How to Prevent Funky Furnace Failures

September 29, 2015

Winter is coming. 

And the best way to brace yourselves? Prepare your furnace. Make sure it won’t break down in the middle of a freezing winter night.
 
Here’s how to prevent furnace fails.

For goodness sake, check the furnace filter

Nothing kills a furnace faster than an uber dirty furnace filter. When the filter gets too dirty, it blocks air from returning to the furnace.

This dirty blockade can bust your furnace in 2 ways:
 
Burned out blower motor
The blower pulls air into the furnace to heat it. But a dirty filter forces the blower motor to work harder, increasing the  chance that it’ll break down.

Screen Shot 2015 09 29 At 4 22 43 Pm

Cracked heat exchanger 
Imagine you put a pan on a very hot stove, but didn’t put any food in the pan. What would happen? Eventually the pan would overheat and crack. The same thing happens to your furnace’s heat exchanger when your air filter gets too dirty.

The heat exchanger is the part that actually heats your home’s air. When the air filter gets clogged, it reduces airflow over the heat exchanger, causing it to overheat and crack.
 
And if your heat exchanger cracks, good luck. It’s so expensive that, if your warranty does not cover it, you might as well buy a new furnace. 

Furnace Anatomy

Do this: Check the furnace filter once a month and change it as needed. 

Get a furnace tune-up

Your furnace needs regular maintenance just like your car does. 
 
According to ENERGY STAR, you need to, “Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups.”
 
Maintaining your furnace helps you prevent these pricy problems:

  • Ignition issues — Good luck getting your furnace to start when you have dirt buildup on your igniter or pilot light.
  • Blower issues — Blowers need to be cleaned and oiled so they can circulate air efficiently through your home.
  • Home water damage — Do you have a high-efficiency furnace? As they run, they create condensate which exits your home through a drain line. But over time the drain line can get clogged, causing condensate to back up into your home, possibly causing water damage.  

 
Also, don’t forget that skipping professional maintenance can actually void your furnace’s warranty.
 
Do thisSchedule a furnace maintenance visit with your local Kansas City HVAC company.
 
Santa Fe Air Conditioning and Heating serves Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Shawnee, Leawood, Johnson County and the Kansas City area. For more information on furnace maintenance, contact us online.