The weather is starting to warm up, but we still have a bit of cold weather left to deal with before we fully switch over to cooling season. If you’re still planning on using your furnace a bit before the season ends, you need to keep an eye out for any signs that your furnace is experiencing problems. Detecting issues with your furnace quickly will help you get it repaired faster, and limit the damage to the system. There are a variety of different furnace issues you should be aware of, some of which we’re going to cover below.
As this is arguably one of the most dangerous to your furnace, let’s get it out of the way first. Short cycling is when your furnace turns itself on and off every few minutes without completing a full heating cycle. It can be caused by a number of different issues, including electrical short circuits or a clogged air filter. What you need to worry about, though, are the consequences of allowing your furnace to do this for any substantial length of time.
Short cycling prevents the furnace from heating your home properly, but it also increases the amount of wear and tear the system accumulates over a short period of time. The longer a furnace is allowed to short cycle, the more likely it becomes to break down in various ways. Prolonged short cycling can also shorten the lifespan of the system by a number of years. If your furnace is short cycling, you should call for repairs as soon as you can.
If you’re using a gas furnace, and it makes a loud boom every time it starts up, you probably have an issue with delayed ignition. This is what happens when carbon particles build up on the burner assembly over time, which is a natural byproduct of combusting natural gas. As the carbon buildup becomes severe, more and more of the jets in the assembly will fail to ignite when they should. Once the jets do ignite, they burn through a lot of gas at once. This is what causes that booming sound. Professional burner assembly cleaning should resolve the issue for you.
Clogged Air Filter
One of the easiest problems to fix, though it can still cause serious issues if it is left alone. All furnaces have an air filter to protect them from dust and other debris commonly found in ductwork. If the filter is not cleaned out every three months or so, it will eventually become so clogged that it will eliminate the majority of the air from flowing into the furnace. This will cause the furnace’s output to drop, but will also prevent it from getting rid of the heat it generates. Furnace overheating is one of the main causes of short cycling, which we discussed above. To prevent your air filter from causing problems, simply replace it every three months.