Why Isn’t My Heater Working? Furnace Maintenance Tips
This week marked the start of the fall season, and with fall comes cooler temperatures, particularly at night. While you may not be running your heater consistently just yet, you may be switching it on in the evening when temperatures drop. Fall is always a good time of year to have your furnace maintenance performed. Its right before heavy usage, and before the busy holiday season. In addition, intermediate usage may alert you to issues early on that can be repaired before you really need your heater. If you find yourself turning on the heat, and your heater falls short or does not produce warm air, then some furnace maintenance may be in order.
Reasons Why Your Heater Isn’t Working
As with most machines, there are several reasons why your heater isn’t working. A furnace has a lot of working parts, and anyone of them can be susceptible to failure. Natural wear and tear and lack of proper furnace maintenance are a couple of reasons why your heater may fail. The heating system is one of those things that sits in the back of most people’s minds. They completely disregard it until it isn’t functioning properly. However, regular furnace maintenance can help prevent breakdowns and keep your furnace purring like a kitten. You wouldn’t want to neglect the oil change for your car, right? Well just like any other well oiled machine, your furnace needs a little tuneup in order to continue to function properly and maintain efficiently.
Some Common Reasons Your Heater Isn’t Working:
Service Switch Is Turned Off
Sometimes the reason why your heater isn’t working is quite simple. It could be that the service switch is turned off. The service switch is usually located on the side or above your furnace. Sometimes this switch accidentally gets turned off. So, making sure it is turned to the on position should be one of the first things you check if your heater isn’t working.
Flipped Circuit Breaker
A lack of power could also be the result of a flipped circuit breaker. Check the breaker box and make sure the breaker switch is turned on. If it is tripped, flip it back on and try running your heater again. If the breaker continually trips, then the circuit is being overloaded. Remember this is a safety precaution, have your system inspected by a professional.
Dirty Air Filters
Air filters are important to the air quality in your home, and also the functionality of your heater. Dirty air filters can obstruct the flow of air into your unit, which can make your heater less effective and also less efficient. Air filters should be cleaned for changed at regular intervals. This includes both indoor and outdoor filters.
Your Furnace Is Burning Too Much Gas
Each furnace is designed to burn a specific amount of gas. If upon the initial installation, the furnace was improperly calibrated it could be using too much gas. This not only wastes gas and causes you to pay for unnecessary fuel, but it can also cause your furnace to overheat and switch off.
If your system is based on a heat pump, then your system works with a refrigerant. If your refrigerant is low your heat strips may come on more frequently than need be, which can run your utility bill too high and also cause your compressor to overheat and fail. If you suspect your refrigerant is low, it is best to have your system inspected. It is important to work with a professional who is trained to handle refrigerant. If refrigerant is leaking, the leak needs to be repaired and the refrigerant needs to be charged.
Faulty Starting Components
There are a lot of working parts in your heater, for example the heat pump. Over time these components can fail, which can prevent your unit from starting. Proper maintenance and inspection is important to keep things working properly. This way repairs can be made before parts like the heat pump give out.
Cracked Heat Exchange
A cracked heat exchange is not only a functionality issue, but also a safety concern, as carbon monoxide can leak out of the heat exchange. If there is a crack in your heat exchange your heater may not fail right away, however it could start working less effectively and efficiently. This is another reason why regular inspections are important.
If your heater isn’t working properly is might not be your heater at all, but poor ductwork. Sometimes corners get cut when ductwork is being installed, which can cause poor or inadequate air flow. This can not only make it difficult for warm air to reach the various parts of your home, but also cause your heater to short cycle more often which can cause your heater to overheat and fail.
Get Ahead of The Crowds And Schedule Your Maintenance
We cannot stress enough the importance of regular furnace maintenance. Regular maintenance and inspections can help you stay a step ahead of repairs, keep your system running effectively and efficiently, increase the lifespan of your furnace, and also safeguard against safety concerns like refrigerant leaks , fire hazards, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Wintertime is a busy time for us, so it is always a good idea to schedule your furnace maintenance before your system fails. Fall is the perfect time! To learn more or to schedule your appointment contact Lesco Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling today!