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As the warm weather begins to wane and the leaves turn into a riot of colors, you begin to dream of cool winter nights with a lovely fire burning and a warm cup of cocoa. What you’re not dreaming of is shivering under a pile of blankets because your home’s heating system has experienced a problem and stopped working. The best time to schedule regular maintenance on your furnace and heating system is during fall.

Here are a few reasons to consider scheduling a maintenance call with a heating contractor during this lull between extremes.

Save Money

Your heating system uses the air in your home to heat your home. As the system pulls in more air to heat it, the air travels through an air filter. If the air filter gets clogged, the motor in your heating system must work harder and become hotter to heat the air before sending it back out into the house. This causes a rise in your utility bills. One of the many things regular maintenance includes is an air filter change.

Avoid Emergency Repairs

Your house’s heater doesn’t just stop working all of a sudden without warning signs. However, many of these signs are inside the unit where you can’t see them. In many cases, it starts with a small part that needs to be replaced as part of regular maintenance. When you have a fall service call, the technician locates these issues and can therefore help to make the needed repairs so that you don’t require emergency repairs later on.

Help Extend the Life of Your Unit

Your HVAC system lasts between 10 to 15 years, and that’s a large span. How long it actually lasts is the result of a few factors, such as quality of the unit and regular maintenance. Regular maintenance ensures the unit stays cleaner, works more efficiently, and keeps wear and tear on parts to a minimum.

At M&M Mechanical, we’re dedicated to helping you stay warm during the winter months and keeping your HVAC system in great working order. We encourage you to give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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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.

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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.

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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.