The best way to troubleshoot furnace issues is to know how your heating system is supposed to work in the first place.
Once you pinpoint the problem, you can decide whether fixing it is within your skill set or you need to call in a professional.
Either way, you will have a better idea of the process. If your confidence is waning, always opt to hire an HVAC specialist. You could end up causing more damage than you fix.
Whenever working on your furnace, make sure the power is shut off from your unit before doing any maintenance work. Most units use natural gas and electricity.
This is a deadly combination if the right precautions are not taken.
Airflow is important to your heating system. It can impact the amount, quality, and degree of warm air circulating throughout your home. The airflow is the first thing technicians check.
The heat exchangers in your furnace are designed with specific airflow specifications. If the minimum specifications are not met, heat exchange is reduced and you will notice a system is not heating your home sufficiently.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as changing a dirty air filter. Insufficient airflow can also be caused by leaky ductwork, a defective blower fan, or a problem with the evaporative coil.
Clean your air filters.
The furnace coil is often referred to as the A-coil because of its shape.
It is located inside the furnace and is an important component of your heating unit. It acts as a heat exchanger, producing warm air inside the furnace. The heat exchanger heats the air when the coil activates. The warm air is then pushed through the ducts by the blower fan.
If your unit goes years without maintenance, dust and dirt can accumulate on the coil and in the system causing it to be much less efficient.
The dirt and dust block the air passages of the coil. This causes the system to heat your space less effectively. If these air passages become completely blocked, your furnace could overheat.
Because the coil presents a moist warm environment, it is a breeding ground for mold. A mold colony can effectively block passages as well. If this occurs, you will need a furnace coil repair.
Clean your furnace’s A-coil.
Furnace Evaporative Coil
Your HVAC system might also include an evaporator coil that functions to absorb the heat from the air in your house. It is where the cold air comes from when you turn on the air conditioning.
Air conditioners don’t produce cool air in the same way that your heater produces warm air. It actually uses a refrigerant or coolant the absorbs the heat from the air and carries it outdoors.
The evaporator coil is located inside or near the air handler. They are made from a metal that conducts heat easily like copper, steel, or aluminum.
Like the A-coil, the evaporator coil needs to be kept clean to do its job efficiently. Even a thin layer of dust can act as an insulator and prevent the coil from absorbing heat the way it should.
The coil may eventually frost overtaxing the system and causing the compressor to fail.
These coils can also develop pinhole leaks. If you notice an oily residue around the evaporator or drain pain, you likely have a leaking coil. You will need a replacement as soon as possible.
Clean your furnace’s evaporative coil.
HVAC units need regular maintenance. Although many things can cause your furnace and air conditioner to run inefficiently or stop running altogether, keeping the coils clean is important.
This requires changing your air filters regularly and having your unit maintenance at least once a year.
With regular upkeep, your unit will regulate the temperatures in your home like it should, and you can catch others potential problems early.
A properly functioning HVAC system saves you a significant amount of money on heating and cooling bills.
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