As a Houstonian, you may not think about furnace installation and maintenance. But everyone in Houston will forever remember Valentine’s Day of 2021, right?
Let’s take it back a bit and reflect on that day. We all knew it would be cold. Many Houstonians were even excited to see a little bit of snow. What we weren’t expecting was the negative chain of events following the freeze. Ice-covered roads, pipes burst, the city experienced a blackout, and temperatures dropped to a miserable 15°F.
When the power kicked back on, that’s when it hit many Texans across the state. Their furnace wasn’t working! And getting emergency HVAC help? Getting help took months! Now, it’s the start of fall, and you can get a head start. You still have plenty of time to get furnace installation, maintenance, and repairs before the cold weather sets in.
A Houstonian’s Guide To Furnace Installation, Maintenance, & Repairs
Often, panic sets in when you think about spending money on an AC unit. However, you can avoid many problems with preventive maintenance and repairs.
Signs Your Furnace May Need Repairs
You might be confused at first. Is that the dryer, or did someone break something? Then, it hits. Your furnace is making some super weird noises, and you don’t know what’s wrong. You may take a minute or two to investigate. Some people push it out of their minds – no way are shelling out to pay for repairs. Nevertheless, quickly addressing odd sounds is important for the health of your HVAC unit.
Whether in a residence or commercial building, you should look out for the following warning signals and signs.
Rattling could be a simple issue such as a loose part or screw. In that case, you can use a screwdriver to adjust it yourself – after you turn off the power. However, if the rattling continues, it could be a crack or leak from your heat exchanger. Carbon monoxide could be leaking into your home or business. If you think this is the case, it’s best to keep everyone safe by reaching out to a trusted HVAC professional right away.
Banging Or Booming
Furnace explosions are possible. They’re usually caused by gas buildup or improper sealant throughout your duct system. Don’t hesitate to call an HVAC professional as explosions are costly and hazardous. Turn the system off until it’s addressed.
Clanking Or Sounds Of Metal
Your HVAC unit moves air through the duct system using a blower wheel and fan. However, when there’s something wrong with the blower wheel, you’ll hear a clanging or scraping sound. This, too, is an issue that needs to be solved right away, or you might have to replace the entire blower motor unit.
Screaming Or High-Pitched Noises
Blower belts and blower motors can both cause a high-pitched squeal or screaming sound. While they sound alarming, a professional can quickly solve these issues by replacing the simple parts needed.
If you know your furnace isn’t up-to-date on its maintenance, you might hear rumbling. HVAC systems get dirty when they aren’t properly maintained, which ends up being a bigger problem when something goes wrong. In this case, HVAC neglect means filthy gas burners or a pilot light that needs adjusting.
It Starts And Stops Irregularly
You can do a quick check using your furnaces’ flame and flame sensor. If you’re experiencing short ignition cycles, your flame sensor is off. Potential causes could be corrosion, cracks, or other damage. If it lights then shuts off, you know it’s time to call the pros.
Something Smells Burned
Any smells in the air like burning, smoke, or even gas are signs of a faulty furnace. In fact, an average of 358,000 house fires occur because of faulty heating equipment and electrical malfunctions. Instead of ignoring the signs, take action right away.
Your Energy Bill May Rise Unexpectedly
Your furnace should work for you, not against you. However, if you’re noticing outrageous charges on your energy bill, check your furnace. There’s a chance it’s working too hard and sucking the energy out of your home. If you find out it’s malfunctioning in any way, shut it off and get a technician’s help.
Your Indoor Temperature Isn’t Consistent
Analyze your furnace if your home or business can’t keep an even temperature throughout the day. Look at your thermostat to ensure it’s working properly. Then, investigate your air filter. If it’s dirty, switch it out as soon as possible. Something as simple as a new, clean air filter could solve the problem.
What You Should Count On Your Technician To Check
There are certain things your HVAC technician should look out for with every inspection. This is especially true if you live in an area that’s susceptible to hard freezes, snow, or even icy rain. This is why having a regular inspection in the fall before winter hits is so important.
Items your furnace technician should examine every autumn include:
- Heat exchanger examination
- Any leaks or blockages (vents, flue, air intake grills, etc.)
- Blower motor (amp-draw test), wheel, and belts
- Proper sealing on ductwork and blower access
- Adequate lubrication on all moving parts
- Signs of corrosion
- Ill-fitting connections or loose screws
- Thermostat calibration
- All safety indicators and controls
- Air filters
- Flame sensor
Another way you can tell if you need furnace assistance is by looking at the color of the flame. A healthy furnace will give off a blue or light blue flame. A little yellow at the peak of the flame is okay. But, any other color of the flame is due to a malfunction you don’t want to leave unchecked.
How Do I Know If I Need A Furnace Replacement?
To start, a quality furnace could last for 20 to 30 years. However, it may be time for a replacement after 15 years if you’re experiencing ongoing problems. An unexpected total replacement and furnace installation is a lot to think about.
Before you panic, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you are constantly making furnace repairs. On top of all the noises your furnace can make, there are other indicators you need to replace your furnace. For example, register debris or rust is concerning. Also, unrepairable or unmanageable rust, cracks, and especially corrosion signify a worn-out or improperly maintained furnace. If your furnace breaks down completely, get an estimate and decide what works best for you and your family.
How Much Does A Replacement And Furnace Installation Cost?
The cost of a new furnace will depend on the size of your home and the quality you’re looking for. High-efficiency furnaces cost anywhere from $1,700–$9,700. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these furnaces can reach up to a 98.5% rating on the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) scale. This means it’s cheaper to run and easier on the environment.
Find Fast Furnace Installation And Repairs With A Team You Can Trust
Valderrama has been around for more than 30 years and helps Houston businesses and homeowners with quality repairs and installation every day.