Posts Tagged ‘Heating Repair’

Hudson Heating Repair Question: What Causes Cracks in a Heat Exchanger?

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Furnaces are designed so that the heat – and the combustion byproduct produced inside – doesn’t interact directly with the outside air. This design is to ensure you have a safer furnace in your Hudson home that won’t inadvertently affect your family’s health.

The metal piece that separates the furnace heat from the outside air stream is called the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger performs a very important function, and if it is broken or cracked, it can’t work properly.

A cracked heat exchanger is very common problem with heating systems, as well as one that should be repaired as soon as possible. But what causes a heat exchanger to crack? Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • A long period of normal use. A furnace heat exchanger naturally expands and contracts with the heat of the furnace, over and over again as the furnace is turned off and on to heat the home. Over several years, this stress can crack the metal.
  • Poor air flow, often caused by dirty or obstructed vents, can result in poor air flow through the furnace. This overworks the furnace, which can crack the heat exchanger prematurely.
  • Poor, incomplete or improper combustion can also cause a heat exchanger to crack. When the combustion process is less efficient – which can also be a result of poor air flow — your furnace’s burners have to run hotter and longer to heat your home, which means extra stress on the heat exchanger.

Essentially, if a furnace is running at less than optimal efficiency for an extended period of time, the heat exchanger is put under additional stress beyond the usual and can crack prematurely. Therefore, the best way to prevent a cracked heat exchanger is proper maintenance, particularly keeping all vents clean and unobstructed and getting an annual maintenance inspection.

If your heat exchanger does crack, do not hesitate to call Air National and get it repaired. The crack can allow potentially dangerous combustion gases to seep into your home, which can have a negative impact on your family’s health.

Balm Heating Repair Tip: Things to Try Before Calling a Professional

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Your Balm home’s HVAC system can seem like very daunting and complex equipment, which can be intimidating to even fully imagine, let alone try to work on by yourself. While it’s true that HVAC equipment can be complicated and needs the attention of a skilled professional more often than most homeowners would like, there are still ways for the DIY-ers out there to work on their HVAC systems before resorting to calling in the pros.

There are some common culprits when it comes to most HVAC problems and malfunctions, so if something goes awry in the operation of your equipment, there are some basic measures you can try to get things back on track.

If any of these work, you have saved the cost of the repair and get the satisfaction of a job well done:

  • Turn all switches – indoors and outdoors – off, then back on again. Do the same thing with the pertinent circuit breakers. Sometimes the system just needs a hard reset to jolt it back to life.
  • Check your thermostat. Is the temperature set where it is supposed to be? If it is too high or too low, the HVAC system will stay on too long or shut itself off too quickly.
  • Make sure your system is in the right mode for the season. It may sound obvious, but for whatever reason, sometimes things wind up in heating mode during cooling season.
  • Check your filters. Clean and/or replace them as necessary. (You do this once a month anyway, right?)
  • Inspect the vents around your home to see if any are blocked, clogged or excessively dirty. Vents that don’t properly circulate the air can cause all kinds of problems within an HVAC system.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things that can go wrong with an HVAC system, but it is at least the usual suspects for the most simple and common problems that many homeowners encounter. After trying these out, if you are still experiencing difficulties, then it is probably time to call a professional to have a look at the problem.

Tampa Heat Pump Repair: Why Won’t My Heat Pump Start?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

If you are having trouble with your Tampa heat pump, you may be surprised to learn that it is probably not the heat pump that is to blame, especially if the trouble is that it simply won’t start up. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s true: the heat pump can be in perfect working order but still not turn on.

