Annual furnace checkups are generally accepted as basic maintenance. However, homeowners in San Antonio, TX can easily forget about annual inspections and may not be thinking about heating at all until furnace repair is necessary. Regularly scheduled maintenance is an opportunity for professionals to address issues and perform minor furnace repairs to head off potentially time-consuming and expensive problems in the future.
Water leaks are always frustrating, and it’s natural to immediately worry about water damage. It’s also natural to assume water leaks are related to plumbing, which leads to confusion when a puddle of water appears underneath or near the furnace. Many homeowners don’t know how to react, but the first step is always turning the furnace off. Make sure the thermostat is off too. A shut-off valve connecting the furnace to electrical breakers should be located somewhere along a gas line. Try to find the valve and close it as quickly as possible. The next step is a phone call to local furnace repair service professionals.
After the furnace is shut down and help is on the way, you can start cleaning up. Check and double-check to ensure the electrical circuit is turned off. Mop up water collected under the furnace to avoid risks associated with standing water. You can use a wet/dry vacuum if necessary. The cause of the leak depends on the type of furnace.
High-efficiency furnaces, defined as an AFUE rating of 90 or higher, produce condensation during the heat exchange process. During normal operation, condensation drains away on its own. Water may accumulate as a result of leaks or clogs in condensate lines. In fact, puddles of water can form very quickly when a condensate line is blocked. The condensate pump should push water through lines away from the furnace. Mechanical problems, such as float or check valve issues are common causes of leaks. Other potential causes include condensate lines that were installed incorrectly.
Furnaces with AFUE ratings under 90 usually have metal exhaust venting pipes. High-efficiency furnaces usually have white PVC vent pipes. Exhaust pipes let gases produced by combustion exit the house to be released outside. Improperly sized vent pipes can trap gasses with excessive air. Condensation forms when the pipes cool.
Exhaust Vents and Carbon Monoxide
Any furnace repairs related to vent pipes and other aspects of the exhaust system are extremely important. Gasses produced during combustion can be dangerous, especially carbon monoxide. These gasses may build up inside the house if vents aren’t working properly. Every household should be equipped with multiple carbon monoxide alarms. Each bedroom should have its own alarm as an additional safety precaution. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, so it can’t be detected easily. People might notice symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning while they’re awake, although no one should ever depend on that. Dizziness, nausea, vertigo, and other generalized symptoms may not be immediately recognized as carbon monoxide poisoning. These symptoms will not wake a sleeping person, so an alarm represents the only chance of waking up if carbon monoxide begins accumulating in the house.
Many furnaces in San Antonio, TX, have built-in humidifiers to prevent dry air during the winter months. Humidifiers can make the indoor atmosphere much more comfortable. Water constantly circulates through humidifiers. Leaks or clogs in the humidifier may create puddles that seem to come from the furnace. A furnace repair technician can evaluate the situation and determine whether the leak came from the furnace itself or the humidifier. Annual furnace tune-ups are also an opportunity for technicians to inspect your furnace and check the humidifier for any signs of damage.
Humidifiers can operate with clogged or soiled humidifier pads, but they don’t operate efficiently. Clogged pads in whole-house humidifiers waste a lot of energy and increase wear and tear which reduces the unit’s functional lifetime. Dirty humidifier pads can also trap moisture and encourage the growth of bacteria and mold. This has a very negative effect on indoor air quality.
Heat exchangers are vital components of a furnace. A metal shield prevents exhausts gasses from entering ductwork while letting warm airflow into ducts. This shield expands when the heater is on and contracts when it cools back to room temperature. Years of expanding and contracting can crack the heat exchanger. Cracks are a serious issue because carbon monoxide and other gasses can escape into vents and circulate throughout the entire house.
Some furnace models that convert water vapor into liquid have a secondary heat exchanger. This process provides more heat to the exchanger. High-efficiency furnaces are more likely to have a second heat exchanger while standard efficiency models usually have only one exchanger. Maintenance and furnace repairs need to be addressed with the same frequency regardless of the number of heat exchanges.
Routine Furnace Repair Tasks
Clogged, wet, and dirty air filters restrict airflow, which forces your furnace to work harder. This could lead to overheating or the furnace may stop functioning altogether. Filters should be replaced every 90 days. Replacing components of the furnace in a timely fashion is a good way to prevent water leaks and other issues. Potential worn-out components include flue pipes, water lines, drain lines, and coils. You can keep track of minor maintenance and replacement tasks yourself or leave everything in the hands of professionals.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio provides a wide range of furnace repair services in San Antonio, TX. Experienced technicians inspect furnaces and handle tune-ups and routine maintenance to keep your furnace running efficiently. Regular checkup inspections and prompt furnace repairs also make sure potentially dangerous gasses are safely vented outside of the house.