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Posts Tagged ‘Furnaces’

When Should I Replace My Furnace?

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

The worst possible time to experience a furnace breakdown is in the middle of winter. Even in California, you don’t want to be without heat for a week while you look for a new furnace to replace the one that died on you. So, if your furnace isn’t able to last another winter you should probably replace it now. How can you tell whether or not to replace it, though? Let’s take a look at some of the signs that you need to replace your furnace.

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Why Is My Furnace Short-Cycling?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Have you ever noticed your furnace acting particularly strange? For example, have you noticed it turning on and off over and over again over a long period of time?

That behavior is called “short-cycling,” and it’s one of the most damaging issues that your furnace can have. If you notice your furnace short-cycling, you should turn it off and call a professional immediately. Even if you’ve never seen your furnace doing this, however, it pays to know a little more about it. That way, you can more quickly identify the issue and have it fixed before any permanent damage is done.

Let’s examine what causes short-cycling, and how you can prevent it from happening:

What Causes Short-Cycling?

Short-cycling is the result of how the furnace interacts with a small, but vital, part called the furnace limit switch. The furnace limit switch is a device that measures the temperature inside the furnace’s plenum, the main chamber where air is heated. If the temperature inside the plenum gets too high, the limit switch activates and shuts down the furnace to prevent damage from overheating. The limit switch is only a stop-gap measure, however. When the furnace has cooled off sufficiently, it will restart in response to the thermostat’s continuing calls for heat. Then the entire cycle repeats itself until the root cause of the overheating is addressed.

How can I Stop Short-Cycling?

The best way to prevent short-cycling it to regularly clean or replace the air filter in your furnace. There are other things that might cause short-cycling, but a clogged air filter is by far the most common. If the air filter is not cleaned or replaced every 1-3 months, it becomes so clogged with dust and debris that it restricts air flow into the furnace. This traps heat inside the furnace, causing it to overheat and short-cycle. If you don’t know where your air filter is or how to replace it, any HVAC technician should be able to do it for you.

If your furnace is shot-cycling, call Total Comfort Inc. We provide heating repair throughout the Riverside area.

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Why Isn’t the Furnace Fan Running?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

It’s never a good sign to turn on your furnace and have the fan stay off. This is almost always a sign of a major issue with your furnace. Most importantly, if the fan isn’t running then the furnace has no way to distribute warm air to the house. Let’s take a look at the different reasons why your furnace fan isn’t running, organized by symptom.

Motor is Running, but Fan Isn’t

If you turn on the furnace, can you hear the motor running? If the motor is running, but your fan isn’t, it is very likely that your air handler has a broken fan belt. The fan belt is a large rubber loop that connects the motor to the fan. When the motor turns on, it rotates the fan belt which rotates the fan. Over years of use, however, the fan belt will start to degrade from the strain. It will begin to stretch and crack, causing it not to rotate as smoothly between the motor and the fan. When that happens, it generates a squealing sound that can be heard every time the furnace turns on. Eventually, the fan belt will snap and render the air handler unable to operate. If you hear a squealing sound coming from your furnace, call a professional right away.

Motor is not Running

If your furnace is on, but your motor isn’t, then you have a much bigger problem than the fan belt. Furnace motors are equipped with parts called “bearings,” which decrease the friction in the motors and prolong their lifespan. As long as the bearings are well-oiled, the motor will continue running smoothly and there won’t be a problem. Eventually, however, the bearings can dry up. This makes them more than a hindrance than a help, as the motor now has to work against them in order to keep the fan rotating. The friction will continue to build up until the motor burns itself out. If you hear a grinding noise coming from your furnace, chances are it’s the bearings beginning to wear down. Call a professional to make sure your motor doesn’t burn out.

If you’re having furnace trouble, call Total Comfort Inc. We provide heating services throughout Corona.

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