Nobody depends on their furnaces like Minnesota Wisconsin. Our winters are legendary for a reason. We need a furnace that can stand up to the deep cold snap of a midwest winter – keeping you warm and the air in your home clean. This is especially true, now that we’re all spending more time at home than ever.
Experts agree that keeping a careful eye on your furnace is one of the most important things you can do for your home. But how do you know when it’s time to service your furnace? Here are a couple key signs your MVP appliance could use a little attention. And when you do, we hope you’ll call on us for all your HVAC service needs.
You can use this guide to help develop a maintenance schedule to keep your furnace running efficiently, safely and dependably so you can relax and enjoy your home to its fullest potential.
Comfort By Design is Eastern Minnesota & Western Wisconsin’s Official Daikin dealer service technicians
Obvious Furnace Problems: Call Us Right Away!
You don’t need someone to tell you you’re cold. To that end, you also don’t need any expert telling you when your furnace is making some unnatural noises. If your furnace is experiencing some obvious malfunction or producing sounds and smells that are alarming, make the call right away. There’s no sense in trying to power through a rough patch. You could cause irreparable damage to the furnace or put the safety of your household in jeopardy.
Some things that would validate and immediate service calls for your furnace include:
- Persistently cold home
- Strange noises, both intermittent and an repetitive
- Burning smells when heat turns on
- Smell of rotten eggs around furnace (indicating gas leak)
Aside from obvious problems with your furnace, here are some more great ways to tell whether your furnace is due for a service call.
Air Quality is Key to a Functioning Home
Clean air is essential to a home that performs the way you want it to perform. When we can breathe easy, we are truly at home. A standard air filter for a furnace should receive an annual check-up. If the furnace is in a dusty basement, or close to a drying machine, it might be a good idea to have it serviced even more frequently. By some estimates, we should check our air filters every 90 days, and have them serviced bi-annually.
Some signs that your air filter may need some love:
- Roasty, or burning smell when furnace turns on
- Unusually high energy bill.
- Persistent allergies, headaches during cold months when furnace is running heavily
- More dust than normal on surfaces throughout your home
- Home won’t properly heat
- Furnace system overheating
If your furnace filter needs replacing, our service technicians will replace your filters so the air in your home is clean, and your family is safer from airborne contaminants and viruses.
How long Has it Been Since Your Last Furnace Service?
Not all of us keep our furnace’s maintenance schedule top of mind. The rule of thumb is that most furnaces should be serviced annually.
If you can’t remember the last time your furnace was serviced, it’s a good idea to stay on the safe side and schedule a service call. This can be especially true if you recently purchased your home. Often a furnace’s history can be lost in a real estate transaction and it’s a good idea to establish a relationship with a service provider you can count on to establish a service schedule.
Signs of most common technical furnace malfunctions
Your furnace is good at letting us know when it’s broken. But how do we prevent it from breaking in the first place? Knowing the most common types of technical malfunctions is key to predicting something is about to go wrong.
When your furnace turns on, then turns off after only a few seconds, your flame sensor may be malfunctioning. The flame sensor is a metal rod with white or off-white (and in some cases, burnt) porcelain surrounding the mount that connects to your furnace. Sensors could be either bent at a 45 or 90-degree angle, or straight.
Over time, repeated cycles on your furnace draw in dust or dirt to the flame chamber. The sensor insulation could gather a bit of soot, or accumulate burned matter. The metal sensor could even have elements of corrosion. In this case, a simple cleaning will do the trick and return the sensor to full capacity. But sometimes replacement is needed if the porcelain insulation is cracked or pieces are missing.
When flame sensors are working properly the sensor will shut down the gas valve when it doesn’t sense a flame. A faulty flame sensor could be a safety issue since a furnace could start a cycle thinking the flame has ignited and instead of warm, clean air, circulate raw natural gas or propane through your home. This is especially dangerous since furnaces are often located next to water heaters that could ignite the gas when it turns on.
Ignition, pilot light or heat exchange:
Several factors could lead to a faulty ignition system. Problems with a gas line, clogged air filter, the pilot light or even the thermostat. Furnace ignition systems are notoriously tricky and we do not suggest DIY repairs, but it is worth a shot before you pick up the phone to call a certified HVAC technician.
Keeping a Carbon Monoxide sensor in your home is also a great idea. This will notify you immediately if you’re having problems with a heat exchanger. A cracked heat exchanger could leak exhaust gases into the air instead of entirely into the flue pipe. A Carbon Monoxide sensor in the home would detect this leak immediately. There is no repairing a cracked heat exchanger. It must either be replaced, or if replacement is not an option, it may be time to consider a new furnace.
Signs your furnace’s flame sensor, pilot light or ignition needs attention:
- Flame sensor looks dirty or milky with corrosion
- Furnace runs, but only pushes cold air
- Furnace lights and then turns off after a few seconds
- Warning from Carbon Monoxide detector
- Flame sensor’s porcelain housing is cracked
Allergies or Illnesses
Studies have shown that there’s a correlation between the rise of illnesses in the winter and the air quality of our homes. We spend much more time indoors during the colder months, and if the air in our homes is circulating dust, mites or mold, that can create anything from persistent allergic irritation to migraines and even transmission of air-born viruses.
Be on the lookout for unexplained increased irritation or allergic reactions during the months you rely heavily on your furnace and operate it frequently.
Comfort by Design: Voted Best HVAC Service Company in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota
When you need a service provider who can give you honest assessments of your furnace and straight advice, call Comfort By Design. We would never leave our Eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin homeowners in the cold. But we’re also not going to recommend service and repairs you don’t need. If you need an honest assessment, and quality tune up of your furnace, give us a call, (715) 554 – 6687
Here’s what we cover in our 12-point precision furnace clean and tune-up (takes 1.5hrs):
- Check filters and, if needed, add new, clean air filters
- Measure amperage and voltage of blower motor for proper operation
- Measure and adjust gas pressure for peak efficiency
- Clean/inspect heat exchanger
- Test air flow duct system for carbon monoxide
- Check for gas leaks
- Test thermostat for proper operation, calibrate and level
- Test ignition system for safe and proper operation
- Lubricate, clean blower motor and wheel
- Safety & control circuits – test for proper operation
- Clean and inspect furnace Burners
- Clean Furnace Exterior
Need a New Furnace? Call on Us for a New Daikin Furnace
There’s no sense spending money on a furnace that needs to be replaced. As the area’s certified providers and technicians of Daikin appliances, we can get you a new, top-of-the-line home furnace system with the most trusted name in the business.
And for a limited time, you can get up to $1500 off qualifying HVAC system. So you can spend your winter in ultimate comfort at the best price around. Contact us to find out more!
UP TO $1500 OFF
QUALIFYING HVAC SYSTEMS
This Coupon entitles up to $1500.00 Discount off a Qualifying HVAC System, performed by Comfort By Design at their residence, for as low as $62 dollars a month (furnace). Only one (1) coupon per service address will be accepted. Coupon must be presented at the time of service. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Payment for the balance is expected at the time of service.