The good news, then, is that your heat pump is fine and you won’t have to pay to fix or replace it. Still though, these types of problems can very frustrating to diagnose and correct. Here are four common culprits when a heat pump won’t start:

  1. No power to the heat pump. Check your breaker box to see if the circuit breaker was tripped. If so, reset it and see if that fixes the problem. Another possibility is that your heat pump is wired to a wall switch, or that there is a switch on the unit itself. Make sure the switch is turned on.
  2. Make sure the thermostat is set to the proper mode, such as “heat” mode if you desire more heat. It seems overly simple, but sometimes the trouble is as simple as that.
  3. A recently replaced thermostat. If you recently upgraded or replaced the thermostat in your home, it’s possible that something went wrong that is preventing your heat pump from starting. It may be the wrong kind of thermostat – heat pumps require a specific type – or it may have been improperly wired.
  4. Finally, the heat pump may have its own circuit breaker on the air handler cabinet. This is often the case with heat pumps that have supplemental electric elements. If that breaker is tripped, that could cause the problems you are experiencing.

If you exhaust these problems and the problem persists or recurs – for example, if the circuit breaker trips again – call a Tampa contractor to work on your heat pump. There may be something larger at work that is causing problems in the electrical system that controls your heat pump, and that requires some expertise to properly address.

Lacoochee Heating Repair Tip: Causes of Delayed Furnace Ignition

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Delayed ignition is usually accompanied by a loud banging or booming sound that resembles a small explosion in your gas appliance. In your Lacoochee home’s furnace, this can be terrifying and should never be ignored.

What Causes Delayed Ignition

Delayed ignition usually happens when you first turn on your furnace, often after a long delay between use, so usually early in the fall or late in the spring when you don’t necessarily have it on every day of the week.

What happens is moisture builds up over the course of a period of inactivity and begins to corrode the firebox in your furnace. That corrosion builds up to the point that it starts to block the ports that feed gas into the burners. When these ports get blocked, the burners down the line cannot light and when you flip the switch, they won’t light immediately.

Of course, while rust and corrosion are a risk, lint and dust can be equally problematic (and are more common if you don’t have your furnace cleaned properly each fall). Sulfur build up is also a possibility, as it is left behind by burning natural gas. It will appear as a layer of white on the surface of the burners or the pilot light.

When all of this happens and the ports are not cleaned properly, gas will build up in the chamber after it is turned on and, when it finally ignites, create the small boom sound. It doesn’t just sound like an explosion – it is one – and if ignored, it can become incredibly dangerous.

Solving the Problem

Delayed furnace ignition is an easy problem to avoid. All you need to do is have your furnace cleaned properly before turning it on each fall. A technician will clean the burners and ports and remove any dust, lint, rust or sulfur buildup that might block ignition and cause a delay.

When replacing your furnace, look for a device with corrosion resistant materials. You can learn more about these when it comes time to replace your furnace from a Lacoochee technician. Most importantly, be careful. It may be a small problem now, but if left to build up over time, that small boom can become a much larger one.

Tampa Heating Repair – Review from Rhonda

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

There are a lot of high tech gadgets out there, but you don’t need them all. You want to make sure that you only get what is going to work for your home. And when you are choosing your HVAC contractor, you want one that has your best interests at heart, not one that will keep on trying to sell you the latest (and most expensive) equipment.

At Air National, we make sure always put the customer before the sale. We want you to be completely happy with your equipment, and never regret your decision later on. If you do find that your equipment is not working for you, we will do our best to fix it! Here is what Rhonda Cameron in Tampa wrote to us about her recent heating repair:

Just wanted to let you know that Eric and I figured out what the issue was… the much-dreaded “programmable” thermostat! I’m going to save up to afford to have Eric back to install the regular digital thermostat. Thanks so much for all your help, and Eric’s help. He’s the Best!

- Rhonda Cameron

Thanks Rhonda! We are glad that you had such a good experience with our team. Customer service is the most important part of our business, and we love to hear about how our technicians do!

Tampa HVAC Contractor Tip: What Does a Furnace Fan Limit Switch Do?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

When researching your Tampa furnace and potential problems it might have, you’ve probably run across a few references to the fan limit switch. And while you know that it can break in a number of ways, do you know what the switch does and what you should look for when checking your furnace its air handler for problems?

What the Limit Switch Does

To put it very simply, the furnace fan limit switch is a control that tells your furnace’s fan when to turn on and off. So, when the furnace isn’t on, it tells the blower not to operate (and send cold air into your home) and when the furnace is on, it tells the blower to turn on and start circulating the warm air.

