Common Furnace Problems to Avoid this Winter

The cold weather has arrived and that means staying indoors and keeping warm. This also means your furnace is about to get kicked into overdrive. Furnace problems are pretty common during the winter because they practically remain dormant until the chilly season. These problems are easily avoidable but are common results of neglecting to maintain your furnace. If your furnace doesn’t receive regular maintenance throughout the year, there’s a high chance you’ll encounter some difficulties. We’ve come up with a few common problems you might experience and how to avoid them this winter with regular furnace maintenance:

 

Clogged Filters

A completely clogged furnace filter in the middle of winter is your worst nightmare. There’s nothing worse than cold air running when you’re trying to warm up your house. Clogged filters lead to a reduction in airflow, making it extremely difficult to heat your home. Your furnace will have to work harder to create heat which wears the lifespan and drives up your electric bill. Energystar.gov says “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by five percent to 15 percent.”

 

If your furnace is blowing cold air and not generating enough heat, that’s a sign of a major problem. Another sign it needs to be replaced is an increased amount of dust and allergens in your home. When a filter is clogged, it’s no longer able to filter air efficiently and the air that does pass through may not be adequately filtered. When’s the last time you changed your air filter? Changing your air filter every one to three months is a very simple task that helps keep your system running properly. You should be changing your filter more frequently if you have pets or a large family.

 

Damaged Ducts

Another reason your furnace isn’t generating enough heat might be an air duct issue. It’s crucial to make sure all the ducts are open properly and to check them for loose connections or leaks. Insufficiently insulated air ducts may also be affecting the circulation of air in your home. To solve these issues, have the ducts sealed and insulated properly as soon as possible. If you need assistance with this, don’t hesitate to call J&W Heating and Air. Our team would be more than happy to assist in making your home cozy again.

 

According to NADCA, the industry trend is to have your air ducts cleaned every three to five years, but it’s up to you, the owner, to decide how regularly you want your air ducts cleaned. Homes with smokers, pets with high amounts of shedding or dander, as well as homes with 1+ person suffering from asthma or frequent allergies, may need more frequent cleanings. It’s also a good idea to get your air ducts cleaned after home renovations and before moving into a new home. Air duct cleanings improve the air quality and cleanliness, maintain the operation and condition of your machine and allow your machine to run at its most efficient and effective level. While it may seem like your air ducts just need a quick vacuum, it is best to call a J&W professional. Special equipment is required to properly loosen dirt and grime from your air ducts.

 

Wrong Furnace Design

Is the airflow in your home right for you? Too often we see different HVAC companies install the wrong size furnace for a home. If this is your situation, the airflow in your home may be uneven or the wrong design for the home. Unfortunately, this leads to lack of heat generating, causing your system to work harder to heat up your home and an increased electric bill.

 

According to energystar.gov, the most efficient furnace available is the Air Ease with Comfort Sync Communicating Thermostat. On average it saves 21 percent more energy than the average furnace and costs about $1,040 a year to run. If you think your system is costing you too much or just isn’t right for your home, give us a call. We’ll make sure your home has the right furnace system to keep you warm and your electric bill low.

 

Mechanical Issues

There are so many mechanical issues that can occur during the winter. Malfunctioning thermostat, overheating system, blown circuit, uneven heating…the list goes on. Detecting a mechanical problem isn’t too difficult and it’s usually rather noticeable. For example, your furnace definitely shouldn’t be making any squeaky or rattling noises. Those noises could be the sign of a clogged burner. If your blower is continuously running, there’s probably an issue with your limit switch. If you’re experiencing overheating or under heating, there’s most likely an issue with your ducts.

 

Before the cold rolls in, it’s a great idea to replace the batteries in your thermostat and schedule your yearly furnace maintenance check. A yearly check and a deep cleaning every two to three years is all it takes to help prevent mechanical problems. If you live near an industrial park, city dump, farm or construction area, it’s recommended you have your system checked and cleaned more often. Again, whether you’re moving into a new or old home, make it a priority to have the furnace checked and cleaned before moving in. If you think there’s an issue, call J&W Heating and Air as soon as possible. The longer you wait to solve a problem, the more expensive the problem can become.

J&W Heating and Air has been trusted by the Jacksonville community for over 50 years and we’re here to give you honest advice and a simple, transparent repair process. Whether you’re planning on cleanings, repairs or replacement, we’ll work out finances with you to ensure your winter’s a warm one. J&W offers easy financing and we look forward to fixing any of your furnace problems. Schedule an inspection today by calling us at 904.647.3292 or schedule right on our site. We look forward to hearing from you!

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