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Must-Know Furnace Repair Tips For Homeowners

man on couch with broken heating systemAll homeowners should know how simple furnace repair tips. They should know the best ways to help their home heating system perform efficiently and safely. For example, homeowners should have their furnace checked and repaired at the end of summer or early fall. This way, they can count on their heating system when the peak of the winter arrives, usually, when most furnaces tend to break down.

Naturally, many homeowners ignore their heating system during the summer months when heating is not a priority. In fact, most tend to ignore their system until an issue pops up. However, how well the heating system performs will depend on the maintenance it receives before the winter season.
Very often, a simple furnace checkup and inspection can help pinpoint existing issues and potential problems. This way, an HVAC contractor can address them right away. If your furnace is maintained the right way, it will work well when it is needed. Furthermore, maintenance and repair before heavy use will help prevent breakdowns. However, it is always a good idea to know when your furnace is giving you signs that it requires attention.

This article discusses the warning signs that your furnace displays when it needs a repair. You will also learn basic furnace troubleshooting tips that can help you fix simple problems that may come up from time to time. Lastly, we share tips on how to find the best furnace repair company in your area.

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Warning Signs Of Furnace Damage

Age is a major factor when it comes to the performance of your furnace. How long it has been in use will also impact the frequency of inspection and repair that the furnace will require. Even a newer heating system is prone to damage when a homeowner neglects it. If your heating system has been in your home for several years, here are signs that it may require immediate attention.

Uncomfortable House

A functional heating system should be able to deliver an even temperature throughout the house. However, if the indoor environment begins to feel uncomfortable, there may be a problem with the heating unit itself. The issue may be as simple as a loose belt or a clogged HVAC air filter. However, it could be more complicated, like a worn component or a damaged fan motor.

Increased Energy Consumption

If your furnace is functioning well, it will perform efficiently. Your energy consumption should be normal and proportional to the number of hours the furnace is in use. If you notice an unexplained increase in the use of energy, your heating system may be damaged. Consider calling an HVAC professional to have it checked.

Hot And Cold Spots

Another sign of a problem with your furnace is uneven heating. Efficient heating and cooling systems can heat and cool areas evenly. If there are hot and cold spots in the house, it may be due to clogging, wear-and-tear, or damage. Once again, call a reputable HVAC company in your area.

Gas Leakage

Gas leakage is generally easy to spot. You know your furnace is leaking if you can smell the distinct odor of fuel or gas near or around the furnace. If this happens, turn it off and call your local HVAC contractor. It is unsafe to continue running your furnace when it leaks. If there is even the tiniest spark within proximity of a gas leak, a fire in your home could start.

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Troubleshooting Your Furnace

furnace maintenanceSome issues with the heating system do not require the expertise of professional HVAC technicians. As a homeowner, you can perform basic preventive measures and fixes to improve how your heating system performs. Some of the most common basic furnace troubleshooting you can do include:

  • Filter Check: If your furnace filter is clogged, it will prevent the proper flow of air and contribute to the reduction of indoor air quality. If the filter is heavily clogged, it could eventually increase the risk of early breakdowns and damage that could result in a fire. Check the furnace filter monthly. Clean or replace it if it is clogged.
  • Thermostat Check: If the thermostat is showing inaccurate readings, there may be a problem with dirt or dust. Also, the batteries may have run out of power. Open the thermostat and remove the dust. Use a soft, dry brush or lint-free cloth. Replace the batteries with fresh ones.
  • Power Check: If the furnace system is not working, the electrical breaker or switch may be off, or the fuses may be damaged. Turn on the switch and replace any damaged, melted, or discolored fuses in the fuse box. If the problem looks serious, call an expert.
  • Pilot Light Check: The pilot light keeps the furnace working. However, it might go out from time to time. It is also possible that there may be a leak in the system. If the pilot light is off, check if there is a leakage. Do not relight the furnace if there is a gas leak. Turn it off and call your HVAC contractor right away. If there is no leak, check how to relight the unit using the owner’s manual. Be sure to follow the instructions.
  • Vent Check: Vents should be open and unobstructed. Otherwise, the furnace will fail to heat the area efficiently. Check the vents and open any that are closed. If there are obstructions, move these to allow the free flow of air.

 

Common Furnace Repairs

Sooner or later, the furnace will have to undergo repair. Usually, this is because of a problem with a component or in its performance. Here are some of the most common repair jobs done for heating systems.

