Irrespective of long summers, winter seems to arrive unexpectedly in Elkhart IN. Then, your furnace suddenly becomes the best appliance in your apartment. So, if it develops a problem, you can easily tell.
Ensuring that your home remains warm requires the combination of frequent maintenance and your ability to detect a problem in your furnace. Why don’t you learn about the common furnace problems and repairs ahead of time? This will help you know when your furnace develops a fault. If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can watch this video to get some furnace maintenance tips.
General Furnace Maintenance Points to Note
The following are general maintenance points to note:
1. Cleaning a Dirty Ductwork
This may look simple, but everyone needs to learn about it. Most times, debris and dust can go into the heating ducts. Over time, they accumulate and limit the flow of heat or hot air into the building.
So, if you notice that the appliance no longer supplies enough heat as it used to do, the ductwork probably needs a thorough cleaning. You can place two fingers on the vent to check the volume of air coming out of it.
Also, to avoid more problems in the future, you need to schedule a maintenance plan. You can check out Crystal Valley Comfort serving Elkhart IN to learn more about finding experienced HVAC technicians that can assist you. They can take care of the ductwork as well as the entire HVAC system to keep it functional.
2. Repairing the Starter
Furnaces have different mechanisms for jumpstarting a heating cycle. The mechanism involved depends on the type of furnace. Older furnaces usually use pilot lights, while newer ones have electrical ignitions in place of the lights.
Irrespective of the mechanism, the pilot light or ignition can fail, which means you will either need to repair or replace it. Sometimes, the appliance may not turn on and supply heat when the pilot light or ignition develops a fault. Although you cannot see the light in the appliance, you should contact a technician if the appliance does not turn on when it should.
3. Changing the Filters
The furnace has filters to keep the air clean as well as keeping the ductwork clean. The filters block pollutants, allergens, dirt, and several hitchhikers present in the external air. Most homeowners are aware of the filters, but they do not know when to change them.
Depending on the type of filter your system accommodates, you should get a replacement every one or two months. Check the filter packaging to see the timeline that applies to your appliance.
Furthermore, one sign that shows your filters need replacement is when the furnace does not heat the air as expected. Also, if it is working hard to generate heat, it could be a sign that it needs filter change. This happens when dirt clogs the filter, making it difficult for air to pass through the system. You can visit https://www.bobvila.com/articles/change-a-furnace-filter/ to learn about filter replacement.
4. Replacing the Blower Bearings
Your appliance has a mechanism that controls the way the hot air blows through the ducts into our homes to keep it warm. A part of the blower mechanism may fail, especially the ball bearing set. Over time, the ball bearings wear and may sustain damage if a technician does not install them correctly.
One sign the bearings are faulty is when the furnace makes a scraping noise. An HVAC specialist can help you confirm the fault and replace the bearings. Also, you should know that running the unit any further will damage the set of bearings. So, turn it off to ensure the problem does not get worse.
5. Replacing or Fixing the Blower Fan Belt
We already mentioned that your appliance uses the blower to send air into the home. Apart from the blower bearings, there are other things that can go bad in the blower. One of such problems is damage to the blower fan belt.
When this happens, you will hear a very loud squeal when you turn on the appliance. Many things can damage the belt. It can slip from its original position, but a technician can fix it back. In other scenarios, the belt may wear with time. This will require a replacement belt.
Both scenarios can reduce the efficiency of your appliance. You will not get the volume of heat your apartment needs to stay warm, yet you will pay a high electricity bill for an inefficient appliance. You can click here to know how to inspect a blower fan belt.
6. Fixing Its Limit Switch
This limit switch ensures the appliance is operating optimally and keeps you protected from excess heat. It detects heat inside the furnace, responds to the temperature, and then signals the blower to either turn off or turn on.
In addition to that, the switch can detect when the appliance is dangerously hot. The burners in the furnace will receive a signal to shut off to avoid potential fire, damage to the furnace, and other dangers.
A common sign of switch limit malfunction is when the appliance continues running even when it should not. This may not seem like a serious issue initially, but it makes your home vulnerable to danger, this is because the switch cannot shut down an overheating appliance.
7. Replacing the Hot Air Exchanger
You may not have come across the term before, but your appliance has a hot air exchanger; it’s a coil carrying heated tubes. The appliance pushes air via the tubes so it can become warm before pushing it into your apartment. So, the hot air exchanger is where the heat originates.
Given the volume of heat the tubes handle, it is important to maintain them regularly. If you do not, they will crack or malfunction. When this happens, a technician will need to replace it.
But you don’t want that to happen because it is a very expensive repair. However, it is not as costly as purchasing another furnace. So, if you observe that the air coming from the vents is not very warm, you should check the hot air exchanger.
An appliance can malfunction when you least expect it. But for your Elkhart home furnace, you will not want it to go bad during the cold season. So, learning how to detect problems before they become serious is important. Also, do not forget to get a professional HVAC technician in Elkhart IN for regular maintenance.