Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating Repair’

Why is My Furnace Not Heating?

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Gas-Burner-AssemblySo, 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.

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Are There Ways to Prevent Unnecessary Heating Repair?

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Heating systems are mechanical units, so at some point during your ownership of one, it is likely that you’ll have to schedule heating repair for your heating system at least once. While there isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent all heating repair that may develop with your system, there are ways to help reduce the incidence of repair that you may experience over your system’s lifetime.

Tips to Help Prevent Repair

Here are some simple tips from some of our Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing experts that may help prevent unnecessary repairs for your heating system:

Change the Air Filter

It is such a simple task that it can be easily overlooked, but a dirty air filter can wreak havoc on your system’s operation. Why? Your heating system requires a certain amount of air flow to work properly, and a clogged and dirty air filter can seriously restrict the air flow. When this happens in furnaces, you may see low heat flow and even shutdown; in a heat pump system, you may see icing on the coils. It’s recommended that the air filter is changed every 3 months in order to keep your system working well.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

An annual maintenance visit is a full tune-up of your system. During a maintenance appointment, your system is thoroughly inspected for problems, components are cleaned and lubricated, and small adjustments are made, such as tightening a loose fan belt. Maintenance helps prevent repairs by getting ahead of potential problems.

Don’t Ignore Strange Sounds or Smells

As the homeowner, you are familiar with the normal working sounds of your heating system, and overall, there shouldn’t be any kind of odor that accompanies your heater’s operation. As such, if you hear strange sounds, or start to smell something that seems off, don’t ignore it; instead, call an expert for help.

Taking these simple steps can help prevent or get you ahead of potential problems that may develop with your heating system. If you need to schedule a maintenance or repair appointment for your heating system in Gaithersburg, call the people you can trust: Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing.

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Common Problems with Electronic Ignition

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Strides are always being made to make heating systems more reliable. One step that has been taken with combustion furnaces is electronic ignition. With electronic ignition, you no longer have to worry about constantly fueling a standing pilot light because there isn’t one; instead, there is either a hot surface igniter or an intermittent pilot. Electronic ignition is usually standard on today’s furnaces, and you may be able to retrofit your existing furnace with electronic ignition. Let’s take a look at each type below.

Intermittent Pilot

An intermittent pilot works by having a small gas line that is just for your system’s pilot light. When the thermostat cues the furnace to start, the gas is allowed to flow from this small pilot gas line. A small electronic device creates a spark that shoots across the gas jet, lighting the pilot. A flame sensor monitors the pilot flame to see if it is lit and running properly, and when it senses that the pilot light is operable, the flame sensor allows the main gas valve to open and the burner to be lit. Some of the common problems that can develop with an intermittent pilot are:

  • Failure with the electronic spark
  • Loose connection with the thermostat
  • Incorrect positioning of the pilot gas pipe
  • Dirty nozzle

Hot Surface Ignition

A hot surface ignition probe works similarly to a light bulb. When the thermostat sends the cue to begin ignition, two strips of differing metal heat inside a silicone casing. Once the metal strips heat to the correct temperature, the gas ignited and the burner lights. One of the main problems that occurs with a hot surface ignition probe is that it gets dirty; even a fingerprint on the casing can impede ignition. Another common problem is cracking. The probe is exposed to very high and low temperatures, and eventually develops cracks, which effect its ability to ignite the gas.

Delayed Ignition: A Common and Potentially Dangerous Problem for Both

One common problem that can develop with either igniter is delayed ignition. Electronic igniters are designed to light immediately; any delay in ignition results in an excess of gas accumulation. This is usually characterized by a boom or banging sound right before ignition occurs. This can be a potentially dangerous situation and should be repaired immediately.

Electronic ignition can save energy, but if it isn’t working correctly, a dirty or impaired igniter can leave you without heat. If you are in need of heating repair in Rockville, call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing today and schedule an appointment with one of our NATE-certified experts.

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Why You Shouldn’t Wait for Your Heater to Break Down Before Scheduling Heating Repair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a common attitude when it comes to things like heating maintenance. Why bother spending the extra money to have an HVAC technician take a look at your heating system when nothing is wrong with it? While it may seem like common sense, this kind of approach is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Read on to discover the reasons why your heating system needs preventative maintenance.

Cost vs Benefit

If we’re going to stay in the realm of clichés, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could be answered with “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Sure, you could save a bit of money by waiting until your heating system breaks to call a professional. Whatever small amount you save, however, will be cancelled out by the cost of replacing parts or even the entire unit. Regular, preventative maintenance allows for relatively inexpensive fixes to be applied to problems before they grow into bigger issues. The longer you let a problem go unchecked, the more damage it could cause to your system. Rest assured that replacing your entire heating unit is many times more expensive than a simple maintenance visit.

Convenience

Most HVAC professionals recommend that you have your heating system serviced once a year. One maintenance visit a year isn’t that much of an inconvenience, especially for the benefit of drastically reducing the chances of your heater breaking down. By contrast, if you wait for your system to break down before calling a professional you could be waiting for days. This is especially true in winter, when demand on HVAC technicians tends to be high. If you have the bad luck to lose your heat in the middle of winter, the last thing you want is to wait several days for it to be fixed.

