Many heating problems and the heating repairs needed to correct them are fairly common and can sometimes be solved by the homeowner.
In any emergency or if your heating system just refuses to respond, a professional heating contractor should always be called. For the most part, if you know what to look for and understand the corrections, you’ll be able to do your own heating repairs and save yourself a lot of hassles.
Air Flow Blockage
Probably the most common problem in forced-air furnaces is an air flow blockage. Many people may think that the duct work is blocked or the fan isn’t blowing, but the most frequent issue is a furnace filter that is clogged.
A clogged furnace filter will seriously impede the airflow, and if you have first checked any of the vents in each of the rooms, making sure they are wide open, and you still notice little or no air flow. The chances are great that your furnace filter is to blame.
This is a very easy fix. All you need to do is to change the filter out, which will be in a filter box located next to the furnace itself, pull out the old filter and replace it with a new one. The size and airflow insertion will be printed on the filter so you’ll know exactly what to get.
Another common issue is a furnace that doesn’t come on when you call for heat. In many instances, you may think that there is a major cause, when in reality, it may be something very simple.
The first thing to always do is the check the furnace breaker, which is generally located near the breaker box and is specifically labeled as such.
However, there is also an “off” and “on” switch next to the furnace proper which may have been inadvertently turned off. Flipping that switch will correct the problem and give power back to the furnace.
There is also another thing to try if these two fixes don’t work. Check your thermostat to make sure it is in the heat position and not the “air” or “off” position. If you have a programmable thermostat, always check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. If in doubt, change them and turn the furnace on.
If the furnace is running and there is airflow to some rooms but not to others, check the actual ducts to make sure the dampers are turned on.
Dampers are little valves inside of the ductwork that are generally activated by manually turning a lever. If the lever is crossways or perpendicular to the vent, the damper is in the “off” position and will not let any air up through the vents. Of course, if the damper lever is pointing in the direction of the ductwork, or parallel, the damper is in the full “on” position and there should be plenty of airflow into the rooms.
A cause of reduced airflow, or cooler air coming through the vents, can be attributed to duct seams which have come apart or that were improperly sealed in the first place.
All ducts are made to slide into each other and make a tight seal. You can check all of the seams and inspect them to make sure they are intact and solid. Any duct that is sagging at the seam, has come apart or is in any way compromised to allow air to escape, must be repaired.
If you have DIY experience, this is not a difficult task, if a bit tedious. Although they can be attached by wrapping with a metal foil wrap, just remember to never use cloth duct tape because it will eventually unravel and the duct may again separate.
For a more permanent solution, attach the ducts with three self-tapping metal screws, then use duct mastic to fully cover the seam. Overlap the area by about 1 inch on either side, and this permanent seal will last a lifetime.
Peace of Mind
Any time your heating system does not function correctly, use the list above as a starting point. If it is one of those common issues, you can save yourself a lot of time by correcting these heating repairs yourself.
If at any time you have questions about your heating system, or if you need heating repairs, please contact Bogner Sheet Metal at (831) 423-4322. We can give you the answers that you need or send a qualified heating specialist to check out any problem you may be having. Bogner Sheet Metal proudly serves Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas of Aptos, Scotts Valley, Capitola and Watsonville. For the past 69 years, we have been here for all of your HVAC needs and more importantly, peace of mind.