While the primary function of the limit switch is to turn the blower fan on and off, it also has a safety role. When the temperature in the air supply plenum gets too hot, the limit switch turns off the furnace boiler to keep there from being any damage from overheating. This is handy if there is a blockage in the air vents or the controls are messed up due to water damage or improper adjustments to the settings.

Looking for Problems

Most of the time, when there is an issue with your furnace turning off or on frequently, the limit switch is one of the first things you will check. Because the switch is electronic and is attached to a thermostat which measures temperature in the air supply plenum, a small problem can result in it not working properly. So, you can easily check it by temporarily bypassing the switch and seeing if your device turns on or off properly.

In many cases, if the limit switch is the problem, you will still need to call a professional for replacement, but you can avoid a lot of headaches related to tracking down the source of the problem. If you suspect a limit switch problem, make sure to call someone immediately, because it does provide an important safety function and because without it your furnace won’t cycle on and off properly.

What to Do When Your New Tampa Heat Pump Isn’t Getting the Job Done

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The heat pump in your New Tampa home is designed to provide steady, reliable heat in your home throughout the year. So, what do you do when your heat pump suddenly stops producing enough heat? The first step is to figure out why exactly your heat pump has stopped working properly. From there, you can take action to get it back on track.

Reasons Your Heat Pump Isn’t Producing Heat

There are a number of reasons a heat pump might stop producing enough heat. Here are some of the most common ones you’ll encounter:

  • Too Cold Outside – A heat pump can only handle temperatures so low. Most heat pumps are rated for outside temperatures as low as 40 degrees F (though they work best at 50 degrees F and up). If the outside temperature gets below the 37 degree F mark, it’s likely the system won’t be able to produce enough heat. Remember, however, that you should have an emergency heat source. If it isn’t on but the outside temperature is below 37 degrees F, you may have a problem with the outdoor thermostat or emergency switch.
  • Fans – The fans on your heat pump may not be working properly. Simply check this by increasing the thermostat setting on your heat pump. If the fan never comes on, there could be an electrical or mechanical problem in your fan.
  • Thermostat Readings – A simple problem that can stall your heat pump is thermostat failure or calibration problems. Check the thermostat to see if it is working properly and if not, call a professional.
  • Refrigerant – If the refrigerant gets low in your heat pump, you may need to have it recharged. This is a quick and relatively inexpensive process so call for a heating contractor as soon as you notice the problem.

If your heat pump isn’t working properly, don’t wait for it to break completely or for the temperature outside to become unbearable. Call for help immediately and get your heat pump fixed before it’s too late. Even a seemingly simple problem can quickly turn into a major issue if it isn’t dealt with immediately.

A Tampa Heating Contractor Guide:Troubleshooting Thermostat Issues

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

If your room temperature is too hot or cold, what is the first thing you check? Probably the thermostat. If you are a Tampa homeowner, you probably have played around with the setting on a thermostat, much to the chagrin of other occupants who don’t share your same comfort level. And if you try and adjust a thermostat at work – well forget about it. Most companies now have locking thermostats or “false” ones that don’t actually connect to the heating and cooling system.

So if you have a temperature problem, is it really the thermostat that causes it? Maybe yes and maybe no. One physical characteristic to check is the location of the thermostat. If it is in a drafty hallway or near a heat source, it only reads the temperature for that area and other parts of the building are neglected. You will often find more than one thermostat in a home that is tied into more than one furnace or air conditioner.

The older more popular round thermostats are manually controlled and do not adjust to any conditions in the home. They simply control the heating and cooling functions based on a human turning a dial. It’s as simple as that. So if you use this method to adjust the temperatures, blame yourself and not the thermostat. You might want to consider installing a digital, programmable thermostat.

With that in mind, let’s look at some typical ways to troubleshoot a thermostat.

  • Check the anticipator, which is a small metal tab on the front of the printed scale. Give it a light push in either direction. It may be stuck.
  • Clean the interior of the thermostat housing and clean the contacts (small metal plates)
  • Check loose wires or wires that may be corroded.
  • Read the thermostat manual (if not available, look online) for other tips such as ensuring there is voltage to the terminals.

