Most homeowners simply turn on their heat and enjoy the warmth during the winter. Many don’t think about how a furnace operates or if it needs replacing. Here, our heating experts share five signs to look for that can indicate you’re in need of a new furnace:
Heating repairs are never fun – especially if they happen in the dead of winter. At Oliver Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, & Electrical, we’re here for your repairs 24/7. From strange noises to uncommon sounds to too-little heat, we can figure out what’s wrong and get it back to right. Here’s why so many homeowners trust Oliver for their heating repairs:
Northeastern winters can be beasts in themselves, but they can also bring dangers like frozen pipes. Every year, thousands of homeowners experience pipe bursts in their homes due to cold temperatures. These situations can cost hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars in damage and the worst part is – they can be prevented. Here, we share some tips for how to prevent frozen pipes this winter:
A generator is a great investment for your home – especially if you live in an area that experiences bad weather. Like other systems, you generator needs care in order to operate properly. Generator maintenance is an important part of owning a generator. At Oliver, our experts can help you schedule it on a regular basis.
If you’ve been thinking about a backup generator for your home, our home electrical service experts can say that the idea is a great investment – especially during the winter. While the upfront costs of a generator may seem high, keep in mind that there are many benefits to installing one for you and your family:
Here in the Northeast, heat is an essential element for the winter season and we know there are some families that simply can’t afford a reliable heating system. That’s why each year around the holidays, Oliver Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, & Electrical likes to help those in need by donating heaters.
This past weekend, winter storm Jonas dropped well over two feet of snow in much of the Northeast and at Oliver, we were getting calls left and right because of it. One of the most popular issues in the area was a heater that simply stopped working, which can happen during a snowstorm. Here are four ways the snow can affect your heater:
Block Air Intakes
Our on-call managers fielded many questions about shut-down heaters due to snow that had piled up and blocked their fresh air intakes. When your heater’s intake is blocked due to snow or ice, it causes the unit to shut down.
While heaters need to take in fresh air in order to operate properly, they also need to expel air through an exhaust. If their exhaust gets blocked due to snow or ice, it can also cause the unit to shut down.
Gas furnaces and boilers both have controls that can be susceptible to water damage, especially during heavy rains or when snow starts to melt. If these elements experience enough water, they’ll begin to corrode and could cause reliability issues.
On some occasions, snow and ice could build up on your unit’s aluminum fan and coil fins. When this happens, the weight of the build-up could cause them to bend and eventually break. If you notice a loud sound while your heater is on, bent fins could be why.
How to Prevent Damage
If you know you’re going to get a snowstorm, be sure to include clearing the air intakes, exhaust, and space around outdoor heat pump units in your snow removal plan. Also make sure that after bad weather, there isn’t snow or ice accumulated on the top of the outdoor unit of your heat pump or air conditioner. If there is, turn off the unit and use warm water to melt it away. After it’s clear, turn it back on.
When you run a business or organization, your heating system is probably the last thing you worry about. However, there’s always the possibility that something can go wrong and that your system will be in need of a repair. Take a minute and observe. If you see or hear any of the following things, your system is probably due for a repair.
If your business uses a boiler, it means that your heating system uses water to heat the area. You may find small spots of water every once in awhile, but if you experience leaking (which could include a wet ceiling, dripping noises, or water around your radiator or baseboard), call our heating experts right away.
Commercial heating systems tend to make a lot of noise, but there are some noises that simply aren’t normal. If you hear things like grinding or “boom”ing, you could have a problem with your air handler motor bearings or a burner may be misfiring. Other noises include hissing and gurgling. If you hear any of these noises, it’s a good idea to contact us.
If the rooms in your building simply aren’t warming up like they should, your heating system could be experiencing a variety of problems, including burner issues, piping system issues, air duct issues, and more. Our experts will take a look at your system and determine what’s causing the under-par performance.
Higher Heating Bills
If the weather is colder than usual, then you can definitely expect a higher heating bill, but if the bill gives you sticker shock or it’s at a high price even when the weather is warmer, something may be wrong. It’s most likely an issue of wear and tear – as the years go by, the parts that make up a heating system slowly start to wear down and can decrease the efficiency of the system. Let us figure out what the problem is and fix it for you.
While it’s normal for commercial heating systems to run more when the temperature drops, short cycles could indicate there’s an underlying issue. If you notice your system turns itself on and off over and over throughout the day, it could be overheating. When a system overheats, it activates a “shut-off” switch, and if it overheats every time it turns on, you’ll hear it turn off fairly quickly.
No matter what the problem, our commercial heating experts can fix it. Give us a call at 1-877-757-1141 and set up an appointment.
