Winter is right around the corner and it’s better to check your HVAC unit now than wait for a breakdown to occur in the middle of winter. Knowing the state of your central heating can help you make informed decisions when it comes to future repairs and maintenance rather than waiting for a disastrous heating emergency.
What to Look Out For?
Soot: Soot is a byproduct of the combustion process in a gas furnace. Excessive soot can interfere with the burners. This could also indicate that the fuel-to-air ratio is off. Have an HVAC technician inspect your system right away.
Red, yellow or orange flames: Turn your heating on through your thermostat and note the colors of the flames. They should burn at a consistent blue. If you’re seeing red, yellow or orange flickers, that could be a sign of a cracked heat exchanger. Other possibilities include a faulty thermocouple or ignition.
Short cycling: If you notice that the furnace runs for short, frequent periods, that’s a red flag. Short cycling could be attributed to a malfunctioning thermostat, clogged filter, improper airflow or an issue with the heat exchanger.
If you notice anything else unusual, such as strange noises, inconsistent heating or a blower that’s constantly running, be sure to have a technician address these issues before the weather takes a turn.
Important DIY Maintenance Steps
Change the filter: The filter captures dust and dirt so that your air is 100% safe and clean. However, after three months, these filters lose a lot of their effectiveness, hampering the performance of your HVAC system.
Check the thermostat: Turn your thermostat to heat mode with the fan on auto so that it doesn’t run constantly. The setting should be higher than the room’s temperature. If it doesn’t heat the room, you may need a technician to recalibrate it or replace it altogether.
Seal drafts: If cool air is leaking into your home, then your furnace has to work harder to heat your home, driving up your energy bill. Seal all gaps around windows and exterior doors with weatherstripping or caulk. You can also schedule a home performance evaluation to identify all areas of energy loss in your home.
Bottom line: Schedule an appointment with Tom’s Mechanical today to ensure your furnace is prepared for the season ahead by calling 972-388-3669.