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  • Writer's picturemike marcinkiewicz

Top 3 Things Wrong with your Furnace

What are the top 3 things wrong with your furnace and how can you fix them? Well, if you are like me and own a home in Mulmur, or any where in Dufferin County then you know that taking care of your furnace is a big deal. Weather it's that nuisance noise it makes each time it runs, or the small pool of water next to it, letting problems go unattended to will lead to bigger issues down the line. As a heating contractor in Shelburne and Orangeville, Ontario, I have seen my share of furnace problems throughout the County. If I could sum them up into 3 categories they would be as follows. Let's explore each in detail and determine how you, as a homeowner, can prevent furnace damage and save yourself a furnace service call.

  1. Lack of Furnace Maintenance

  2. Defective Furnace Parts

  3. Failed Heat Exchangers

Lack of Furnace Maintenance

From my experience, a lack of maintenance and care for your furnace is the principle reason it fails and a service call is required. Some easy steps a homeowner should take include, replacing furnace filter each season, changing thermostat batteries at least once a year, and removing snow or debris from the furnace exhaust vents outside. Mind you there are a few scenarios that furnace maintenance can go beyond the scope of the homeowner and a professional gas technician may be needed. For example, a dirty flame sensor, clogged drain tubing, and migrated debris in the venting. While a homeowner may not be able to make these repairs it's critical that a good HVAC contractor is hired to install the furnace correctly to begin with. Ultimately, hiring a heating technician to perform furnace maintenance is a good preventive service that should be done once every 4 to 5 years.

Defective Furnace Parts

Even if you have enjoyed living in Shelburne for the past few years and you have done everything to your furnace to keep it in top condition parts can still break from time to time. If you are unlucky enough to need a furnace part replaced than your gas technician will need to make the repair. I have seen no common denominator between furnace brands and I can not speak to which furnace is better or worse. I have replaced parts in all brands and the most common ones include pressure switches, ventor motors, and control boards. Considering all furnaces are machines there is no pattern to when a part will break. However, poor installations and part recalls are the main reasons furnaces parts break. If a part breaks, my responsibility as a gas technician is to rule out any factors that lead to the part failing so it doesn't happen a 2nd time. If no preventive cause can be determined, we replace the part and expect it to work as is demanded.

Failed Furnace Heat Exchanger

The last thing that can be wrong with your furnace is that the main heat exchangers are failing or failed. The furnace heat exchanger is the heart of the unit and the main component that makes it a furnace. In other words, it exchanges combustion heat to warm indoor air thereby heating your home. Typically, this furnace component only fails if the installation was done poorly or the furnace was oversized for the space. A less common reason is a engineering failure or poor design, but this would be covered under warranty and a recall would be issued. Regardless, a bad heat exchanger on a 10 year old or more furnace means its time for a new furnace. A failed heat exchanger is a big deal because carbon monoxide can be entering your home or it can cause a fire as the furnace flame 'rolls out' from the cabinet. A gas technician has many procedures to determine a failed heat exchanger and they will usually signal to you that it's time for a new furnace. If you need furnace maintenance, or your furnace stopped working please don't hesitate to give EMI Air Systems a call. Mike Marcinkiewicz @emi_air_systems

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