BLOG
BLOG

Be prepared: getting your furnace in shape for winter.

Are you ready for winter? The more important question: is your furnace ready?

If your furnace is not warming your home properly, there are several things you can do initially to troubleshoot. There are also some serious issues that should need to be addressed by a professional. If your furnace is getting on in years, then replacing part of it or the entire system may be the best solution.

Are you ready for winter? The more important question: is your furnace ready?

If your furnace is not warming your home properly, there are several things you can do initially to troubleshoot. There are also some serious issues that should need to be addressed by a professional. If your furnace is getting on in years, then replacing part of it or the entire system may be the best solution.

Troubleshooting—things you can do.

Furnace not coming on? First things first: check your thermostat to see if it’s switched to heat mode. If it is and nothing’s happening, it likely just needs a new battery. If your thermostat checks out, make sure the main furnace switch is on (it’s not unusual for these to accidentally get turned off). Also check your home’s breaker panel to see if your HVAC circuit was tripped. These are three of the easiest fixes for a non-functioning heater.
Furnace not heating your home adequately? First, change or clean your HVAC system’s filter(s). A dirty or clogged furnace filter can make your system work overtime to heat your home, and that’s not good for your HVAC unit or your wallet. If you’re not already in the habit, you should be changing or cleaning your HVAC filters regularly—every three months, minimum, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Pilot light out? Older furnaces have a pilot light—a clearly visible blue flame that, in some models, needs to be relit each year before the furnace’s first use. There should be clear instructions on the unit for relighting the pilot; if not, this would be a good time to call your True Blue professional.
Something burning? When it gets cold enough to start up your heater for the first time, sometimes you can catch a whiff of something burning. Don’t panic; the smell is likely caused by dust that builds up on the furnace during the summer months, and usually burns off after ten minutes or so. If the smell persists, then it’s possible something may have fallen either into the HVAC unit or the ductwork. If it’s in the ductwork, you can try to isolate which room in your house the smell is stronger. The object may be reachable from the vent in that room. If after these possibilities are ruled out and a burning smell persists, call your True Blue heater repair specialist. You could have a wiring or other electrical problem.

When to call a pro.

Hearing loud, unusual noises? Any kind of noises you’ve never heard from your heater before—loud bangs or hissing sounds—need to be investigated by a HVAC repair professional The noises could indicate an electrical issue or a problem with a major component and your system could need to be repaired.
Smelling gas? It’s not unusual to get a brief whiff of gas when you fire up your furnace for the first time. But if there’s a strong and lingering gas smell, you need to leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1. You likely have a dangerous gas leak, and there’s no time to waste in a professional to inspect and possibly repair your furance or HVAC system.

With winter coming on and while we’re on the topic of gas, help keep your family safe by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide—which can be produced from an old, defective and/or improperly maintained heating unit—is an invisible, odorless gas that can be lethal within minutes of exposure.

The $5,000 rule.

HVAC systems, particularly Trane systems, will last a long time if properly maintained. At some point, however, you can only repair so much before it’s time to invest in a new, more efficient system that will keep your home comfortable in summer and winter. So, how do you decide if you should spend your money on a major HVAC system repair or replace it altogether?

There’s an industry standard called “the $5,000 rule” that helps you take every factor into consideration before making this decision: the age of the system, its repair history, its life expectancy, its warranty coverage, and other factors. Try the $5,000 rule calculator yourself. If the result is under $5,000, you should probably repair your HVAC unit. If it’s above $5,000, it’s probably time for a new one.

For regular maintenance, repair or replacement of your home or commercial furnace, trust the authorized Trane professionals at True Blue Heating & Cooling. Remember, we work on most major HVAC brands, not just Trane, including:

• Amana
• American Standard
• Bryant
• Carrier
• Goodman
• Heil
• Lennox
• Rheem
• Ruud
• York