If your furnace was having issues at the end of last winter, it may need some attention when you fire it up this fall. Despite the seemingly simple design of forced-air heating, furnace problems can and do occur. A typical standard-efficiency furnace must produce air temperatures as high as 170 degrees and then convey that air into ductwork for dispersal throughout the house. Furnace repair is not the place to apply do-it-yourself skills: Fire danger and the potential for deadly carbon monoxide poisoning make this a job for your HVAC contractor only.
Homeowners can benefit from knowing proper maintenance and becoming acquainted with the signs of furnace problems. Here are typical furnace problems and the course of action your HVAC contractor may recommend to resolve them:
Frequent on/off cycling:
- A furnace that's improperly matched to the heating load of the home and producing too much heat energy
- Dirty or clogged air filters or an obstructed blower fan reduces airflow over the heat exchanger, causing the system to run excessively to maintain thermostat settings.
- Improperly calibrated or defective thermostat signaling the furnace to start and stop excessively.
Insufficient airflow at the supply registers
- Dirty, clogged or damaged air filters are the most common causes. Ask your technician to show you how to change the air filter monthly yourself for best performance.
- Dirty blower fan or slipping blower fan belt
- Ductwork problems such as collapsed ducts, ducts that have been inadvertently blocked and disconnected duct segments
- Insufficient return air. If the return ducts are undersized or leaking or air pressure imbalances exist in living spaces, not enough air may be circulated back to the furnace to maintain proper airflow.
- Obstructed cooling coil. Furnace/air conditioner combination units incorporate a refrigerant coil for the A/C unit above the furnace plenum. Restrictions or obstructions in the coil caused by dirt buildup or mold can diminish furnace airflow.
- Blocked or disconnected major duct trunk
- Malfunctioning blower fan motor Furnace is not running due to automatic safety cut-off switch
Serving Cleveland homeowners since 1936, P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Air Conditioning offers sales and service expertise for your home comfort needs. Call us for a quick response to your furnace problems this winter.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.