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(707) 539-4533 |  Sonoma Napa and Marin Counties

Every winter, homeowners around the country reach for the thermostat to click on their furnace. For some, there’s never an issue season after season. For others, the result isn’t comfortable heat, but the realization that their furnace is not functioning properly. Homeowners in Petaluma should be able to enjoy the convenience of reliable heating. While some malfunctions are inevitable, understanding what causes common issues can help you avoid a furnace repair.

What is the most common repair that heating technicians must carry out in this area? In reality, there is not just one repair that dominates work orders; furnaces are complex machines with lots of different parts, and some issues can crop up across many makes and models. To start, though, there’s an issue that repair people see with such frequency that it merits consideration first.

Air Flow Issues Are the Top Furnace Repair

Furnace Repair Among the most typical issues, restricted air flow is one of the top reasons homeowners request help from a furnace repair service. There are many potential reasons that air flow could face restrictions within the system. The most common, however, is a matter of user error: failing to change the filter. Filters help with both cleaning the air  and keeping your furnace free from dust on the inside

What’s so important about that?

  • Filters allow for a clear airflow into the furnace and prevent unwanted buildups of dust and grime on the interior equipment.
  • A dirty filter is hard to pull air through, forcing the system to work much harder.
  • Filters should be changed approximately once a month during the usage season. Washable filters provide a convenient alternative to disposable products.
  • Homes with smokers and pets may need more frequent changes.

Although airflow problems are among the most common repairs, it is also one of the easiest to avoid.

Malfunctioning Thermostats Are Common, Too

After airflow issues, the next most common repair encountered in and around Petaluma is a broken thermostat. When the screen goes blank or no longer seems to control the furnace unit properly, it can be a cause for immediate concern. It’s especially true when it seems like the issue crops up with no warning. Sometimes, solving the issue can be as simple as checking the batteries on the inside of the thermostat; most are not hard-wired to the electricity supply.

In other cases, though, actual failures may occur. There could be a problem with the connection between the thermostat itself and the furnace, or the unit may simply have reached the end of its usable life. In either scenario, a qualified technician can diagnose the issue quickly to ensure you regain the ability to control your home’s HVAC equipment.

Ignition Problems Can Lead to a Lack of Heat

Going down the list, the next most typical repair concerns combustion issues. Modern furnaces no longer rely on traditional pilot lights and have come a long way in terms of their functionality and reliability. However, electric ignition systems can still experience failure just like any other component. Here’s what you need to know:

  • When a component such as a hot surface igniter fails, your furnace loses its ability to combust the gas entering the chamber. Swapping out the component might temporarily solve the problem, but what happens if it continues to extinguish itself?
  • A failing ignition system indicates there are other issues at play in your furnace, and a professional repair is likely necessary.
  • The good news: furnaces have built-in safeties to ensure that unburnt fuel does not leak into and enter your home, causing a fire and health hazard. However, when you encounter pilot light issues, do seek help from HVAC contractors without delay.

Dust Mites in your HVAC Ducts

Short Cycles Can Indicate Bigger Problems

Finally, one of the other most common furnace repairs seen in Petaluma concerns “short cycling.” In other words, this is when your furnace turns on, runs, and then turns off — only to turn right back on again a few minutes later. The result is not only that your home doesn’t receive the right amount of heating, but also that your unit consumes much more energy without anything to show for the effort. Short cycling is a common issue, but it can have many causes. It could tie in to air flow problems, such as those caused by a dirty filter, or it may be related to other issues found inside the furnace unit itself. Even the thermostat can cause short cycling. A local source for repair assistance can help diagnose the issue and discuss the potential solutions available to you.

Seek Regular Maintenance Before Little Issues Become Big

In many cases, avoiding a furnace repair is as simple as keeping your filters clean and seeking out regular, annual maintenance as a “check-up” on the health of your system. Sometimes, though, wear and tear does lead to an unexpected component failure. When that happens, reputable service is the key to getting your home back to a comfortable temperature in no time. In the meantime, be sure to stay on top of your furnace’s maintenance checklist and watch out for any signs of developing trouble.