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The importance of furnace repair

Furnace problems tend to happen when you least expect them—and when they’re most inconvenient. Nearly every longtime homeowner has a horror story to share about the January night when their furnace stopped working. Ask them, and they’ll tell you: it’s not an experience they’re eager to repeat.

While some furnace breakdowns do occur unexpectedly “out of the blue”, there are many others that you can either prevent, through seasonal maintenance, or deal with early. In this article, we’ll review how to both avoid furnace breakdowns, watch for signs of impending trouble, and—if you do need repairs—find the right company to work with.

Avoiding furnace breakdowns

Before we get into furnace repair, let’s discuss how to avoid furnace problems in the first place. The answer is preventative maintenance. By scheduling an annual tune-up with an HVAC professional, you can ensure that your home’s furnace or heater stays in working order.

Here are just a few of the benefits of scheduling a yearly furnace tune-up:

Let’s take a closer look.

Why schedule a fall furnace tune-up?

During a furnace tune-up in Chicago, our tech uses pliers to access a gas furnace to start the cleaning process.

Lower Energy Bills

By optimizing comfort settings, cleaning out the system, and fixing minor issues, a professional tune-up from an HVAC expert can help lower your winter heating bills, saving you a lot of money.

As part of our heating maintenance service in Chicago, our technicians clean out the inside of dirty furnaces like this one.

Fewer Breakdowns

Your goal should be to avoid a heater breakdown, and regular furnace maintenance is the best way to do just that. By addressing small problems early, an HVAC technician can prevent future issues.

With a new furnace professionally installed by King, your home will be cozy and comfortable all winter long.

Extended System Life

Reducing both energy waste and breakdowns has another benefit: extended system lifespan. A furnace that is maintained annually by a professional is far more likely to last longer and run better.

With a new Carrier gas furnace just like this one, your home will be set for a warm and comfortable winter ahead.

Your Home’s Safety

If your home has a gas furnace, you should have a professional look at it every fall to ensure its operating safely. A cracked heat exchanger could lead to carbon monoxide in your home’s air.

How to know if your furnace needs repairs

In most cases, a furnace breakdown doesn’t occur without warning. There are things you can watch out for prior to the point that the furnace stops working altogether.

Here are just some of the crucial warning signs that your furnace might be on the verge of a breakdown.

Rising energy bills

Are your energy bills getting higher and higher every month your furnace is running? This points to a furnace that is not running as efficiently as it should, which leads to an increase in energy usage.

You should schedule a tune-up or—if you’re noticing other problems—emergency furnace repair. Talk to your locally trusted HVAC company about your options.

Insufficient heating

If your home’s furnace isn’t keeping up with your heating needs, it could be a sign of impending trouble. Ineffectiveness is often paired with inefficiency: a furnace that is struggling to heat a home will be unable to maintain adequate temperature throughout the entire space.

When this happens, you might notice severe temperature differences between rooms. One bedroom might be freezing while the other is warm and cozy. This could be an issue with the blower or with the air ducts—and an HVAC tech can certainly rule those possibilities out—but it merits calling in an expert for a closer look.

Strange noises

Just like a car that is having mechanical trouble, you’ll often hear the problem with your furnace long before it stops working. Your furnace might start making strange sounds—screeches, grinding, or whining—or just generally be noisier. Today’s furnaces are designed for quiet operation, so any disruptive sound that’s out-of-the-ordinary is probably cause for action.

Other signs of trouble

A furnace breakdown could also be heralded by strange smells, furnace short-cycling, and other signs of trouble. Click the button below to read more.

What is furnace short-cycling?

In the informative video below, an HVAC expert reviews what “short cycling” is and how it negatively impacts a furnace’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Finding the right HVAC contractor

Furnace repairs are often needed when you least expect it, and when they arise, you want to find a contractor you trust to repair the problem. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration before you hire a company to come into your home.

If you are getting ready to select a HVAC contractor, consider these four things:

What is their experience?

You want only a proven, experienced HVAC technician working on your furnace. You don’t want it to be their first day on the job! Always ask about their prior experience working with gas and electric furnaces, as well as their experience working with your particular make and model.

Are they certified?

If an HVAC technician is reputable, they’ll have not only any required state certification, but also national certification from NATE—the North American Technician Excellence program. A NATE-certified tech has gone through vigorous training and testing protocols to ensure they’re ready to work in your home.

What are their reviews like?

Read through the company’s online reviews. Look at both the positive reviews and negative reviews, and take notes on any commonalities. No company, no matter how good, can avoid a bad review. But, if you’re noticing a trend of bad reviews that all mention the same thing (e.g., “late,” “unprofessional,” etc.), take that into consideration before hiring them to work in your home.

Do they offer upfront estimates?

Unfortunately, not every HVAC company operates above-board. Some offer the lowest quote for service upfront, but then bombard you with hidden fees and service charges. Work with companies that pledge upfront estimates for their work and lay out, in writing, exactly what you’ll owe them when the repairs are done.

Find a trustworthy HVAC company.

Putting the time into finding the right team can really pay dividends. After all, you want any furnace repair to be done right. Click the button below to read our guide to finding trusted, local HVAC technicians.