When you look at the pros and cons of regular maintenance vs spot repairs, the winner is clear. Have your heater checked at least once a year to ensure that it is working properly. If you haven’t scheduled your annual heating maintenance yet, call Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing today. We provide professional heating repair service in Bethesda, MD area.

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Should I Schedule a Heating Repair Appointment if My Ductwork Is Clanging?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The ductwork in your home does its job mostly invisibly: it lies out of your sight in walls, floors, ceilings, and basements. It should also do its job inaudibly: the only sound you should hear from your ducts is the humming from your forced-air heating system that sends warmth through the ducts to your vents.

When you hear a clanging or banging noise inside your ducts, it’s usually a warning that you need to schedule heating repair in Germantown, PA. At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we take pride in our state-of-the-art technology to clean and repair ducts. If you need to schedule repairs because of metal clanging inside your ductwork, call us first: our NATE-certified technicians will use their expertise to help you.

The Causes of Clanging in Your Ducts

The main reason for this clanging sound is that your ducts are expanding because of air pressure. If you notice the clanging sound happening soon after your heater’s blower comes on, then this is almost certainly the reason for the noise. The gauge of the metal of the ducts isn’t thick enough to handle the pressure increase, and the metal “bulges,” making that clanging sound. This will occur most frequently in places where there is a long unsupported stretch of duct.

Does this mean you have to completely replace your ductwork with thicker gauge material? Not necessarily—although sometimes that is the case, especially if your ductwork is very old. Duct specialists can brace up the unsupported stretches to keep them from expanding and creating the clanking noise. You may also have some of the metal ductwork taken out and replaced with flexible ducts or duct board, neither of which will make clanking sounds when they expand.

Contact duct repair and cleaning experts to look over your ducts and see what can be done about this problem; you won’t have easy access to the ducts yourself, so make sure that you leave this in the hands of the professionals. It’s also a good idea to have your ducts cleaned, since sometimes clanging noises can come from objects that have become trapped inside the ducts.

At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we have many years of experience working with ducts for heating and cooling systems. Because we also specialize in indoor air quality, we have extensive knowledge about cleaning and repairing ducts. Make us your first call when you discover you have noisy ductwork, or if you need any kind of heating repair in Germantown, PA.

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Does My Furnace Need Maintenance Service if it is Operational? A Common Heating Question

Monday, January 21st, 2013

When your furnace is working well, you probably don’t think much about it. We all love to enjoy the consistent and comfortable heat of a well-functioning furnace. It’s only when our furnace stops providing heat that we actually pay it any attention. At Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating, we provide complete furnace repair and furnace maintenance in Chevy Chase. Getting regular heating maintenance for your furnace is always a good idea. We thought it would be helpful if we put together some of the benefits.

Benefits of Heating Maintenance

No matter what kind of heating system you have, getting regular inspections and tune-ups is probably a good idea. We all realize how beneficial regular oil changes and tune-ups are for our cars: the same goes for your furnace. Here are some of the benefits of furnace maintenance.

  • Reduced repairs – Perhaps one of the best benefits to regular furnace maintenance is that it can potentially reduce the need for costly repairs. When you have a professional heating technician from Tuckers looking over your furnace, they’ll be able to detect small problems before they potentially turn into larger ones.
  • Increased efficiency – When you use your furnace often without every maintaining it, dirt and dust will start to build up in it. The moving parts will start to wear out which can lead to a decrease in efficiency. During regular maintenance visits, our technicians will clean out and thoroughly inspect your furnace. We’ll lubricate the fan’s bearings, replace the fan belt and much more. All of this can potentially increase the efficiency of your furnace.
  • Extended equipment life – We called to replace furnaces all the time here in Chevy Chase. Many of those furnaces were destroyed by small problems that could have been detected and fixed during a routine maintenance visit.

If you’re interested in learning more about furnace maintenance in Chevy Chase, call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating today at 301-670-0034!

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Heating FAQ: When Should I Schedule Heating Repair Service?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

If you need a heating repair service, call Tucker’s Air Conditioning & Heating. Not only do we provide quality repairs, we also provide free estimates on replacement equipment, as well as free second opinions. If someone else has quoted you on a repair that you aren’t sure you need, give us a call.

We’ve put together a list of common heating problems and some of the potential causes and solutions. Remember that it is important to call as soon as you notice an issue with your heater, since this helps to prevent further damage and equipment failure.

Furnace Not Producing Heat

When a furnace is not producing heat at all, make sure it is on and that your thermostat is on the right setting. You should also make sure it’s set to the heating mode. Consult your owner’s manual if you are not sure how to check the mode. A tripped circuit breaker can also cause your furnace to stop producing any heat. You should call for a repair if these simple fixes do not take care of problem. The furnace could have larger issues or need replacement parts.

