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With fall now upon us as the weather outside starts to cool down, you may or may not be aware of some problems associated with your furnace until you have to turn it on. However, the Boise heating technicians at Access Heating & Air want to remind you that fixing your furnace is never a do-it-yourself kind of job. That’s why it’s a good idea to be aware of problems associated with your furnace so that you have a better idea of what may be happening so you know when to call for a repair.

How Your Heating System Works

Before we go over some common furnace repair problems, it’s important to understand exactly how your gas furnace works with a brief overview: When your digital programmable thermostat calls for heat, the controls that manage the ignition process are cued. Once the pilot light or igniter lights your furnace’s burner, it then heats the heat exchanger. After the air on the outside of the heat exchanger reaches the right temperature, your furnace blower turns on and pushes the warmed air into your home.

Common Furnace Repair Problems

Below are some of the most common repair problems associated with a furnace system:

Lack of Maintenance

You’ve invested hundreds and even thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money into your HVAC system. However, regular maintenance is vital to keeping your furnace in proper working order. If you tend to neglect annual maintenance service, your furnace may likely start to experience unexpected breakdowns, an increase in home energy costs, and a poorly performing unit on top of frustration!

Dirty or Clogged Furnace Filters

Replacing your furnace filter monthly is one of the most important things you can do to extend the life and efficiency of your furnace. A dirty furnace filter restricts airflow, so your HVAC system has to work that much harder to circulate warm air throughout your home. Doing so puts unnecessary strain on your furnace and results in home comfort issues.

Mechanical Wear and Tear

A furnace contains a wide variety of mechanical parts that are essential to its proper operation. Wear and tear on any of these parts can cause issues that result in poor performance of your furnace, such as belts and bearings, which can then cause your furnace to overheat or cause poor control in addition to airflow problems from fan motors.

Pilot or Ignition Control Problems

Along with normal wear and tear, the ignition control on your furnace can fail, causing intermittent or no heat. In today’s modern furnaces, there are usually two types of ignition controls: Hot Surface Ignition or Intermittent Pilot.

The hot surface ignition system uses a resistance heating element (similar to a filament in a light bulb) controlled electronically to ignite the gas burner. An intermittent pilot system, on the other hand, uses a high voltage electric spark to ignite the pilot before the main burners when your thermostat calls for heat.

Issues with the Blower

Blower issues with your furnace may indicate a problem with the limit switch, which your Boise heating technician from Access Heating may need to replace. The blower is a large fan that has its own motor and capacitors. Common issues like a malfunctioning/broken limit switch, motor issues, electrical issues with capacitors, and worn or broken fan belts often develop when the blower is malfunctioning.

Cracked Heat Exchanger

As a homeowner, hearing the news that your heat exchanger is cracked can be a harsh blow. The heat exchanger does two things simultaneously: it not only generates warm air for distribution to your home, but it also traps and helps to expel the toxic byproducts of combustion inside of it. However, while your furnace may seem like it’s running just fine before your Boise heating technician from Access Heating arrives, the reality is that if your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, it could be presenting a very real danger to your home and family.

This makes it imperative that you address this problem before something really terrible happens. Keeping the toxic byproducts separate from the air that is blown into your home is critical to your safety and others. When a heat exchanger cracks, these toxic byproducts can escape, creating a potentially dangerous situation.

Thermostat Problems

Your digital programmable thermostat is the control center for your HVAC system. Wires can corrode and fray, while dust can impede the operation of the instrument, and batteries can die. Problems with your thermostat can result in no heat, no fan to force hot air throughout your home, or intermittent heat, which can result in home comfort problems. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, your furnace can’t work properly.

Having a good idea when it comes to furnace repair is good knowledge to have. Contact the expert Boise heating technicians at Access Heating & Air today by filling out our online form or give our Meridian office a call at (208) 855-2444 to schedule a furnace repair or maintenance for your home.

Have a question? We can help!