It is the worst feeling in the world to come home after a cold outing to find that your gas furnace isn’t heating your home as it should. It can be frustrating trying to figure out the exact cause of the problem, and the thought of paying for repairs can cause stress. In order to understand how to properly handle a gas furnace malfunction, it is important to know how your furnace works, the causes of the problem, and how you can either prevent or fix them.
How a Gas Furnace Functions
Your gas furnace goes through an intricate process to heat the air inside of your home. It starts when you turn it on, sending an indication to the burner to ignite the gas. The flames from the ignition heat up the heat exchanger which then transfers that heat to the air passing through. The furnace blower than pushes the air through the ducts and out of the vents into your home, heating it up and providing a comfortable environment for you and your family.
Causes of a Gas Furnace Malfunction
If the following process doesn’t happen in that exact order or a part of it isn’t working properly, than the effect of having warm air ceases. Common problems that interfere with the warming process are as follows;
Proper maintenance of your gas furnace ensures that it is running properly. If you skip a few maintenance appointments, your gas furnace can begin to suffer from problems such as a clog in the air duct, the burner igniter having a short, blower fan breaking, or a leak in your air duct. All of these things can easily be avoided with a proper maintenance check, allowing your gas furnace to live longer than originally projected.
Your gas furnace is built to last you around 15 to 20 years. Normal wear and tear on the unit overtime can lead to it dying completely. If you are noticing recurring problems with your furnace and it is over 20 years old, it may be time to consider investing in a replacement. A replacement furnace may be initially more expensive but the money you save on constant repairs will quickly add up.
Problems With Ignition
Your gas furnace cannot start without a proper ignition. Older gas furnaces rely on a pilot light to ignite the spark. The pilot light has the same problem as any light bulb, and can crack or die, leaving you to find a replacement before you can get your unit up and running again.
Newer models of gas furnaces have an electric ignition, which relies on a signal from the thermostat to turn on. If the communication channel between your thermostat is compromised or there is a problem with the electric switch, then this will cause your unit to not come on at all. An electric switch and a thermostat can both be replaced.
As mentioned previously, your thermostat is the communication center between your gas furnace and yourself. It is important to make sure that your thermostat has working batteries, doesn’t have its sensors blocked by dirt or even a wall, and is in an area where it can get proper airflow without the disturbance of a door or window.
Your blower and the blower motor need to be working simultaneously for your furnace to be able to share the warm air that it has created. If the blower motor malfunctions than the blower itself fails, and vice versa. No matter how hard the blower motor is working, if the blower is clogged with debris than the entire process is just wasted energy.
Turning Off and On
if your gas furnace is stuck on the terrible cycle of turning off and on, then this is a good sign that either your filter is clogged or there is a problem with your thermostat. A clogged filter can either be cleaned or replaced. A thermostat should be checked for working batteries, correct calibration, and that it is in a optimal area for reading the airs temperature.
How do I Know if I Have a Problem With My Furnace?
Besides the obvious that you are not getting warm air, another indication that your furnace needs some assistance is the sound. Most of the time, you will only be able to hear the calming sigh of your furnace, but a broken one will make a rattling or hissing sound. These sounds mean that there is either a mechanical error or there is a gas leak. If it is a gas leak, it is extremely important that you contact your local HVAC specialist, such as R & M Heating and Cooling, in order to get the problem resolved as fast as possible. A gas leak can be extremely dangerous to your family, leading to problems such as illness or even death if you have been exposed for too long. You can recognize a gas leak by the hissing sound accompanied by the smell of rotting eggs.
Will a New Furnace Save Me Money?
Not initially, a new furnace can be a bit expensive. The benefits of getting a new furnace are what really make it worthwhile. You can get an energy efficient model, helping you cut down on your energy costs which, overtime, add up to big savings. Another plus is that you will no longer be paying for constant repairs to save an older system. This will also help you save money. So over time, you can make back your investment, which will allow you to save money.
How Do I Get My Furnace Repaired or Replaced?
If you are looking to get your gas furnace repaired or replaced, then you need to call your local HVAC team. If you live in the Huntsville, AL area, then your expert team of HVAC specialists is R & M Heating and Cooling. We have been the leading company in HVAC repairs, and that has to do with our high-quality service and quick responses for calls of help. We are always willing to partner up with new clients. If you need assistance with a gas furnace repair or replacement, give us a call at (256) 763-7535.