So, you’re sitting at home, watching TV and thankful that you’re not out in the weather, when suddenly all the heat seems to dissipate from the room like you just read some Latin from that old book you found in the basement. What the heck is going on? Well, it sounds like you might have a problem with your furnace. Loss of furnace output is a common issue, and tends to happen during this time of year. This is when the most demand is placed on the average heating system, after all. If your furnace isn’t heating properly, and you want to find out why, read on.
Clogged Air Filter
If you’re very lucky, and it’s not that weird Latin book after all, you may just have a clogged air filter. The air filter is just a fiber mesh that sits in the air return duct for the furnace. All contaminants, like dust, pollen, dander, and the like, are captured in the filter before they can get to the furnace. This keeps the system operating properly, protected from the stuff that tends to lurk in the home’s ductwork.
The problem is that if the filter isn’t replaced every few months, it will eventually become so clogged with the contaminants it collects that it actually cuts off most of the air from flowing into the furnace. This cuts down on the system’s heating output significantly, since it can’t actually run enough air through itself to distribute heat. The good news is that replacing the air filter yourself, or having a professional do it for you, should restore the system to proper function.
Burner Assembly Problems
If you’re using a gas furnace, as many people do, then the system might not be heating properly because of a problem with the burner assembly. This often happens due to carbon particle buildup on the jets, causing them to fire late or not at all. One way to tell whether or not you have clogged burner assembly jets is to listen for a booming sound every time the furnace starts up. That’s what happens when some of the jets ignite later than they should, and burn through a lot of gas at once. Carbon particle buildup is not too big of a deal, as long as you have a professional clean it out soon. If you wait, though, the entire assembly may become too clogged to function. If that’s the case, your furnace won’t be able to generate heat at all.
Short cycling is when your furnace rapidly and continuously turns itself on and off every few minutes. This cuts into the output of the furnace by preventing it from completing a full heating cycle. However, it also increases the strain on the system to the point that it becomes much more likely to break down. It’s a good idea to have a professional check out your furnace immediately if you notice it doing this.
Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing offers comprehensive furnace repair services in Bethesda, MD. Contact us today for an appointment with one of our furnace experts.