Winter is far from over, and we know you’ve probably been cherishing the warmth that your furnace provides on these cold nights. However, if your beloved furnace has been malfunctioning or making strange noises, there could be something that needs fixed as soon as possible. Here are some signs of trouble:
If your furnace whines while it’s running, it may have a damaged blower motor, which is the most common cause of whining noises. At Oliver, our furnace repair specialists can take a look at it. We’ll also inspect your blower belt, which could whine if it’s slipping or loose. Depending on the damage, we’ll repair or replace the equipment causing the issue.
There’s a loud sound when you turn it on
Loud bangs, pops, or grinding noises are signs that something is loose or broken. If you hear scraping or grinding, you may have a problem with your blower wheel or one of the burners. If you hear a bang or pop, it may mean that your furnace burners are dirty. Dirt causes a delay in ignition, which leads to excess gas buildup. Once the gas ignites, you’ll hear a loud noise. None of these noises should be ignored – call us right away.
It runs constantly
If your furnace has a tendency to run all the time or constantly turns on for just a few minutes, check to make sure the air filter isn’t clogged. If it’s not, it could be a number of problems, including your thermostat, air seal, or something in the unit itself. If you can’t identify the problem, our furnace repair experts would be glad to help.
There’s no heat
A furnace is supposed to provide heat, right? If it’s not, you may have a problem with your pilot light, gas valve, circuit breaker, thermostat, fan blower belt, or ignition. Once you call us, we’ll examine your unit and determine what the problem is. Furnace troubles can vary, depending on the air that’s coming from them (whether it’s cold air or no air at all).
You’ve repaired it recently
If you’ve had your furnace repaired in the last 18 months and you need another repair, it may be time to invest in a new furnace. This is especially true if yours is 15-20 years old. You could be in for even more repairs and a decrease in efficiency (which leads to higher energy bills). At Oliver, we can help you find a furnace that fits your needs and your budget.
Welcome back to our guest bloggers series! Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Thompson Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling. Thompson is located in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, and graciously allowed us to republish this list of five problems people commonly encounter with gas furnaces. We hope that these tips are helpful in keeping your home comfortable this winter!
It’s that time of year — temperatures have dipped and you’re using your heating system on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many people find that their natural gas-powered furnace isn’t operating properly once they start using it again in the fall or winter. The problem may be fixed with something as simple as relighting the pilot light or replacing the filter, or you may need a more complex furnace repair. Here are five common gas furnace problems, along with possible causes and repairs.
1. Furnace is not producing heat.
Possible causes include a broken thermostat; the thermostat being set too low; an out pilot light; a blown fuse or circuit breaker; a closed gas valve; or electronic ignition problems.
Depending on the cause of the problem, you may need to make sure the thermostat is in “heat mode” and adjust it up a few degrees; relight the pilot light; replace a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker; troubleshoot the thermostat; or troubleshoot electronic ignition problems.
2. Furnace is not producing enough heat.
This may be caused by obstructed airflow or dirty or misaligned gas burners. In some cases, airflow is obstructed by a dirty furnace air filter, and if it is replaced, the problem is solved.
To troubleshoot the problem, try replacing the air filter, and if that doesn’t solve the problem, have a technician come out to clean/adjust the burners and make sure airflow to the combustion air chamber isn’t obstructed.
3. Blower always running
The thermostat may be set to the “fan continuous” setting, or, in cases where the thermostat has no fan setting, your furnace may have a faulty fan limit control switch.
To fix the problem, you might only need to adjust the thermostat fan setting, or it may be necessary to reset or replace the fan limit control switch on your furnace.
4. Furnace coming on and off too quickly
This behavior could be caused by a problem with the heat anticipator in the thermostat, a problem with the blower motor, or a dirty furnace air filter.
Start by replacing the air filter. If this doesn’t solve the issue, you may need to adjust the thermostat heat anticipator or troubleshoot the blower motor. The blower motor may need to be oiled at lubrication points, or have its belt adjusted (if it is too loose) or replaced (if it is frayed).
5. Noisy Operation
You may be able to determine the cause of a loud furnace by the pitch of the sound it is making: a high-pitched noise may indicate shaft bearings need oiling or that the blower belt is slipping; a low-pitched sound can mean that the pilot light is poorly adjusted or that the gas burners are dirty.
To troubleshoot, try oiling blower motor lubrication ports and checking for proper belt tension and that the belt is not frayed. You can also try adjusting the pilot light and having a furnace service technician clean or adjust your gas burners.
In many cases, troubleshooting and furnace repairs will require the services of an HVAC systems professional. Even if your gas furnace seems to be operating fine now, it’s important to schedule an annual heating tune-up to ensure that it will continue to function properly throughout the entire cold season.
Thanks again to Thompson for contributing this article! To learn more about the Thompson company, please visit their website.