If the furnace is running but not producing enough heat, make sure the vents are open and that you’ve changed the air filter. Dirty air filters can affect the airflow and cause your furnace to under perform. Change them often in the winter, at least once every two months, or once a month depending on the model.

Boiler Problems

If your boiler has stopped working, it could be a safety feature that has shut down the system when there’s an issue. If you have an older boiler, or one that has not been maintained, it could also be sediment in the water tank, especially if you hear hissing or popping noises. The sediment could be boiling and damaging the inside of the tank.

Call the heating experts at Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating if you experience any of these problems, or if need any heating repair service in Gaithersburg.

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Heating Tip: Early Warning Signs of Heating System Problems

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Heating systems function best and last longest when they are well maintained. Homeowners sometimes wait until a break-down in the heating system of their home before addressing a problem.  These types of repairs are usually costly, and can weaken the overall functionality of a heating system.  By keeping an eye out for early warning signs that your heating system may be in need of maintenance or repair, you will save money and extend the life of the heater.

Here are early warning signs to look out for:

Heat Pumps

Proper air flow is essential for any heating system to work well, including heat pumps. If you believe there is an inconsistency in air flow from your heat pump, or you feel air leaks coming from ducts, it is a good idea to call a professional to inspect it. An HVAC contractor can check to see that the air is moving properly throughout the system. It is a good idea to have your coils cleaned on your heat pump, because if they are dirty or clogged it can prevent good air flow.

Boilers

There are a few early warning signs that your boiler may be in need of maintenance.  If you notice a decrease in heat being produced, something may have happened inside the boiler to reduce the hot water levels. You can check the pressure gauge, or call a technician to do so, to see if that is culprit. If there is a problem with the radiator within the boiler, you may hear a hissing sound or there may be a lack of heat if this is the case. Problems with the radiator will require an HVAC technician to fix it.

If you notice that your gas boiler’s pilot light has gone out that may indicate a gas flow problem within the system. Call an HVAC technician, who should be able to easily fix the issue. And if you notice any water leakage coming from your boiler, that can lead to problems with temperature control.

If you notice any signs of trouble with your heating system, especially early on, it is important to address them as soon as possible to help maintain your heater’s performance.  Call Tuckers Air Conditioning & Heating at 301-670-0034 with any questions or to help address any concerns with the heating system in your Gaithersburg area home.

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Heating Repair Question: Why is my Air Handler Squealing?

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Unusual noises coming from your Kensington home’s HVAC system never a good thing; they make you worry that something is wrong.

It’s true that an unusual noise does often mean that something needs to be fixed; however, a noise emanating from your HVAC system does not necessarily mean a major repair. You should always have a technician check out if you suspect a problem with your system, but not all problems are going to be expensive to fix.

One common noise that homeowners notice and complain about is a squealing noise originating in the air handler. Usually, this noise is coming from the fan belt that connects the blower fan and the motor. Over time, the belt can stretch out and become worn or misaligned, which makes it slip and generate that aggravating squealing noise.

So, while the squealing can be annoying and unpleasant, a slipping belt is by no means major. A belt is an inexpensive part and a technician can install it in just a matter of minutes.

As long as the noise is a squealing and not a grinding, this simple fix wil often take care of the problem. If you hear a grinding noise, however, immediately shut the unit down and call a technician. This may mean that your motor bearings are worn out and need to be replaced ASAP before further damage is inflicted on the motor itself.

 

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Heating Repair Tip: Reasons Your Furnace Isn’t Producing Enough Heat

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

The last occasion on which you want to worry about your furnace not producing any heat is the dead of winter, when the outside is chilly you just want to seek refuge in your own Takoma Park home…only to discover that it’s not much warmer than the outdoors.

This may seem like a total emergency, and the combination of chill and frustration may cause panic to set in. Don’t start fretting too much just yet, though. There are some potentially simple causes and solutions for this problem, such as:

  • The thermostat may be set too low or on the wrong setting. Yes, it seems obvious, but sometimes the solution is staring you right in the face. Check that your thermostat is set high enough to call for heat and that it is on HEAT mode.
  • A circuit breaker may be tripped or a fuse may be blown. It could be the one dedicated to the thermostat, glow coil igniter or furnace itself. Check the breaker or fuse box in your home and either flip the breaker or replace the fuse. If it continues to trip or blow, get it looked at professionally—there may be a bigger problem going on.
  • The thermostat may not be working, so it is either improperly detecting the temperature or improperly reporting it to the furnace, so the heat does not kick on. Either way, it probably needs to be replaced.
  • The furnace is not igniting properly. This could mean the pilot light is out on furnaces without electric ignition, the gas valve is closed and can’t ignite or some other ignition malfunction. Check the pilot and gas valves to make sure they are on and working.

If you have checked all these things and the thermostat still is not working, or if you don’t feel comfortable looking into these causes on your own, you are best served by calling a professional repairman to diagnose and fix the furnace.

Often, these big failures are just the symptom of a smaller problem, so in all likelihood you won’t have to replace the furnace or do any major repairs, especially if it has been well-maintained throughout its life.

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