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How to care for your furnace

Comfort Zone - Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning Blog

McMahon Plumbing + Heating Blog

Is your home heated by a furnace? Here are a few tips on how to care for it and what signs of trouble you should look for.
Fall is the ideal time for an annual furnace tune-up!

Regular tune-ups

Your furnace should be tuned up and inspected at least once a year. Tune-ups include filter replacements and system cleaning, which improve efficiency and reduce wear and tear. Inspections can highlight the need for important repairs – for example, cracks in the heat exchanger of a furnace can cause deadly carbon monoxide leaks.

Issues to pay attention to

If your burner flame is yellow instead of blue, there is soot around your furnace or too much moisture on nearby walls and windows, this could mean there is a crack in the heat exchanger. You should call a licensed heating professional immediately to inspect your furnace, and of course make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, immediately evacuate your home and call 911 from outside or a neighbor’s house. Do not assume the house is safe to re-enter if the alarm goes off. Have the emergency responders check for the source of the carbon monoxide and determine if it is safe to go back inside.

If your furnace stops working

If your furnace stops working, it could be for one of these reasons:

Tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse

Circuit breakers will trip when too much electricity is flowing through them. If your circuit breaker trips once, you may not have a problem. If your circuit breaker repeatedly trips, there may be an electrical problem inside your furnace. Call us for service to have the furnace tested and repaired.

Blown internal fuse

Furnaces have internal fuses that will break if there is too much power running through them.  We can install a new fuse to repair this problem.

Pilot light is out

Older gas furnaces use pilot light ignitions, and when the pilot light goes out, the furnace will not ignite. If your pilot light goes out, you need to contact a contractor to relight it..

Dirty filter

A dirty filter will not cause your furnace to stop working entirely, but it will make it less efficient. Having your furnace tuned up regularly will prevent this from happening. If you notice your system does not seem to be heating up your home as well as it should, contact us to replace the filter and inspect your heating system.

When is it necessary to replace a furnace?

A malfunctioning furnace is not only dangerous – it can be causing your utility bills to be higher than they should be. If your furnace has had many repairs, consult with your heating contractor to discuss options.

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