  • Replacement of Loose or Damaged Blower Belt: If your furnace is emitting a high-pitched squeal, it likely has a loose or damaged blower belt. To get your furnace running again, have it checked and the belt replaced.
  • Replacement of Worn Ball Bearings: If the furnace produces a scraping sound, its bearings might be worn out. When this happens, the bearings have to be replaced by a professional HVAC technician.
  • Frequent Cycling: Frequent cycling occurs when the furnace turns on and then turns off frequently. This is likely a problem with the filter, the airflow, or the thermostat. Try the troubleshooting steps for any of these issues. If nothing works, call the professionals.
  • Flickering/Yellowish Pilot Light: Pilot lights appear blue with a yellowish tip. If the light flickers or has a yellowish flame, there may be too much carbon monoxide present in the gas furnace. Turn the system off and call your HVAC technician.
  • Damaged Heat Exchanger: If your heat exchanger is cracked or damaged, you will likely notice an unfamiliar odor in the house or near the furnace area. There may also be cracks, corrosion, or soot. If this happens, contact your HVAC contractor right away.

When Should I Repair Vs. Replace My Furnace?

deciding between heating system repair vs replacementIn some cases, issues with the furnace cannot be fixed through troubleshooting or even repairs by professionals. If the problems are serious enough, replacement may be the answer.

Here are some scenarios that could occur if your heating unit has to be replaced.

  • Age: An older system that is nearing the end of its lifespan and is used regularly might show signs of damage and wear-and-tear.
  • Energy Efficiency: A damaged or older system will no longer be efficient even with regular maintenance and repairs.
  • Poor Performance: Damaged or older systems will no longer perform as well as they did. You will often notice cold or hot spots.
  • Frequent Repairs: If your heating system requires frequent repairs, you might want to look into having it replaced. A good rule of thumb to follow is this: if the cost of repairs is half or more than the cost of replacement, have the system replaced.

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How To Choose A Furnace Service Company

A reliable furnace repair company is your partner in ensuring that your heating system is well-maintained and that your home is safe and comfortable. You need a service company that you can rely on when you need help. You can turn to this furnace service company to ensure that the use and operation of your heating system remain convenient and efficient.

Your challenge is finding the right furnace service company. Maybe you have had some bad experiences with unscrupulous HVAC contractors before or maybe an unreliable technician failed to perform the job as expected. Or worst, the technician may have failed in fixing the problem and even caused more damage as a result.

When considering which furnace service company to work with, you want one with whom you can build a trusting, productive business relationship. Here’s how to find the best furnace service company in your location.

 

Look For A Specialist Heating Company

Miller Company LogoYou want a company that specializes in performing inspections and repairs of furnaces and heating systems. A repairman is well and good but specialization in specific systems will ensure that the technician is trained and knowledgeable in heating systems. Why is this important?

First, technicians who specialize in furnace systems are more likely to have the proper training and experience in furnaces. They would have been exposed to the proper repair and inspection of different models and brands. The more familiar they are about heating systems, the more reliable they are in inspection and repair work.

Second, working with a furnace service company gives you access to several technicians and not just one repairman. If one technician cannot fix the issue, he can always refer to another technician who may have better skills or knowledge. Do not skimp on cheap labor or repair. Your heating system is a piece of far more complex equipment than what a jack-of-all-trades can handle. Hire a reputable heating system service company instead.

HVAC Company: Online Presence And History

While a respectable website is a good indication of the company’s approach to its business, it is not the only indication. When choosing the right furnace repair company, try to avoid first impressions. Do your research. Check out the links on their websites, browse through images, and read the types of services they offer. Be wary if the website is outdated or if the links are no longer active. This may mean that the company does not maintain an active online presence or may no longer be in business.

Next, check out customer reviews. Check on their website but also on other independent review sites. Send the company an inquiry through e-mail or a phone call and observe how they communicate. Did you receive a quick and professional reply? Were they accommodating? Very often, how the company runs its frontlines is a reflection of how it performs its services, so be vigilant.

Do not always rely on customer testimonials onsite. Naturally, the company will post the best reviews they have, which may not be a true indication of the quality of their service. It is far better to look for company and service reviews from independent sites. Perform a local search as well so that you will only be browsing through a list of companies that are in the area where you live.

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Contact The Furnace Repair Company

When you call or send an e-mail to the heating repair company, observe how their customer service representative handles your call. If the person on the other end of the line is friendly, patient, and knowledgeable, then the company he/she works for trained him/her correctly because they want customers to feel at ease and confident. However, if the person seems impatient, rude, confused, or uninterested, the company may not offer the best professional attention to their clients.

 

Call Miller Oil Company For All Of Your Heating Requirements

Miller Oil Company has been the leading furnace repair company in Hartford and Tolland County, Connecticut for many years. Our NATE-certified technicians are highly-trained, skilled, and knowledgeable in inspecting, maintaining, installing, and repairing a wide range of heating systems. Miller Oil Company’s years of experience have made us the top company in the industry to offer accurate and timely repairs, maintenance, and installations. Our goal is to ensure that our clients are comfortable, safe, and satisfied.

We offer the most competitive services in the area, taking into consideration your needs and requirements. If your furnace is not performing as it should, call Miller Oil Company for a free, in-home estimate today.

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