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Give Your Furnace a Quick Test Before the Cold Season

furnaceThe cold season is approaching, and it will soon be time to turn your furnaces back on. Before that happens, though, you should consider turning your furnace back on now. It’s a great opportunity to see if things are still working properly, and if there is something wrong, there will be no rush when you schedule the repair.

There are a few things to look out for before and during your furnace test, and we’ll list them below.

Cracks in the Heat Exchanger

Before starting up your furnace for a test run, you’ll first want to check out the heat exchanger. If there are cracks, you’ll want to pick up the phone and call an HVAC contractor in Riverside, CA immediately.

A crack in the heat exchanger is up there with one of the worst problems your furnace can encounter. Even worse is that it can easily go undetected. Your furnace may appear to be running perfectly fine, and it may continue to do so even without professional attention, but the problem won’t go away on its own.

Why is it such a problem? Cracks in the heat exchanger mean carbon monoxide leaks, and those are deadly. While a cracked heat exchanger doesn’t always immediately mean that your home has become a carbon monoxide chamber, there’s no arguing that it’s a serious issue that needs to be inspected for repairs or replacement.

Pay Attention to How Many Times It Cycles

Assuming there’s no issue with your heat exchanger, try running your furnace for a while. It should turn on, run for several minutes, and then shut off for several minutes. The process will repeat. This is called a cycle, and you should experience about two to three within an hour.

But if your heater is cycling several times an hour and within minutes of each other, then it’s a clear sign the system is suffering from short-cycling.

If this is a brand-new heater, then you most likely have an oversized unit. You should immediately call the contractor who installed it and have them replace it (on them!).

If this is not a new heater and the problem has only just started happening, it can be due to anything from a clogged air filter, improper airflow, or bad thermostat settings. Look into all of these issues first before calling up a professional.

Listen for Strange Noises

It might be hard to remember what your furnace sounded like last year, but we can assure you that it’s mostly what you’d expect: not much more than a click from the thermostat and the rushing of air through the ducts.

Any other noises should be investigated further. Noises like banging, clanking, hissing, screeching, or continuous clicking are all problematic and shouldn’t be overlooked. If they’re not indefinite, pay attention to how long these noises last, and if they occur when the system is running, starting, or shutting off (or all of the above). These are all important symptoms to relay to your repairman.

Need a maintenance check? Contact RKM Heating and Air Conditioning today for service that’s Done Right, Priced Right.


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