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Common Furnace Issues & How to Avoid Them

Up close photo of a person using a device to measure a furnace output

Furnaces play an integral part in maintaining the comfort of your home. During the cold, winter months, life would be pretty uncomfortable without one! But, how does a furnace actually work? What happens if you don’t maintain your furnace? Don’t worry. The furnace experts at Mainstream have you covered! 

Furnaces heat up the air that is circulated through your home, providing a comfortable escape from freezing temperatures. But, if you don’t maintain your furnace on a regular basis, you could wind up in an uncomfortable, or even dangerous, situation. From blocked ventilation to faulty equipment, this common household system could cause a major problem in your home if not properly maintained. 

No matter what type of heating system you have, maintaining it is the best way to maximize its performance. At Mainstream, we recommend servicing your furnace once per year, typically in the fall.

With more than 20 years’ experience in central heating systems, Mainstream has a reputation you can trust in Spokane. With our professionalism and prompt service, you can depend on us to fix your malfunctioning furnace. 

Signs Your Furnace Isn’t Working Correctly

It’s important to pay attention to signs that your furnace may need to be serviced to avoid uncomfortable temperatures in your home. Knowing what to look for will help you identify potential problems before they become serious and more costly. 

Some common signs your furnace needs servicing include:

  • Unusual smells
  • Abnormal noises
  • An increase in your energy bill
  • Excess dirt, grime, or dust on your furnace
  • A yellow pilot light
  • Uneven heating throughout your home

If you’ve experienced any of these issues, it may be time to contact a Spokane heating company.


Do I Need Professional Furnace Repair?

Knowing when to handle common furnace issues on your own can save you time and money in the long run, but understanding when to call a a professional can keep your furnace in top-notch condition.

Dirty Air Filter: There’s no doubt that this is the most common furnace problem, but luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to resolve! In a clogged air filter, your heater has a harder time drawing air into the mechanical components. 

This increases the amount of work your furnace has to do. Eventually, your furnace may shut itself off to protect itself. At first glance, this looks like a furnace failure. If you are feeling panicked, try changing the air filter first. It is as simple as shutting off the furnace, removing the old filter, and replacing it. Attempt to restore the furnace’s performance by turning it back on. Give us a call if it still doesn’t power up or produce any hot air.

Faulty Pilot Light: Pilot lights generate electricity and heat by burning natural gas when the furnace kicks on. The pilot light is vital to the operation of your furnace. Without it, you won’t be able to produce heat. When your furnace tries to turn on over and over again without successfully heating, you may hear the fan running continuously.

Even though this problem is fairly simple to identify, it can be difficult to remedy. Repairs involving the pilot light or ignition switch should be handled by Mainstream technicians. Without proper training and equipment, repairing or replacing the pilot light could result in burns.

Improper Furnace Maintenance

When you fail to maintain your furnace regularly, it will begin to break down and age much more rapidly than if it were well-maintained. Regular, at-home maintenance should include changing the air filter regularly and replacing the thermostat batteries often.

The Risks of Ignoring Furnace Issues

Poorly maintained ducts can contain cracks or holes that allow air from outside, including pollutants, to enter your home. The air passing through the ducts can also become stagnant and contaminated with bacteria, mold, and other allergens. Additionally, faulty wiring or gas lines can lead to a buildup of flammable materials or gasses that can cause a fire.

Carbon Monoxide Leak Hazard

Carbon monoxide is a scentless, colorless, and tasteless gas. CO can be produced by a wide variety of appliances in a home and is a common hazard. An exposure to mild levels can cause nausea, dizziness, or headaches, while severe levels can cause brain damage or death. 

When it comes to your health and well-being, be proactive with your furnace maintenance. Don’t let furnace problems go unattended. Contact the furnace experts at Mainstream today. 

Preventive Measures and Maintenance

Regular maintenance will minimize downtime. Keeping your furnace in good working order can be as easy as following this checklist.

Check your filter and replace it if necessary

Furnace filters are usually installed at the entrance to the return duct. As air moves into the furnace equipment, particulates are removed from the air. There are several types of particulates that can be removed from a furnace filter. These include dust, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and spores.

Keep all flammable objects away from your furnace

Most furnaces are located in basements, crawl spaces, or storage rooms. However, your furnace isn’t designed to run with storage containers surrounding it. You should never place anything flammable near your furnace, such as clothes, paint, aerosols, gasoline, boxes, and other household items.

Keep all household vents clear

Ensure that all vents in your home are open, allowing air to flow freely, and that no furniture, boxes, or other household items are blocking the path. Vents should not be closed or blocked to prevent the furnace from working hard and less efficiently, eventually causing it to fail.

If you find yourself still needing a helping hand, reach out to our expert technicians to get your furnace up and running at peak efficiency again. 

What to Do if You Encounter a Furnace Issue

The sooner you fix furnace problems, the better. Typically, your furnace uses the most energy in your home, so if it’s not working properly, your energy bills will skyrocket.

Here are some quick steps you can take to troubleshoot your furnace:

  • Inspect the furnace filter
  • Check the thermostat
  • Secure the front panel
  • Open all vents and registers
  • Check the electrical panel and the furnace switch

No luck? Call us to get your furnace working again. 

Staying Warm and Safe with Proper Furnace Care

Regardless of whether your furnace is running smoothly or malfunctioning, routine furnace maintenance can extend the life of your HVAC system and  prevent costly repairs and replacements. You can extend the life of your furnace by 15 to 20 years by keeping it in good shape. 

With our commitment to customer satisfaction and loyalty, you can rest assured we’ll do everything we can to satisfy your needs as quickly and professionally as possible. Schedule your furnace service today with Mainstream. We look forward to assisting you.

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