As harsh as Richmond winters can be, it’s comforting to know your furnace is up to the task of keeping your home warm and comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s likely that you might experience furnace issues at some point. The good news is the experts at Short Pump Heating & Air know how to handle them!
Here are the most common heater problems to look out for this winter:
Motor issues. The blower motor is the part of your system that forces air through the ductwork and into your home. When the motor isn’t working, your system cannot pump air into your home. Wear and tear on the motor is expected with use and age, so it’s not uncommon to see it fail. Consistent preventive maintenance will help ensure the motor stays clean and running properly and help avoid unexpected heat outages.
Air flow challenges. If your system becomes clogged with debris or dust (fall leaves, animal hair, etc.) the air flow is hindered, and your system won’t run as efficiently. Damaged air ducts and leaks can also reduce air flow and a furnace will eventually be forced to shut down. This can happen quite often when the system is being used regularly without changing or cleaning your filters. If you have a heat pump, the buildup of leaves or debris around the outdoor unit can cause heating problems.
Ignition failure. Older gas burning furnaces have a pilot light that ignites the fuel to heat up your home’s air. This pilot light is connected to a thermocouple that regulates the gas. In the event your pilot light goes out, the thermocouple also regulates and triggers the gas to shut off. Other problems that can occur with your pilot light will also cause your system to shut off. Newer furnaces do not have a pilot light; they use electronic ignition. If you have a problem with your ignitor, the furnace will not properly start.
Problems with your limit switch. Furnaces have a limit switch as a safety measure. They will shut the furnace off if it gets too hot. Factors in your systems can cause your limit switch to shut the furnace down if things are overheating. A bad limit switch can either not shut the system off when it is supposed to (which can be a safety problem), or it can keep shutting the furnace down when things are working properly.
Thermostat problems. Your thermostat plays a very important role in the operation of your heat pump or gas furnace. It tells the system to turn on or off, and keeps the temperature at your desired level. If your thermostat shuts off and has a battery, try replacing the battery. If it does not have a battery, more extensive wiring diagnostics or thermostat replacement may be necessary.
If you’re having issues with your furnace or heat pump, call Short Pump Heating & Air to come out and inspect what’s going on. Hopefully, it’s a simple fix like one of the issues listed above, but whatever it is, one of our expert HVAC technicians can be sure to repair your system and get you back up and running! To learn more about your options for upgrading your home’s heating system, visit our heating page or call our office at 804-364-9040 to speak with one of our estimators.