Top 5 Common Furnace Problems & How They Cause A Breakdown
During these cold months, your furnace is working hard to adequately heat your home and keep your family comfortable. When your furnace stops working, and you feel less comfortable during those chilly nights, it can be from several things. Our team can help diagnose and resolve numerous issue that your furnace may be experiencing.
When you call our team, we will arrive promptly to thoroughly check your heating system to pinpoint the root of your furnace malfunction. While it could be any number of causes, there are some common reasons that your furnace underperforms. We talked to our service manager at Logan Services, who gave us the top 5 common furnace repairs we see and take care of during the winter season.
1. Dirty Flame Sensor
The flame sensor confirms that the flame spreads across all burners; the heat from the flame produces a signal for the gas valve to stay on. You can tell that a flame sensor is dirty if the flame ignites, then immediately shuts off. The furnace flame sensor will need to be cleaned to get back to working condition. Cleaning of the flame sensor should be left to the Logan Services professional, where it wil be removed, scrubbed with a scotch-brite pad, and properly installed back into place.
2. Dirty Furnace Filter
A dirty furnace filter can cause multiple problems that can lead to an HVAC system breakdown. One main issue is resticted airflow; your furnace filter is supposed to catch dust and debris circulating in the air in your home. After a month of accumulating all those particles in the air, the filter can get clogged and cause air to no longer pass through. This results in your HVAC system working less efficiently. Another key issue is short cycling, which is when your furnace turns on and off frequently to maintain the desired temperature in the home. This can lead to your system being overworked and overheated. For these reasons, neglecting your furnace filter can result in an untimely breakdown and should be prevented by changing your furnace filter once a month.
3. Blocked Flue Pipe
A flue pipe safely routes and ventilates the carbon monoxide from your gas furnace to the outside of your house, so it doesn't release in your home. If the flue pipe becomes blocked (most commonly from animal nests, leaves, or snow), it can become a danger to you and your family, as carbon monoxide could be redirected in the home and cause sickness or even death. If this happens, you should get out of the house immediately. Next, your gas company should shut off the gas, and an HVAC technician can come out to safely unblock the flue pipe.
4. Furnace Drain
The furnace drain is where any condensation leaves the HVAC system so that it doesn't accumulate around the furnace. If the furnace drain becomes clogged, it can begin to pool and create more significant problems like water damage and rusting out the furnace. To get ahead and prevent this from happening, you can clean out your furnace drain. All you have to do is:
- Pull the cap off the condensate drain tube.
- Pour a mixture of vinegar and water down the condensate drain tube until you hear it drain out the other end.
We recommend cleaning your furnace drain in late summer and again in late spring. However, if you have never done it or feel you may be overdue to perform this maintenance task, we recommend you clean your furnace drain as soon as possible.
5. Bad Furnace Igniter
A furnace igniter creates a spark to heat the air from the furnace. If the igniter goes bad, the furnace will only circulate air that is being brought in from the outside, no matter the temperature. So if your furnace is blowing air, but it's not hot, that might be a sign that the furnace igniter has gone bad, and it's time to have a Logan Services professional out to diagnose your furnace and repair it.
If you feel like your furnace isn't working efficiently, it may be because of one of the above common furnace issues. Whether it is a topic we explained in this article or another issue with your furnace, Logan Services has it covered. Our heating and cooling professionals provide service in your Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati neighborhoods.