Posted by & filed under furnace, M&M Mechanical .

You’re probably familiar with all the little noises your furnace makes as it operates, from the sound of it kicking on to the soft hum it emits as it warms your home. Unfortunately, those normal furnace noises are sometimes interrupted by an unexpected sound that is anything but typical. If your furnace in Alexandria VA has started making strange, loud noises while it heats your home, you are most likely dealing with a malfunction. To help you tell the difference between regular and irregular sounds, we’ve created a list of noises that may indicate there is a problem with your furnace.

A Loud Bang

If you hear a bang or pop when your furnace starts up, you are probably dealing with dirty furnace burners. The dirt can stop the burners from immediately igniting, meaning a build-up of gas occurs. When the burners finally do ignite, you will hear a bang or a pop, which is actually a small explosion taking place. Ignoring this malfunction is extremely dangerous and can lead to a more serious repair, such as, a cracked heat exchange. A yearly tune-up and proper maintenance can prevent this issue from happening, however, if your furnace is already experiencing this problem, turn it off and call a HVAC specialist.

A Clanking Noise

When a part in your furnace is loose or disconnected, it will begin knocking against the inside of your system, which causes a clanking or rattling sound. Although your furnace has a number of parts that can become loose, the blower motor is a likely culprit. Enlisting the help of a HVAC technician will get you the answers you need.

A Whining Sound

Your furnace will emit a high-pitched whining sound if the bearings in its’ blower motor lack proper lubrication. While not as serious as the other malfunctions mentioned above, the noise still needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Scheduling a furnace inspection at the start of every heating season will ensure this issue doesn’t happen again.

Ignoring abnormal sounds can turn a simple malfunction into an expensive repair. If your furnace is making an unusual noise, please contact M&M Mechanical today.

Posted by & filed under heating installation .

If you have an old furnace, then you have a metal flue running up through your home. The flue removes the toxic combustion products from your furnace. If any leaks occur in your flue, then these harmful gasses can enter your home. New high-efficiency furnaces not only save energy but have a major advantage in keeping your home safe.

What is so bad about my flue?

The high temperature of the flue gasses force the use of metal for the flue material. Over time, the flue can corrode on the inside because some of the gas condenses and forms acid. You will not know about this corrosion until there is a hole in the flue. If your indoor humidity gets too high, then corrosion can develop on the outside of the flue. A leak can also result from damage to the flue. Deadly gasses, like carbon monoxide, can enter your home from a damaged, leaky flue.

What is so different about the high-efficiency furnace?

The design of a high-efficiency furnace dramatically lowers the temperature of the exhaust gas. This is how it achieves higher efficiency. There is condensation, but it occurs in the part of the furnace designed to accommodate it. The lower exhaust temperature allows the use of low-cost plastic pipe. The pipe can be routed horizontally to the nearest exterior wall. Damage is much less likely from the stronger, corrosion resistant plastic pipe.

The choice to upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace involves more benefits than just energy savings. Contact us at M&M Mechanical to discuss your heating options before the onset of cold weather.

Posted by & filed under Heating .

Whether it is small problem or a large one, anything that keeps your furnace from working properly needs to be addressed right away. And some issues that are found and repaired soon enough can save you a lot of money down the road. What are some common problems, you ask?

Dirty Air Filters. Air filters should be cleaned or replaced once a month. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Dirty filters make the furnace work harder to circulate air because it hinders the air flow. Eventually, it might affect the limit switch that runs the fan.

Too Much Noise. A noisy furnace can have many causes. There may be a mechanical malfunction or clogged air flow. Turning off and on too often can be a defective thermostat. Rumbling and sputtering is not the sign of a healthy or effective furnace.

Not Enough Heat. Obviously, you should make sure the unit is large enough for your space. After that, the thermostat should be checked to make sure it is working properly. Settings for the thermostat and working batteries can also affect this function. When all else fails, you should check the power and the pilot light.