If you have checked everything and the thermostat seems to be in working order, look for other things within the heating & cooling system. These include blocked or restricted registers and vents, leaks or cracks in ductwork, and dirty air handling filters.

Is Your Heat Pump On Way too Often? A Tip from Temple Terrace

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

If your heat pump has suddenly started turning on when it clearly isn’t needed, there might be a problem. But, before you call your Temple Terrace HVAC repairman and spend a lot of money to have it inspected, consider a few common solutions that you can take care of on your own.

Check the Mode

Step one is to check the mode of your heat pump. Make sure it is in the mode you expect it to be in. If the weather outside is mild especially, it’s often best to leave your heat pump in auto so that it doesn’t turn on when not needed. Leaving it set to “on” all the time will result in it turning on even when the heating or cooling elements aren’t needed.

Indoor and Outdoor Thermostats

You should also check the thermostats both inside and outside to make sure they are accurate. If the thermostat reading isn’t accurate, the heat pump will turn on unnecessarily and frequently. If you’re unsure how to check the thermostat settings for your particular heat pump model, consult the owner’s manual or contact a professional to inspect and repair the problem.

Keep in mind that heat pumps are designed to run constantly in cold weather – it’s necessary to keep your home comfortable (the cooling component should never do this so call for service if it does).

Other Issues

There are some other issues you can check to make sure your heat pump isn’t broken. Check the outdoor unit for ice – which can directly affect the thermostat settings. Check the return duct work as well for leakages, which can reduce efficiency and force it to keep operating when not needed. Poor insulation in your house can cause problems as well, especially in the attic, where cold air can be pulled in and affect thermostat settings, even when you don’t notice the cold.

If none of these things are the problem, it may be time to call for professional assistance. Things like bad compressor valves, AC mode starting in the winter or refrigerant problems all need to be fixed by a Temple Terrace HVAC professional.

HVAC Repairs That Will Save You Money: Some Advice from Seffner

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The best way to save money on operating your Seffner home’s heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment – now and in the future – is to ensure that the equipment is operating at peak efficiency. The reasons are two-fold: an (HVAC) system will save you money on your utility bills and will save on the wear and tear of the equipment. That means extending the life of your equipment and putting off the need to replace it before its ‘shelf life’ runs out.

Let’s look at some ways your routine maintenance and common repairs impact the investment you have made in your HVAC equipment. Keep in mind that you can perform some maintenance but to get the best results, call your local licensed, qualified HVAC contractor. Better yet, call your contractor and ask about service agreements, which ensure annual or bi-annual cleaning and inspection of your furnace, air conditioner, or other components of your HVAC system.

Routine maintenance includes inspecting and cleaning/replacing filters in your HVAC system’s air handling unit. This unit contains the fan that blows heated or cooled air through your home’s ductwork. The filter can come in a variety of makes and sizes. Some electronic filters require regular cleaning with a hose or vaccum and others contain disposable filters which should be replaced on a regular basis, sometimes as often as every month. It is best for you to look at the recommended maintenance schedule which comes with the equipment owner’s manual or by talking to your HVAC contractor.

You can also do a visual inspection of your ductwork to check for any leaks or cracks along seams or joints. You may also be able to hear any air leakage in the ductwork. Repairing the leak can be as easy as using a sealing compound or applying duct tape or a suitable substitute over the leak.

Filter and ductwork maintenance guarantee a consistent air flow, which means that your furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work any harder than normal – which equates to more efficiency and fewer possible repairs down the road.

Here are some other suggested maintenance tips:

  • Remove obstructions from vents.
  • Check for loose wires in electrical components.
  • Ensure that thermostat is in good working condition.

Most qualified HVAC contractors use a multiple-point checklist when installing or servicing HVAC equipment. The list ensures that service work or installation was carried out completely. These same lists are available online from manufacturers and contractors and are a useful tool for performing routine maintenance or repairs.

And when in doubt, keep an HVAC contractor’s phone number in your phone in case you may need any emergency repairs or to begin a regular maintenance schedule.