iAir Services Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Furnaces’

Furnace Repair Issues Can Be Detected Now

Monday, December 18th, 2017

lower-cooling-costsWinter arrives slowly in the Austin area, and even at its worst, it doesn’t get nearly as cold in our neck of the woods as it does further north. Nevertheless, we need our heating systems to keep warm on the chilly winter nights, and chances are you’ve already had to run your heater more than once this fall. That makes now an excellent time to spot any problems that your heating system may have.

Laymen should never attempt to diagnose a heating problem, much less repair one. Heating systems are complex and contain potentially dangerous components such as gas lines. Determining the exact cause of an issue, much less fixing it, requires formal training and licensing from the state. That doesn’t mean you can’t spot the signs that something is wrong, however, and call in a trained technician to deal with the issue. Generally speaking, anything that doesn’t match your heater’s normal functioning is cause for concern. However, there are several common symptoms that recur across a wide variety of problems. The next time you turn your heating system on, watch for these specific issues, which can include, but are not limited to the following:

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Cover Heating Repair Issues While the Weather Is Still Warm

Monday, December 4th, 2017

heating-repair-servicesOne of the benefits of living where we do is that cold weather arrives late and leaves early. We have a tendency to avoid focusing on our heating systems the way we would our air conditioners because of this. Certainly, our air conditioners see much more use during the year, and therefore need more attention. But chances are you’ve already used your heating system a number of times, and its usage is only going to grow more frequent as the weather continues to cool. If you’ve noticed any kind of a problem with your heating system, now is the time to schedule repairs. Doing so will ensure that the heater works exactly the way it should for the rest of the winter. What kind of problems should you be looking for? We’ve provided a brief explanation below.

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You May Need Replacement Services Instead of Furnace Repair

Monday, November 20th, 2017

furnace-replacement-repairWith winter on the way, now is the time to give your furnace a thorough look. The fall weather is still relatively mild, but in a few weeks, you’ll have need of your heating system on a daily basis, and if there are any problems with it, you need to spot them before the winter begins in earnest. This is especially true with older systems that may have an expired warranty, and if you’re having trouble with such a device, you should be prepared to consider replacing it instead of repairing it. Sometimes, the money you intend to spend on repairs would be better served going into a replacement system instead.

But how can you tell when a furnace needs replacing and when repairs are enough? Frankly, only the homeowner can answer that question. Every furnace is unique, and you are probably more qualified than anyone to determine if it has another winter left in it, or if you should replace it now. There are a few guidelines that can help you make that decision, however.

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3 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a New Heating System

Monday, September 25th, 2017

new-heating-systemAutumn is here and winter will be along before you know it. If your heating system struggled through the previous winter or you feel the time is right to invest in a new system, the fall makes the ideal time to plan and schedule such an operation. Doing so means that you can enjoy the benefits throughout the winter, saving money on more efficient performance and reducing the risk of a breakdown to a minimum.

Planning a heating replacement in the fall also means that you have the time to consider the various factors involved in selecting the right system for your home. Every household is unique and since heaters represent a serious investment in your home, it behooves you to consider all of the factors that go into a new heater. Here are three of the most pertinent ones you should consider when making your choice.

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Get Your Furnace Ready for Spring

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Inside a gas furnace. Focus = the top of the middle flange. 12MP camera.

Most homes in our neck of the woods rely on forced-air furnaces for heat during the winter. They heat the air inside their system, then blow it to the corners of your home through a system of ducts hidden in your attic and the crawlspaces of your walls. It’s inexpensive and works very well. We still have a few more weeks of winter left, but spring tends to come early in Austin, and before long you’ll be turning off your furnace and turning on your air conditioner for the summer. That makes this the perfect time of year to perform some checks and maintenance on your furnace in preparation for the coming spring.

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Watch Out for Short Cycling in Your Furnace

Monday, January 16th, 2017

When running your furnace in the winter, it pays to take note of anything that seems out of the ordinary. You may notice that your system turns on, then turns off again a few minutes later, only to kick in as the air in your Georgetown, TX home cools and turns off again the same way. The process is known as short cycling, and it can be devastating to your system.

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How a Clogged Air Filter can Damage Your Furnace

Monday, March 16th, 2015

When you take your car in for a maintenance check, the technician will often ask whether you would like a new air filter. When an air filter becomes clogged with dirt, the car is no longer fuel efficient. As it turns out, this is the same for a furnace. A furnace filter does not exist solely to improve the air quality in your home. In fact, filters were not first added to furnaces for this purpose.

Find out more about the damages that may occur with a clogged air filter in this guide, and call Intelligent Air Services when you notice trouble with your furnace in Austin, TX.

Furnace Filters

Originally, furnace filters were added on in order to keep the unit from becoming damaged. The blower fan of your unit sucks in air from your home and moves it into the system so that it can heat up before returning to the home. If debris were to get into the unit as air was sucked in, it could get into the fan motor, block the heat exchanger, or even present a fire hazard in some cases. Hence, it was decided that a filter would be an appropriate means of controlling it.

But if the filter becomes too clogged with dust and debris, this can also present some problems. The main issue is that there is not enough air moving into the unit. If air cannot easily pass through the filter, the necessary airflow is hindered. The system is designed to accommodate a certain amount of air. Without enough air blowing past the heat exchanger, the furnace plenum could become overheated.

If the plenum of your furnace were to become overheated, it wouldn’t be a safety issue. In most cases, a safety switch takes over—called the furnace limit switch—and it shuts off the system in order to protect your home when the temperature in the plenum is above a preset setting. Of course, this means you are without heat. Your system may start up again once the unit cools down, or you may need a technician to come check it out.

