Furnaces problems are among the most common home heating issues in the country. This isn’t because furnaces are more prone to breaking down, but more due to the fact that furnaces happen to be the most popular kind of heating system. That being said, it’s probably a good idea to know a little about the common causes of furnace repairs. Let’s take a look at some of these causes, and what you can do to mitigate them.
Dirty Air Filter
The air filter is a small, but vital, part of your furnace. It is installed in the air return of your furnace’s air handler, and protects the system from any dust and debris that might be blown in from the ducts. As dust and debris are quite common in most homes, the air filter can quickly get dirty if not cleaned every one to three months. If the air filter is not cleaned often enough, it can become so clogged that it actually blocks air flow to the furnace. This will trap heat inside the furnace, causing it to overheat and break down. The easiest way to avoid this is simply to remember to clean the air filter every couple of months.
In older furnaces, the thermocouple is a heat sensor responsible for keeping the pilot light burning. It is a long metal wire, with one end installed next to the pilot light and the other connected to the gas valve. When the pilot light is lit, the thermocouple produces an electric current that opens the gas valve. When the pilot light goes out, the electrical current stops and the gas valve closes.
This is a safety feature to avoid venting gas into the home. A faulty thermocouple is one that can no longer produce the electrical current necessary to open the gas valve. When the pilot light is lit, it is quickly smothered if the gas valve isn’t open. There isn’t really a way to predict or prevent the thermocouple from going bad, so the best thing to do when your pilot light won’t stay lit is have a professional replace the thermocouple.
If you’d like to know more, call JW Heating and Air. We provide furnace repair throughout Glendale.