It’s getting chilly in West Columbia, Texas, and it’s time to turn the heat on. One of the most inconvenient, bothersome, and expensive hassles for homeowners is a furnace breakdown. Not only are you left in the cold, you’ll be out time and money. Fortunately, many furnace issues are preventable if you apply a few simple tips.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Vacuum and clean floor registers before heating season starts. Blocked registers keep warm air from entering every room in your house. Make sure furniture doesn’t obstruct airflow.

Check inside vents for debris and dirt. If your ducts look overly dirty or you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, consider scheduling a duct cleaning. Blocked ducts create pressure inside ductwork, which over time, can lead to cracks where heated air escapes.

Change air filters at least once a month. Vacuum the vent around the filter as well. Clogged filters cause your heating system to work much harder than it has to and require a repair.

Seal, Seal, Seal

Weatherizing your home not only saves you money, but it helps your heater work more efficiently. Cover windows and large patio doors with plastic for the winter. Buy insulated drapes to keep warm air in, especially at night. Replace worn weatherstripping on doors.

Use caulking around outlets and window and door frames as an added layer of protection against drafts. Check your home’s exterior around vents and pipes for holes and fill them if needed.

Make sure your attic has adequate insulation and that it’s in good shape. The attic access door or panel should have insulation around it to keep warm air from escaping through it.

Call a Professional

Scheduling regular heater maintenance is one of the easiest ways to prevent a breakdown. During a routine inspection, technicians clean, oil, and tighten all components and make sure the combustion process occurs safely. Many times, furnace breakdown happens because small problems turn into major issues when left untreated.

Not all signs of furnace failure are obvious. If you have a gut feeling something is off with your furnace, call a service technician to diagnose and repair the problem. If you smell gas, get out of your house and call a professional immediately. Gas leaks cause deadly fires or explosions.

Normally, furnaces can last up to 20 years. If your system is nearing the two-decade mark, it might be time to think about replacement. You’ll gain peace of mind with a brand-new unit and save on your heating bills.

How to Tell Your Furnace Needs Help

Most of the time, before your furnace breaks down, you’ll see, hear, or feel signs of its impending demise. If you see higher electric bills you can’t explain, your furnace may need to be checked. Pools of water around your heating system indicate an issue.

If the flame inside your furnace isn’t blue and steady, you need to call someone right away. Improper combustion processes can cause the flame to turn yellow and flicker. Combustion problems could indicate a dangerous carbon monoxide leak.

If you or your family experience headaches, nausea, or dizziness while your heat is on, you need to get out now! These are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Lengthy exposure to this colorless, odorless gas is very dangerous and sometimes fatal.

Any strange knocking, pinging, squeaking, or thumping coming from your HVAC unit is not a good sign. Does your heater cycle off and on all the time? It shouldn’t. Your furnace should come on, run for a few minutes, and turn off. Frequent cycling indicates a problem somewhere.

If you know your ducts and vents are clear and you feel little airflow, call a technician. Naturally, if the air coming out of the vents is cold and your heat is running, it’s a problem.

At Davis Air Conditioning & Heating, we’re here to help you with any heating system repairs, maintenance, or replacement. We’ve been serving the area for over 40 years, and our technicians and support staff work hard as part of this award-winning company. Give us a call at 888-929-0049 today!

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