Take preventive action by changing your filter every couple of months. And call Intelligent Air Services today for repairs and more for furnaces in the Austin, TX area.

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Are There Any Furnace Repairs I Can Do Myself?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

With so many DIY classes, shows and kits available to homeowners, it can seem like just about any home repair can be handled by doing it yourself.

Unfortunately, this isn’t really true, especially when it comes to whole-home systems like your heating. This is because whole-home systems are complex, electro-mechanical devices that require training, expertise and knowledge for successful repair. The trained and certified professionals at Intelligent Air Services bring years of experience to each and every job, so if you are in need of heating repair for your Cedar Park home, call us today!

Items Homeowners Can Do for Their Heating

There are a couple of things homeowners can do to help keep a furnace healthy. The first is change the air filter every three months. When air filters become clogged, they can cause all kinds of problems for your heating system, so do yourself and your system a favor and change it regularly. Another thing homeowners can do for their furnaces is schedule regular maintenance. Maintenance keeps your system running optimally and efficiently, so it’s important to schedule maintenance every 12 months. Lastly, just stay aware: strange sounds, strange noises, poor performance and sudden spikes in energy usage typically mean a problem has develop with your system. If you see these signs, don’t ignore them; instead, call an expert for help.

So Why Shouldn’t I Repair My Furnace?

If you are still thinking you want to try and repair your own furnace, bear these factors in mind:

  • Mistakes cost money – the whole point of doing things yourself is to save money; however, if you don’t have the expertise needed, you may actually incur more costs by making mistakes as you endeavor to repair your furnace.
  • Safety concerns – your furnace is a powerful appliance, and if you have a combustion furnace, you will be handling highly flammable fuels. Translation: you could get really hurt, so unless you know what you are doing, call an expert.
  • Specialized tools – heating technicians use specialized tools to make repairs; it is likely that you won’t have these tools and won’t have the training necessary to use them.

DIY is great for small jobs around your home, but heating repairs for your Cedar Park home should always be handled by your Intelligent Air Services expert.

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What Is an Electric Furnace Sequencer?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The most common type of heating unit used in homes in the United States is the furnace—more specifically, the gas furnace. Gas furnaces offer a slight benefit over electric models in that they run via the natural gas line, which is generally a less expensive fuel. However, an electric furnace gives those without access to a natural gas line the same opportunity to heat their home with a reliable source of forced-air heating.

Electric furnaces are relatively low maintenance, safe, and they are one of the least expensive heating systems to install. They can be located in small spaces like closets and there is no need to install a venting system for combustion byproducts. And over the years, manufacturers have developed many parts to improve operation, one of which is the sequencer.

How A Furnace Operates

To understand how the sequencer works, you must first know a bit about how these units operate. The main parts of an electric furnace are the blower, filter, and a cabinet containing the heating elements. The heating section contains rows of coiled nickel chrome wire connected with ceramic insulators. Although multiple heating elements are necessary to provide the proper level of heating, if every heating element were to come on at once, the unit may overheat. That’s where the sequencer comes into play.

The sequencer’s role is to act on a time delay and turn on each individual heating element or small groups of heating elements one after another. Sometimes, multiple sequencers are necessary to achieve this. The time interval used for the heating elements is in place upon manufacturing and cannot be set, although some manufacturers offer sequencers with varying time delays. For safety purposes and to comply with codes, the blower fan must come on as soon as the first element heats up and when the last element shuts off.

If the sequencer stops working due to improper voltage or a worn out contact, it will most likely need to be replaced, though sometimes only the contacts are replaced. This is tested with an ohmmeter and some professional knowledge about what indicates a faulty sequencer.

Call Intelligent Air Services today to learn more about electric heat, or to schedule repairs, maintenance, or installation for all types of furnaces in Austin, TX.

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Common Electric Furnace Repairs

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Electric furnaces have become a popular choice with homeowners over the last few years, in part because of their high energy efficiency and somewhat longer lifespan.

But as with any other heating system, an electric furnace will most likely need some kind of repair at some point. Because of the way they work, there are a couple of electric furnace repairs that are specific to an electric unit. The experts at Intelligent Air Services can handle any kind of furnace repair, whether electric or combustion, so call us when you are in need of heating repair in Lockhart, TX.

How They Work

Electric furnaces generate heat by a component known as a heating element. This element consists of multiple tightly-wound metal coils that generate heat when electrified. When the air around the heating element reaches the correct temperature, the furnace’s blower turns on and pushes this air into your home’s living spaces via the ductwork.

Repair Types

Electrical

With an electrical furnace, it isn’t uncommon for one of the repairs to be electrical in nature. Sometimes coils in the heating element can malfunction, or the heating element itself malfunctions. The heating element turns on in a sequence, and sometimes this sequence can become problematic. Tripping breakers can occur when there is a short in the system and the furnace draws too much power.

The Blower

The blower assembly has a number of moving parts, including the fan itself, the motor and the fan belt. There are also ball bearing that help keep the fan and motor in motion and safety switches that monitor the fan’s operation. Common issues that can develop with the blower assembly are worn fan belts, electrical or operational problems with the motor and bent or loose fan blades.

Low Air Flow

The top reason for low air flow in any furnace is a dirty air filter, and this is true for electric furnaces, too. Clogged air filter restrict the air flow, which can decrease the volume of air reaching your living spaces. Low air flow can also be attributed to issues with the fan.

Your electric furnace needs to supply heat to your entire home, so unless you are an expert, it’s best to leave all heating and furnace repairs for your Lockhart, TX, home to the specialists at Intelligent Air Services.

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