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Furnace Troubleshooting: The Ultimate Guide to Heating and Furnace Repair

Even in places that have nice weather year-round, lower temperatures are bound to occur and when it does heaters are a must-have.

Look:

With some of the unseasonably cold winters lately, you’ll want to keep your house at a comfortable temperature.

Today, you’ll learn everything you need to know about heater and furnace repair.

How to Use this Article

This article was written to answer all your questions about heating and furnace repair. Whether you want to understand why your furnace stopped working or determine if you need to replace or repair your heater, you can use this article to find the answer you need. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend you read the whole thing through and bookmark it to come back to as needed. If you have a specific issue, go ahead and click through to the section that will best answer your questions.

Content Overview

Pro tip: Furnace and AC manufacturers recommend that you have your heating and AC systems checked out by a professional every year. Don’t wait until your system breaks down. Need a professional to look at your heater or furnace in Orange County? We can help. We offer comprehensive AC and heating services, including installation and repair throughout major Orange County cities. Contact us for a quote today!

What are the Types of Heating Systems?

Here’s the deal:

When you’re considering getting a new heating system in your house, the first step is to understand what system your house currently has and whether or not that’s the heating system you want.

You might have heard the terms heater, furnace, boiler, and heat pump used before. However, most people don’t know what those terms mean or what system their house uses.

Essentially, a “heater” is a catch-all term that people use to describe centralized heating systems. Each system works differently as clearly defined below:

  • Heater – A heater is a system that uses a furnace and/or boiler to produce heat that the heating system will radiate and distribute through the whole house.
  • Furnace – A furnace is a device that runs off gas or electricity to generate heat. Your centralized heater most likely uses a furnace to produce the heat in your house.
  • Boiler – A boiler generates heat by using hot water to heat your living space. Your heater could use a boiler and/or a furnace to generate heat.
  • Heat Pump – A heat pump is a different system altogether that can adjust the air in your house by displacing it with air from the outside. When the AC is on, it moves hot air out of your house and replaces it with cool air from outside. When the heater is on, it moves the cold air out of your house and replaces it with hot air from outside.

Overall, the way that these heating systems generate and circulate heat throughout your home is what makes them different.

Why does this matter?

You need to know what kind of system you have when you call a heating and air conditioning company for furnace repair.

Has your heating and air stopped working? You may need a heater repair technician to ensure it’s working properly.

Why Did My Heater Stop Working?

If you’ve noticed that the heater in your house isn’t working well or isn’t producing as much heat, you might want to call a furnace repair technician to come take a look.

However, there are some things you can check first to ensure it isn’t one of these issues:

  1. 1. Is the heat on? Make sure that the thermostat is on the “Heat” setting and that it is set to a high temperature. If the heat setting is on, test out your heater by setting the temperature very high to see if it kicks on.
  2. 2. Is the display on your thermostat working? Check the day and time to see if it looks right.
  3. 3. Are your vents open? Sometimes you aren’t feeling the heat because the vents in your house are closed.
  4. 4. Has the circuit breaker blown a fuse? Check your circuit breaker to see if a fuse has blown. If the fuse has blown, there’s likely an electrical issue that you can’t take care of yourself. Call a heating repair professional like South County Air for help.
  5. 5. Have you changed the furnace filters recently? The filters for your heater can get clogged causing the heater to overheat and shut off.
  6. 6. Is the gas line on? Sometimes people may turn the gas off and forget to turn it back on. Double check this before calling a heating repair technician.

If you go through this list and everything seems to be in order, then you could have a more serious problem and you should contact a heating and air company for furnace repair.

If your heater stopped working because of one of these issues, you’ll still want to have a heating professional repair like South County Air come check your system. As tempting as it is to get broken equipment up and running, there’s usually more than one reason that your system has stopped working.

If you simply reset the breaker or change out a blown fuse, you most likely still have an underlying issue that you couldn’t notice. That’s why we recommend having a professional go through and look over your entire system (even after you’ve fixed a minor issue), to ensure your system is performing efficiently.

Tip: To avoid issues from occurring, we highly recommend you have a heating repair professional check out your heating system every 2-3 years. You want to make sure that it’s operating properly, because there could be dangerous underlying issues that you wouldn’t notice or know to look for that could cause electrical issues, a fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc.

Do You Need to Repair or Replace Your Heater?

After you’ve had some issues with your heater, you might be confused as to whether you need a furnace repair or whether you should just replace it. How are you supposed to know what needs to be done? Below are some signs that you either need to repair or replace your heater.

Signs you need to repair your heater:

  • Low heat levels – If the heater is still working, but the air isn’t as hot, there could be a clogged burner or a breach in the ducts.
  • Air blows weakly – If there is a reduced amount of airflow or heat, it could be because of a blockage in the ducts, or a problem with the fan.
  • Frequent cycling – You could have a clogged filter, improper circulation, or problematic thermostat.
  • Burning smell – First, try to change your filter. However, if that doesn’t work, there are probably damaged parts that need to be replaced.
  • It hasn’t been looked at in years – Have you had your heater looked at in the last 2-3 years? If not, it’s time to hire a professional to make sure it’s working properly.

Signs you need a furnace replacement:

  • It’s old - Most furnaces last for 18-20 years, depending on whether or not you continued to have it professionally maintained.
  • Furnace repairs are getting too expensive – If your furnace is near the end of its life and it starts to have costly break downs, then you should replace it soon.
  • Low efficiency – If your heating bills are continually increasing, it might be time to replace your heater. Also, if the rooms in your house are different temperatures, your heater might be losing the ability to distribute heat evenly.
  • It’s making a lot of noise – Your heater might not be secure, and the motor could have a deteriorating belt. You’ll need a professional to take a look to ensure there aren’t dangerous issues.

Regardless of the issues that your heater has, you need to make sure that you have a furnace repair professional look at your system to ensure it’s working safely and properly.

Make sure that you’ve cleaned your furnace before calling for your furnace replacement.

How to Clean Your Furnace

Like any other object in your house, you need to keep your central heating system clean to avoid needing a heating repair. When your heater becomes dirty, the dirt will compromise the heater’s ability to do its job.

To keep it clean, make sure you:

  • Don’t let dust build up
  • Treat the rust
  • Vacuum the burners
  • Service every 2-3 years
  • Keep the vents clean

Bottom line?

Furnace cleaning will ensure it runs efficiently for a long time. Before you start to clean it, make sure the heat is turned off.

Furnace Maintenance Tips

Your furnace requires maintenance, just like anything else in your house. There are a couple of things you could do to avoid needing a heating repair:

  1. 1. Keep it clean using the tips above
  2. 2. Change the filter

If the filter becomes clogged, it could cause:

  • Poor air circulation
  • Lower temperatures when the heat is on
  • Expensive utility bills
  • Overheated furnace

Why does this matter?

The filter is one of the most important parts of your heater. It keeps your heater running properly, and keeps dirt, dander, and debris from circulating throughout your home, which can be dangerous for your health and the indoor air quality in your house.

How We Can Help

Do you need a new heater or AC?

We can help. Our small owner-operated business has been providing Heating and Air Conditioning services throughout south Orange County for almost 20 years.

Let us get started with your installation or repairs.

We can help with residential and small commercial installation as well as AC and heating repair.

Give us a call at 949-361-2247 (2AIR)

South County Air is dedicated to providing our customers with high-quality, long-lasting products and skillful service. Please call today and let us know how we can be of assistance.

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For 1st half hour of diagnostic labor on any repair service. (reg. $89)