Heating issues are never fun. No one wants to go without heat, as it would not only be a nuisance, but it could be life-threatening under the right circumstances. That being said, furnace breakdowns are amongst some of the most common home heating issues Americans face today. One that wasn’t familiar with the industry might think that this would give furnaces a bad name. Are heat pumps better running and maintaining units? No, this has to do with the fact that more people nationwide own furnaces than heat pumps or any other type of heating system. So, as you can naturally imagine, furnaces are going to experience more breakdowns. This is why it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the common things that can go wrong with these systems.
Maybe you already own a home with furnace heating or maybe your next one will have a furnace. Whatever the situation, it pays to be prepared because you don’t want to end up in the middle of a winter night without heat.
Dirty Air Filters
Every type of system, including furnaces, heat pumps, and oil systems, contain what is known as air filters. These are similar to that of air filters on a vehicle or other mechanical device. That being said, these filters on furnace systems are usually installed in the air return, near the furnace or air handler. The sole job of this filter is to protect the system from dust, dirt, and debris. Dust, dirt, and debris that might be blown in from the ductwork. Dust, dirt, and debris are common in ductwork and homes, even newer homes.
It is usually recommended to change the filter at least every three months, however, there are some systems out there that utilize thicker and more energy-efficient filters that can go as long as a year. Whatever the situation, you need to know where your filters are located, how to change them, and when they need to be changed. It also doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on them at all times, as it is possible that one month you might end up with dirtier ducts. For instance, if you have a lot of company and the door constantly remains open or you have nearby roadwork, it is entirely possible that your system might suck up more dirt in one month than it would in another.
The easiest and simplest way to avoid all this is by simply remembering to change the filters. Some new thermostats will actually have a reminder, but if not, you can leave yourself a little note by the thermostat so that you’ll remember. This is important because a dirty or clogged filter can lead to future complications.
The thermocouple is the heat sensor that is responsible for maintaining the pilot. Given this information, you can imagine that it’ll be installed near the pilot. It’ll have a long metal wire protruding from it going to the pilot while the other end will connect directly into the gas valve. If the pilot light goes out it could mean that the electrical current has stopped and caused the gas valve to close.
This happens by design as a means of safety. It prevents any unwanted gas from going into the home. When a thermocouple is faulty it will no longer be able to produce electrical current. Current that is necessary to open the gas valve and start the flow of gas. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to determine when this device will go bad, but having a professional replace the device when the pilot won’t stay lit is always a good idea. It could be the leading cause.
Just remember that there are plenty of highly trained and certified HVAC professionals available in New York. It’ll be up to you to decide the one you want to use, so you’ll want to make sure you take your time, put in your research, and choose the one that is going to treat you and your home right. You are spending your hard-earned money. Make sure you are getting what you are paying for, otherwise, you will end up regretting it.