Furnace issues are much more likely to crop up during the winter, when strain placed on the system is at its highest. That’s why you need to be extra careful of any warning signs that your heating system is in need of professional repairs.
California may not be the coldest place in the country during the winter, but that doesn’t mean that you should go without a functioning furnace for the next few months. Have a look at some of the most common furnace problems and their symptoms, just so you’re prepared in case something goes wrong.
We’re going to start by getting arguably the most dangerous furnace issue out of the way. Short cycling is when the furnace turns itself on and off every couple of minutes, without completing a full heating cycle. This is often caused by an electrical problem with the furnace, either a short circuit or some other malfunction that is causing the furnace to receive incorrect commands. However, it can also be caused by heat becoming trapped in the furnace due to a clogged air filter or malfunctioning air handler.
Short cycling is so dangerous because it causes the system to wear down at a much faster rate than it should. Parts will wear out and break down more quickly, causing the cost of repairs to rise sharply over a short period of time. If the problem is not corrected quickly enough, the lifespan of the furnace could be shortened by a number of years. Make sure you call for repairs as soon as you notice your furnace doing this.
If you’re using a gas furnace, and it’s making a sound like a cannon going off every time it starts up, then you probably have a delayed ignition problem. Delayed ignition is what happens when the jets in the burner assembly become clogged with carbon particles, a natural byproduct of combustion. Eventually, the carbon particles will build up to the point that the jets have trouble igniting on time. When they do ignite, they burn through the excess gas and generate a loud booming sound.
The good news is that this issue is fairly easy to fix. Just have a professional clean your burner assembly for you and everything should be put back to normal. You shouldn’t wait too long before having the assembly cleaned, however. If the carbon particles build up too much, the jets won’t be able to fire at all.
Clogged Air Filter
The air filter in the furnace is supposed to be changed out every three months or so in order to continue functioning properly. If this isn’t done, the filter could become clogged and cut off most of the air flowing into the furnace. Make sure you replace your furnace filter every three months, or have a professional do it for you, to keep it working.