Many people delay a furnace repair to “save money”, but this is a false economy because the problem will only worsen with time. Certain minor issues, such as clogged air filters, low voltage, air leaks and others can be fixed quickly by your local HVAC specialist. A furnace has a finite lifespan, it’s complex and as time passes components will become less efficient or fail entirely. In this article, we will answer eight common questions that people have about furnace repair.

1.  What Should a Furnace Repair Cost?

This main reason for a delayed response to a furnace problem is the cost of the repair. Sadly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question for a number of reasons. The type of furnace, the exact nature of the problem and the age of the equipment are all factors in the final repair costs. If you need a service call, you may be charged for the service before the full details of the repair are properly understood. Some people may get an upfront quote when the work is not started immediately and others prefer separate estimates for each encountered problem. The best way to deal with these problems is to adopt a proactive approach by investing in preventative maintenance. When you choose a reputable local HVAC company and they work on your system regularly, you will have a better understanding of your heating and cooling system.

2.  What is the Optimal Preventive Maintenance Interval?

Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid unexpected repair bills. When your system is well maintained, many minor issues can be fixed before they develop into more expensive problems. Scheduling annual maintenance before the beginning of the heating season is the ideal way to keep your furnace running efficiently. One way you can improve the efficiency is to change the furnace filter every month and you can do this with no specialized training. The full instructions for a furnace filter change are in the owner’s manual for your equipment.

3.  What Happens During an Emergency Repair?

If you need an emergency repair call, contact your local HVAC specialist via their dedicated contact number. A technician will visit your home, inspect the furnace and quickly diagnose why it’s not producing any heat. Certain problems can be fixed immediately, but more extensive problems may require components that are not kept on hand. For this reason, it’s important to ask about any costs and prices ahead of time and this will help you to avoid any unexpected charges. Again, developing a working relationship with a reputable local HVAC company before anything goes wrong is helpful.

4.  How Can I Identify a Furnace Problem?

It is possible to identify a problem with your furnace without formal training if you know what to look out for. Making a few simple checks every month will help you to determine if you need to call your local HVAC specialist for professional assistance. The most obvious issue is a decrease in the heat output of your furnace, which can be felt at the vents. Another common warning sign is strange noises, including banging, popping or other odd sounds when the furnace is running. If the pilot light fails regularly, this may be a failing thermocouple that must be replaced. It’s important to have a carbon monoxide detector installed near the furnace and if this toxic gas is detected, there may be a leak. Carbon monoxide is known as “the silent killer”, locating and repairing this leak must be a priority.

5.  Why Does My Furnace Leak Water?

A water leak is typically followed by a furnace leak and it’s a clear sign to contact your local heating and cooling specialist. The most common cause is failing seals and gaskets located between key components, such as the air handler and blower assembly. If there are cracks in the heat exchanger, water can seep through them to create pools of water under the furnace. Cracks in the heat exchanger are serious, they may be invisible when the furnace is running, but they can be obvious when the system is turned off. These cracks allow carbon monoxide to escape, in extreme cases, flames can emanate from them and this is a common cause of house fires. In many cases, the water leak can be corrected by replacing a single component and it makes no sense not to deal with this repair.

6.  Why is My Furnace Turning Off Constantly?

If your furnace is turning on and off again repeatedly you need to contact your local HVAC specialist. This is known as “short cycling” there are a number of possible causes and none of them can be fixed without appropriate training and experience. This issue needs to be addressed quickly because this behavior places a lot of extra strain on the system. When heating and cooling equipment is overworked, it’s more prone to failure and more energy is consumed.

7.  Should My Furnace Smell?

Under normal operating conditions, there should be no discernible odor emanating from your furnace. If you can detect a smell, there may be a number of possible causes such as an obstructed grease filter or a lack of lubricant. An HVAC technician can clean these areas for you and lubricate the moving parts during regularly scheduled maintenance.

8.  How Do I Light the Pilot Light?

The pilot light should be lit before you turn on the main burner and this can be a tricky process. There are a few different pilot light types, depending on the gas valve system you have and where you live. The full instructions for your furnace should be detailed in the owner’s manual for your unit. But, the key thing to remember is the relighting frequency and intervals to identify a potential problem. Under normal operating conditions, you don’t need to relight the pilot light on a regular basis.

If you’re concerned about your furnace, contact your local HVAC specialist and ask them to inspect it for you. This will ensure that your furnace is performing at optimal efficiency and that it’s safe to use.