Houston weather is tough on air conditioners, but did you know it’s even tougher on heaters? our wintertime temperatures can swing wildly from day to day – heck, even from hour to hour – causing starts and stops which equal excessive wear and tear on heating systems. to make matters worse, many furnaces are natural gas-fueled, creating safety concerns as well.
Our certified heating repair specialists arrive ready to diagnose and tackle any heating problem, large or small. plus, we’ll thoroughly review your system to ensure it safely meets the heavy demands of winter use, and is ready for the off-season shutdown months, too. so don’t get left out in the cold. put decades of houston-area heating repair expertise to work for the comfort and safety of your home and family.
Home heating systems basically consist of three parts. A heat sensor, or thermostat, measures the temperature in your home and determines when it needs to be raised. When the air temperature drops, the thermostat signals the heater and the blower then turns on. The combustion in the heater creates heat, while the blower moves air over the heat exchanger, raising its temperature and distributing it throughout the house via heating ducts. Cooler room air is returned to the furnace through return ducts where it is warmed. The warm-air-out, cool-air-in cycle continues until the desired temperature is reached and the thermostat signals the furnace to shut down.
Any furnace, regardless of its age, may pose combustion- or gas-related safety hazards, so it’s always a good idea to have an expert examine the unit and suggest the best course of action. Whether it’s a commercial or residential setting, the same basic problems plague furnaces. By knowing what the most common furnace problems are, you can take proactive measures to prevent them.
Avoid waiting until a crisis occurs . A cold night in January, with the furnace faltering or failed, is not the time to assess your heating system. Do it now! Information is the key to making a wise decision.
1. How old is your furnace?
Here is a good place to start! Compare your furnaces age to the national average. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping. Shopping for a furnace in an emergency does not allow time to make your best decision. For starters, look at your furnace to see if you have a pilot light. If you do, it is almost certain to be over 25 years old!
2. Gas & Electric Bills Going Up?
Rising gas and electric prices are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age especially if they have not been properly maintained. As a result your furnace may run longer to provide the same amount of heat. This will cause your gas & electric bills to go up.
3. Any Furnace Repairs in the last 2 years?
It doesn't take long to spend $500 just to keep the old furnace running. Furnaces incur the most breakdowns in the last 2 years of their lives. Another repair sign is whether you had to wait to get parts replaced. As a furnace ages, it gets harder to get replacement parts. This waiting can really be cold on a below zero night.
4. Does your thermostat keep you comfortable?
Do you feel that some rooms are too cold while others are too hot? Or are you always trying to adjust your thermostat to make your home more comfortable? This is a sign that your furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute the air to keep you comfortable in your home.
5. Is your burner flame yellow instead of blue?
A yellow or flickering flame may be a sign that poisonous carbon monoxide could be created by your furnace. Other possible signs of carbon monoxide are: Streaks of soot around furnace; Absence of an upward draft in your chimney; Excess moisture found on windows, walls, or other cold surfaces; Excessive rusting on flue pipes, other pipe connections, or appliance jacks; Small amount of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe; Rust on the portion of the vent pipe visible from the outside.
6. Is your furnace making strange noises?
Old furnaces often start to make some strange noises as they get toward the end of their life. Have you heard any banging, popping, rattling, or squealing noises coming from your furnace? Another noise is when you hear the furnace blower running excessively. Does your blower turn on & off frequently or does it blow cold air sometimes? If so, this is a sign that your furnace may need to be replaced.
7. How have you & your family been feeling?
Furnaces as they age run the risk of developing cracks in the heat exchanger inside your furnace. Carbon monoxide, if present, could leak into your home undetected. Signs of this may be frequent headaches, a burning feeling in nose or eyes, nausea, disorientation, flu-like symptoms. Should you experience any of these, air out your house, open a window to the furnace room and immediately call a gas service technician. Cracks in the heat exchanger can occur undetected which is why no one advises waiting until they occur.
8. Is your house dry or dusty?
Old furnaces often lack the ability to moisturize and clean the air in your home. Your house air may feel stuffy or stale. Does anyone in your family suffer from allergies to airborne dust, mold, pollen, viruses or dander? Or does anyone suffer from dry nose, dry throat, or dry skin? Other signs may be frequent dust accumulation, static shocks, drooping plants, furniture cracking and musical instruments that do not stay in tune. These signs all suggest that your old furnace is not capable of providing you with the comfort you and your family may want.
Ask about our offers on a variety of energy-efficient heating systems designed to help you save money on utility costs. Call today for an immediate consultation from one of our licensed heating system installation experts.
We will patiently answer any and all of your questions and discuss every stage of the process to help you determine your heating needs.
TIP: Don’t forget when shopping around for a new furnace, the most important thing to consider is efficiency. A high-efficiency system will return your investment many times over in cost savings over the course of the equipment’s lifespan. Another important factor to consider when buying a furnace is its noise level. If your unit has a low sound level, you’ll hardly notice it is operating.
It’s a good idea to perform basic annual furnace maintenance each fall to ensure your heating system is running efficiently. Basic maintenance can include each of the parts that makes up your heater system. The thermostat determines when the heater should come on by measuring the temperature of the air in the room. The thermostat will signal to the heater and blower to turn on. The heater uses combustion to create heat while the blower pushes the air to the heat exchanger where it is distributed through the heating ducts into the home. By following a yearly furnace maintenance schedule, you can help each of these parts run smoothly and keep your home comfortable throughout the winter.
The old adage is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Our technicians can easily detect an impending issue before you have to replace a heating unit or spend a lot of money on parts and labor. Below you’ll find our Preventative Maintenance Checklist, which is our proven method to keep your system in the pink and your home in constant comfort.
The answer is YES! When your furnace breaks down, you’re not only facing a chilly winter night without heat, you’re also risking the health and safety of your family without even knowing it. Heating systems can produce dangerous gasses, including tasteless, odorless carbon monoxide.