With temperatures still in the 80s, it may seem odd we’re already talking about furnaces, especially here in Austin. But let’s face it, when temperatures do drop low enough to need a heater, you’re going to be grateful to have a fully efficient and effective system in place. So if you need furnace repair in Austin, TX, now is the time to address them.
The ideal way to do this, of course, is by scheduling heating maintenance long before you actually need the system—so, now. This allows our technicians to fully inspect your furnace, clean it, adjust any parts that need it, and lastly, alert you to small repair needs that you can tackle now before they become much bigger emergencies. What sort of emergencies are we talking about?
A Cracked Heat Exchanger
Before starting up your furnace this winter, you’ll want to know the heat exchanger is in good condition. If there are cracks, you will need to get them repaired right away. This is one of the worst problems you can encounter with your furnace, if not the worst problem.
Cracks can easily go undetected, too, without proper maintenance. Your furnace can appear to be operating perfectly fine, and continue to do so for a while, but this will only allow the problem to grow. So why is this such a problem?
Well, cracks in the heat exchanger allow carbon monoxide gas to leak out, and this is dangerous—even fatal. A cracked heat exchanger doesn’t automatically mean your home has become a carbon monoxide chamber, but it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed right away.
This isn’t an emergency in the sense that it threatens your safety like a cracked heat exchanger does. Rather, it’s an issue because it can lead to your heater wearing down much faster than it otherwise would.
When you turn your furnace on the first time this season, it should turn on, run for several minutes, then shut off for several minutes. This process repeats so long as the furnace is on and it’s reaching the desired temperature you set on the thermostat. The process is called a cycle, and that cycle should occur 3–4 times an hour.
However, if your furnace is cycling several times an hour and within a few minutes of each other, then it’s a clear sign that your system is suffering from what’s called short-cycling. If you furnace is brand new, then you most likely have an oversized unit and this warrants a discussion with the company who initially installed it.
If it’s an older furnace experiencing this issue, however, then it can be due to anything from a congested air filter, improper airflow, a miscalibrated thermostat, or an issue with electrical connections. Be sure to check your air filter and thermostat first, but if neither of these seem to be the issue, it’s time to call in a pro.
The reason we’re listing this as one of our examples of a furnace emergency is because loud banging or clanging generally indicates that a component has become loose in the heater. This can lead to serious wear and tear among other operational problems. If you hear anything unfamiliar coming from the system, be sure to give our staff a call.