Your furnace just sits in the storage area for up to ten months each year. When the weather finally dips below the sixties, you flip a switch to turn on the gas furnace, and absolutely nothing happens! Believe it or not, we hear this story each and every winter. It’s a common homeowner story, especially among Texans that don’t use their furnace very often.
Homeowner accounts general refer to just a few simple problems that can plague your gas furnace system. Learn to recognize these issues, and you’ll know when to change the filter, and when to call for gas furnace repair!
Common Furnace Problems
Below are some of the most frequently occurring problems that our HVAC technicians have seen over the years.
- The furnace will not turn on.
- The furnace stops working after a short time.
- The furnace sets off the carbon monoxide detector.
- The furnace gives off an irritating noise.
- The furnace blower never turns off.
- The furnace filter has become clogged.
- The furnace refuses to blow warm air, only cold.
Many of these problems are only symptoms of part failure, while others can have several potential explanations. The majority can be prevented with basic annual maintenance, completed by yourself or a trained professional. Part failure on the other hand, should be fixed with professional gas furnace repair.
Gas Furnace Troubleshooting
You may be thinking, “Why would my gas furnace stop working?” To give you an idea of the likely causes behind some of these symptoms, here’s a brief troubleshooting guide for your furnace.
- Gas furnace not turning on: This is typically the result of a faulty thermostat or an electrical issue. Make sure your thermostat has good batteries. Check the circuit breaker and see if the furnace circuit has tripped or blown.
- Furnace blowing cold air: The two usual suspects here are a clogged filter and leaky air ducts. Both make it very difficult for your heating system to distribute warm air. Replace the dirty filter and/or cover any duct leaks with duct tape.
- The furnace doesn’t turn off: Your thermostat is likely to blame here. Faulty readings could be telling your furnace to continue running. If the blower is the only thing that won’t stop, it may be a limit switch issue instead.
- Your carbon monoxide sensor goes off: This is a particularly serious issue. You’ll want a professional to inspect the heat exchanger to identify any cracks. Otherwise, it could be a venting issue.
- You smell a rotten egg odor: Part of the gas line may have a leak. Turn off the gas immediately and call a professional for gas leak detection and repairs as soon as possible.
Many of the maintenance related issues, such as messy filters or leaky ducts, are simple enough that you could complete the fixes yourself. Unless you are an experienced technician however, you should definitely leave the mechanical repairs to trained professionals. Again, if you notice a potential natural gas or carbon monoxide, it’s vital that you contact your local HVAC technician as swiftly as possible!
How to Prevent Damage to Your Heater
Are you concerned about the future of your gas furnace? You don’t have to worry! Many of the problems that we discussed above can be mitigated with simple cleaning and basic maintenance each year. You can even perform the maintenance yourself, if you’d like to save some money. Just make sure it’s completed each year before the winter season.
This maintenance will help you prevent damage to your heater as it runs this winter. If you’re wondering how often gas furnace maintenance needs to be completed, once a year is usually sufficient. Make sure you turn off all electricity and gas flow to the furnace before you get started!
Then follow these steps:
- Clean out the areas around the motor and blower (with a wet/dry vacuum). You can do so by opening all the access panels.
- Finish cleaning by wiping the area with a lightly dampened cloth.
- Ensure wire terminals are tightly attached. Use a screwdriver if necessary to tighten any loose ones.
- Rid your furnace ducts of nasty dust and dirt by cleaning them with a powerful, HEPA filter-equipped vacuum.
- Use duct tape as need to cover cracks in your duct work. Larger holes will need metal patches. Make sure to clean those vents too!
- Replace that old furnace filter. Depending on the quality of the filter, this should be done every one to three months.
Is Annual Gas Furnace Maintenance Necessary?
Yes! It’s absolutely necessary. Think about it: you’re heating system lies dormant for the better part of ten months every year, then it needs to run nonstop for two months. That level of stress would be hard on any machine. Your heating system, which is one of the top sources of energy usage in your home mind you, needs that seasonal maintenance so it’s ready to perform efficiently. Otherwise, you might have to schedule a more expensive visit later for gas furnace repair.
This maintenance will ensure that your furnace parts don’t wear out prematurely. For instance: by replacing your filters as soon as they get too dirty, you’ll help your heating system circulate warm air faster. In turn, your furnace won’t have to run as long to cozy-up the house, reducing stress on every part of the system. In short, more efficient heating leads to less strain on your furnace. That means you won’t have to pay thousands of dollars ahead of schedule to replace your furnace!
Schedule Your Gas Furnace Repair Today!
Need help getting your gas furnace back in working condition? Our team at TAM A/C & Heating, Inc. would love to help your family with cost-effective gas furnace repair in Katy and Houston, TX! You can learn more about caring for your furnace and preventing damage by talking with a professional at 877-246-9251. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have, and provide some peace of mind for your home this winter.