Gas furnaces are one of the most common types of heating systems in the United States. As such, if they weren’t safe, then they wouldn’t be half so widespread in the country. However, any appliance that uses natural gas has the potential to become dangerous to use.
When it comes to gas furnaces, they can manifest a few issues that could cause them to be dangerous to use. These include:
• Natural Gas Leaks
• Carbon Monoxide Exposure
• Toxic Exhaust Exposure
• Uncontrolled Combustion
While all of the above are equally as concerning, they can all be prevented by regular maintenance service on your furnace. The usual cause for a furnace manifesting a dangerous problem is a crack in the heat exchanger. This can allow gas, exhaust, and carbon monoxide to be pumped into your home. If the crack gets large enough, it can affect combustion as well.
Unfortunately, damage to the heat exchanger is not something a homeowner knows the symptoms of or can spot easily. The issue really only is caught during regular inspections that should be performed yearly before it become regular furnace use weather. Not only do they catch problems, regular maintenance also keeps the furnace clean to prevent any problems from being created due to obstruction, debris, and any grime that has collected on its working parts.
The small bit of good news is that before your furnace becomes dangerous to use, you will typically notice problems. The heat may not be as strong, the furnace may be louder or making strange noises, or it could have started short cycling. You should never ignore a furnace that is acting strangely because it can very well be a sign of a dangerous problem developing. You want to catch it before that happens to keep your home safe.
We encourage you to contact our team today if you have any questions.
As a general rule, you should never consider smelly air coming from your furnace and out of your ducts to be nothing to worry about. Some smells can be completely harmless, but more often than not, if your furnace is producing smelly air in your home, it is an indicator of a problem. As such, you need to be able to deduce what might be happening and take the right action.
Everything gathers dust over time. If you are starting your furnace for the first time in the season, it will likely have a dusty smell to the air for the first few days. You can combat the smell by running the furnace with the windows open for an hour or two just to get all that dust out of the system.
Metallic or Burning Smell
This is definitely more worrisome. Often if you smell metal or burning, you have something burning in a place it is not supposed to be. If your air filter is very dirty, it can produce this smell, but you still need to have some investigation done. What you really need to worry about is faulty wiring or burning insulation that is producing this smell. You should discontinue use and call an HVAC technician out right away so they can fix the issue that is manifesting the smell.
Rotten Eggs Smell
This is the biggest cause for concern. As natural gas has no smell, a sulfur smell is added to detect leaks. If you smell rotten eggs in your home coming from the vents, shut off the furnace, open all windows and doors, and leave right away. You will want to contact your gas company to report the leak.
Ultimately, you should call a professional HVAC company to repair what could be going wrong in your system. Contact us for more information.
To some, they can handle the colder temperatures of winter, but the real problem comes with the drop in humidity and the unbearable dry air. It is hard on the body, and some people blame it on their furnace. The furnace looks like a solid suspect because the dry air coincides with turning it on, but it is not quite so simple.
While it seems a lot like your furnace is siphoning the humidity out of your home the same way an air conditioner does in the summer, that is actually not true. In the winter when the air in your home gets dry, it is because the furnace is bringing in more outside air.
The way a furnace works is that it brings in air, heats it, and pumps it into your home. This outside air is less humid than the air inside your home so the air inside your home becomes less humid. Furnaces can’t add humidity to the air it uses, so you will lose humidity.
If your home is suddenly getting drier during the winter time, it could just be a naturally less humid winter, but it could also be a sign of issues in your home. Typically if more outside air is getting in, it can lead to lower humidity levels inside. What this means is that there may be an air leak either in the home itself or in the duct system that is letting in more dry air. This can also coincide with higher energy bills as your furnace works harder to heat your home to a desired temperature, making the air even drier.
Obviously, the solution here is to get these potential problems fixed. However, for some households, installing a humidifier in the home for the winters can be a good option as well if there are no other contributing problems.
If you have questions about your furnace or are interested in having a humidifier installed, we encourage you to contact us today.
Wintertime is often when our energy bills shoot through the roof. If your budget is a little bit tight, especially after the holidays, you’ll be interested in knowing how to run your furnace efficiently and cut down on your spending. The best part is that most of these tips cost nothing to implement.
Use the Ceiling Fan Wisely
Most people are under the impression that ceiling fans are only good for summer. This could never be further from the truth. During the winter, turning your ceiling fan on in reverse will help circulate hot air throughout the house, which then helps reduce the amount of work your furnace undertakes.
Are Your Air Ducts Sealed?
Statistics estimate that about 20% of warm air escapes through faulty air duct seals. Before the season even starts, summon the help of an HVAC professional to check on your ducts and perform any necessary maintenance.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
You are throwing money away if your thermostat is too old. Consider switching to a programmable thermostat or if budget allows, a Wifi or smart one. You’ll see your level of home comfort grow by leaps and bounds.
Do Regular Maintenance Tune-Ups
You can extend the lifespan of your furnace just by doing regular tune-ups. A professional HVAC technician will perform an overall checkup and necessary minor fixes to correct small issues before they turn into serious problems. Tune-ups cost little but the benefits they bring to the efficiency of your home heating system are paramount.
Take Advantage of the Sun
If you are lucky, you’ll get plenty of sunlight during the day. Why not take advantage of the free heat to warm up your home? Simply open the curtains to bring as much heat as possible into the room.
For all your heating and cooling needs, contact our team today.
Did you discover that your furnace filter is dusty and really needs to be changed? It can happen. The furnace filter is easy to forget about despite the useful role it plays. However, on your way to getting a new furnace filter, you might take the old one out and continue to need to use your furnace to heat your home. What happens if you use your furnace without a filter?
At first, nothing will really happen. Your furnace will function as normal even without a filter. However, over time, you will notice some specific problems start to manifest if you continue use without a filter.
Furnace Internal Part Problems
Contrary to the popular belief that the air filter is there for indoor air quality, the furnace filter is actually made to protect the inner workings of your furnace. It filters the air being drawn into the furnace to be heated. It prevents finer particulate and debris from getting to the blower motor and compressor. Without it, anything it sucks in goes right into the system. This will lead to excessive wear and problems.
Poor Air Quality
Improved air quality in your home is a by-product of the furnace filter. As the air going into the system is cleaned, it is then cleaner going into your home. As it is unfiltered completely with a furnace air filter, you will notice a marked drop in air quality the longer if it is missing.
High Energy Bills
Rising energy bills from your furnace isn’t actually caused by the air filter missing, but rather the fact that the missing air filter will cause component problems. If your blower motor or the compressor aren’t working as designed, they will need to use more energy to function. This is how you can tell something is wrong early before anything actually breaks down into complete non-function.
If you have questions about your air filter, or if you would like one of our trained HVAC technicians to assist in changing your filters, contact our team today.