking vents, you change how air flows through the system, increasing pressure and straining your heater. Don’t close more than 20% of the registers in your home. You can prevent issues with airflow and circulation.
5. Clean the Space Around Your Furnace
The area around the furnace cabinet is not a good place to store boxes, furniture, or toys. Cluttering up this space can create hazards. It can also make it hard to access the unit when it needs service. If large objects block return air grilles, the furnace won’t have an adequate air supply to work efficiently.
6. Schedule Annual Maintenance
An annual tune-up is another effective way to avoid heater repair. When a technician visits for an annual maintenance appointment, they inspect the unit to ensure all its components are working properly. They clean the furnace, test its performance, and look for any issues that warrant adjustments or minor repairs. Components such as the heat exchanger, condensate system, coils, and thermostat are examined. At the very least, a well-maintained furnace will provide more consistent heating and be more energy efficient.
Sky Heating & Air Conditioning Can Help You Avoid Heater Repair
As part of the Sky Signature Protection Plan, you’ll receive a comprehensive heating system inspection plus discounts on repairs. Tune-ups and adjustments help avoid heater repair and maintain the terms of manufacturer warranties. Our technicians are fully trained and licensed and use the latest tools to evaluate your furnace and diagnose any issues to fix. To schedule furnace maintenance or request repairs, call (503) 744-6401 today.