Furnace repair tips and advice
Your home furnace is an important appliance, as it provides warmth when the weather is cool. Periodic inspections of your heating system can prevent more expensive heating repairs further down the road.
Common Heating System and Furnace Repairs
Replacing or cleaning your furnace filter should be a regular part of your house cleaning routine. Home heating systems use filters to block airborne particles before they enter the heating unit and cause wear on the heating coils and fan. Filters also benefit for you and your family by improving the quality of indoor air.
A dirty filter places more strain on your home's heating system, so it is important to periodically replace the filters. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how frequently to do this, but a good rule of thumb is at least every three months for inexpensive filters or three months to a year for high-efficiency filters. There are also reusable washable filters available for many heating systems; these filters help to reduce the ongoing cost of maintaining your heating system. Reusable filters should be rinsed off each month. Replacing a filter is generally a simple task; just look for the removable panel to access the filter.
Often a home furnace will cycle on and off too frequently. Rather than running many quick heating cycles, the heating system should come on occasionally for a long cycle. If you find that your heater is running frequent short cycles, you need to make a simple adjustment to the controls inside the thermostat. Open the thermostat's cover and locate the anticipator control; use your owner's manual if needed. Adjust the dial or lever so the anticipator reads in the .3 or .4 range, which will lengthen the heating cycle and reduce the constant on-off cycling.
When to Call a Heating System Repair Specialist
Some heating system issues are best left to a heating and cooling repair professional. If your problem is not solved by one of the steps above or by consulting your owner's manual, contact a pro. To locate a company that specializes in gas furnace repairs or oil furnace repairs, first check with friends and neighbors for recommendations. The Better Business Bureau and Angie's List are good resources for finding a reputable company, as well.
Once you have found a professional heating system repair specialist, ask for references and contact them to ensure the quality of the work performed. The heating repair professional should provide a written estimate before beginning the job; while an up-front deposit is acceptable, it's never a good idea to pay the entire cost before the job is completed.