Improper Maintenance. Your furnace should be inspected by a professional at least once a year. They can fix small problems and recommend preventative measures to keep your furnace running at top performance.

A well-functioning furnace is vital to your home’s comfort. It also reduces your power bill. Keeping ahead of the problems and following these few guidelines will give you a furnace that will last for years.


We encourage you to contact us at M&M Mechanical, Inc. for your heating service needs.

Posted by & filed under Heating .

There is no system in your home more important to your comfort or utility bills than your heating system. It is for this reason that professionals recommend you have your heating system serviced once a year, preferably in the fall. This will better secure that your residential heating system is running efficiently during the coldest months of the year. Don’t you agree?

Not only will an annual heating system service inspection assure the system is working, it will also help prolong the life of the unit and decrease health risks. Every heating manufacturer agrees, you should get your system serviced once a year. Much like an automobile, if you just ignore it, parts will start to wear out over time. Regular inspection and maintenance will help stop a catastrophic breakdown and will extend the unit’s life.

In fact, approximately 75 percent of emergency calls in winter, caused by no heat, are a direct result of a lack of maintenance. By not ensuring your unit is serviced, your heat could fail suddenly, and leave your family in the cold. Moreover, annual inspections can uncover carbon monoxide leaks, which is a toxic gas that is colorless and odorless. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause symptoms that include headaches, dizziness, and nausea but also death. There are an estimated 15,000 people treated in emergency rooms annually because of carbon monoxide, and approximately 500 deaths.

Moreover, it is essential to have your inspection and maintenance completed by a professional service technician. Your home’s heating and cooling are complex systems, and you need to ensure things are done right. That said, there are some simple things that a homeowner can do on their own to keep things running smooth. For instance, ENERGY STAR recommends changing air filters at least every three months. Poor airflow, from a clogged filter, can negatively impact your health by exposing you to high levels of indoor pollutants and contaminant.

Ultimately, it is not uncommon that the only time a homeowner thinks about their heating system is when it doesn’t work. They simply don’t believe maintenance has a good return on the investment; that all changes after a catastrophic failure on a cold winter night.

Posted by & filed under Heating, thermostat .

There was a time when a thermostat was a simple, uncomplicated device used to control your home’s temperature. They used a mechanical switch to turn your heating system on when needed, and off when it reached the proper temperature. That said, while reliable, they were inaccurate and required manual setting. Today, homeowners have options that will accurately and automatically control their home heating, improving comfort and saving money.

Over the course of the cold winter months, many homeowners are in a tug of war with their thermostat. They attempt to keep the balance between warm comfort and saving heating costs. They will manually turn their thermostat 7 to 10 degrees cooler when they leave for work, then turn it back up when they come home to a cold house. A programmable thermostat is an inexpensive solution that helps ensure you save on your bills but always come home to a warm house. Would that be of benefit to you?

Programmable thermostats come with a variety of features, but most include a 7-day schedule that will automatically adjust your temperature when you need it. However, many also can recognize weekday versus weekend schedules, have multiple settings for when you are away versus asleep, and will make arguments for scheduled holidays. Regardless, the next step in thermostat technology is the smart thermostat.

Smart thermostats have internet connectivity. So, not only can you program a set schedule, you have the power to control your home temperature remotely using an app. Smart thermostats also have handy features like dirty filter detection, and will send a reminder notification to replace your filters to your phone. Moreover, they have the power to learn your preferences. For instance, if you always turn the temperature up when the outdoor temp reaches a certain point, a smart thermostat will learn this preference and start making the adjustment automatically. Also, they can use your smartphone’s location to determine if you are coming home early, and will adjust your home’s temperature before you get there.

Ultimately, a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat will help you save money on your utilities and improve your comfort. They are a big leap from the old-style thermostats, still common in many homes. Overall, they are well worth the investment.

Give us a call at M&M Mechanical, Inc. if you’re interested in heating service in Woodbridge, VA. We’re family owned and have dedicated ourselves to satisfying our customers’ needs for 40 years!