Is your furnace ready for fall? Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 October 2017
By Michael Campbell
Special to GUIDON

Most people are reminded of furnace maintenance just when fall or winter arrives.  

By failing to perform proper maintenance, you might have to face a lot of furnace problems, in the chilly weather, if you have not taken proper care of it until then. This is why you should know about the most common problems so when these occur, you can manage them efficiently.

Although it’s advisable to hire an experienced contractor or a reliable local furnace service provider,  you should know a few things about tackling the most common problems. This will not only help you figure out the basic problems as soon as they occur, but also enable you to handle the situations during emergencies.

Five of the most common heating and furnace problems are:


Clogged or dirty filters

Clogged and dirty filters are one of the most common problems when it comes to furnace and heating repair. These reduce the airflow of the system to a great extent. This makes the circulation process more difficult for the furnace, causing additional pressure on the system.  

At times, a clogged filter can also damage the limit switch, affecting the working of the fan. This is why you should replace the filters of the system every month in order to improve the efficiency and expand the    lifespan of the furnace.

For those on post, Balfour Beatty provides filters free of charge at their community centers.


Lack of maintenance
You must have invested thousands of your hard-earned money to buy a high-end furnace system. But if it is not maintained regularly, a lot of problems might occur, like increase in the energy cost, unexpected breakdowns or poor performance.  

A regular inspection will help run the system reliably and efficiently.


Mechanical wear and tear
Just like any other machine, a furnace or heating system is subject to mechanical wear and tear. These can occur at any point of time and may lead to airflow problems.  

You should remember that the furnace is made of lots of components and, if any of the parts stop functioning properly, the entire unit will stop working.


Pilot control or ignition control problems
Ignition and pilot control are two of the most important components of the furnace unit and, if these malfunction, the furnace won’t work properly.
 
As a result, it will make it tough to heat a commercial space or a home.  

If your home uses a hot-surface ignition system, it will use some resistance heating element.  

On the other hand, if it’s an intermittent pilot system, it will use a high-voltage-electrical spark in order to ignite the gas pilot.


Malfunctioning thermostat
A thermostat is the device that determines exactly when the heat needs to be produced and in what quantity.  

In case the thermostat is not working properly, no heat will be produced, and the hot air won’t get circulated throughout your home. The intermittent heat that is responsible for ensuring comfort will also cease to exist.

If you observe any excessive heat, squeaky/squealing noises or smoke coming from your furnace, immediately trip the circuit breaker controlling the unit and call 911.

You can avoid all these issues and ensure a properly functioning heating system by ensuring regular maintenance and timely repairs.  

Contact a reliable HVAC contractor, get the unit checked thoroughly and ensure timely repair, if any, for its proper maintenance.

For on-post residents, call Balfour Beatty at 573.329.4000, to schedule maintenance. Residents are encouraged to call the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Prevention Section at 573.596.0131, ext. 60886 with any questions concerning fire and home safety or our “Juvenile Fire Setter” program.

(Editor’s note: Campbell is a fire inspector with the FLW Fire Department.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 November 2017 )