When fall arrives, many homeowners in Petaluma feel relieved. The long, sweltering summer is behind them, and they can finally give their hard-working air conditioners a well-deserved rest. However, it’s not the time to forget about your HVAC system just yet. There’s never a right time to forget about your HVAC system, especially not because winter is coming in just a few short months. Even autumn nights in Petaluma can be chilly sometimes, so it’s best to consider any fall furnace repair your Petaluma home might need and arrange for it as soon as possible. Learning what you can do by yourself and what requires professional attention is the first step you’ll need to take. You’ll then need to identify a furnace repair technician in Petaluma with strong qualities so that you can hire the right person for any work that requires an experienced touch.
The good news is that you can handle a certain amount of furnace repair in Petaluma on your own. Of course, you won’t be able to take care of everything by yourself, but let’s start with the tasks that most people can handle quite easily. Below are some easy DIY furnace repair tips. Follow these, and you’ll make sure that you don’t have to pay a professional for work you could have taken care of independently. Once we’ve finished covering the basics, we’ll tell you more about what a professional can do to improve your system.
- Furnace Basics You Can Handle Yourself
Like air conditioners, furnaces have filters that must be kept clean for efficient use. Change your filter once every month when you are using your furnace frequently, and once every three months otherwise. You can find cheap filters easily that will do the job, or invest in a high-efficiency unit. Before you do though, check your owner’s manual to make sure the filter you have chosen is recommended.
Also, be sure to turn your attention to your ducts. Some ducts have dampers, which send different amounts of air to your home on various settings. Their settings are usually set for either summer or winter use, so turning yours to the correct position should be a regular autumn task. While you’re looking, check for cracks or leaks in your ducts. If you see any, call a professional to fix them.
- What Professionals Will Do on Service Calls
The above strategies may take care of minor problems, but it is still wise to have a professional HVAC technician visit you each fall to inspect your system. They will be able to repair more significant problems such as poor combustion, broken ignitors, leaks, and dirty burners. Below are some steps that a professional will typically take during a service call. Read on, and discover the importance of having your furnace maintained by experienced contractors.
- Cleaning Soot and Dust
One of the first things a qualified HVAC tech will do when looking at your furnace is thoroughly vacuum the burners and the base. This will suck up any dust present. They will also deal with the effects of any soot present, which may indicate a combustion problem.
- Cleaning Your Blower
Next, your tech will probably unscrew the blower. Once they have, they will clean its blades (using a vacuum again). Qualified professionals will understand how to work around the wiring, and will be able to avoid moving the counterweights that keep the blower in balance.
- Dusting Off Your Pilot and Flame Sensor
Dirty pilot lights can be tricky, because they may fool your thermocouple into believing that your flame has not been ignited. Having a professional clean your pilot light is therefore essential to consistent furnace use. Your HVAC technician will be able to blow the dust off without damaging any sensitive components in the process. If your thermocouple itself is dirty, they will pull it gently from its bracket and wipe it with a soft cloth. If your unit has a hot surface ignitor instead of a pilot light, your contractor will have to be even more careful. Ignitors are very fragile and should never be touched directly, which is why only professionals should handle them.
- Professional Blower Maintenance: Drive Belts and Bearings
Sometimes the drive belt in your blower can crack, which can prevent your furnace from working. A qualified HVAC technician can easily replace a cracked drive belt. If they are particularly efficient, they should be able to accomplish this in a matter of minutes. If your furnace is a bit older, they may also apply a few drops of oil to the bearings in the motor and the blower shaft.
- Time Your Professional Service Calls
It is vital to make sure that you have professional help for your system when you need it. It is smart to call for help during the fall before cold temperatures have a chance to arrive and make a malfunctioning furnace more urgent. Calling in the fall also helps you avoid peak demand prices, and allows you to make sure your system is ready for use before the weather turns cold. For more information, contact Valley Comfort Heating and Air and speak with one of our professionals about how we approach fall furnace repair in Petaluma.