With autumn rolling by, there’s no doubt that winter will creep up on us when we least expect it. Perhaps you enjoy winter – tobogganing, building a snowman with your kids, skiing and snowboarding – but we can all agree that nothing beats coming inside to a well heated home after some time in the snow. What if your furnace stops working altogether? Before you panic and start putting on your snow pants & scarf and gathering wood for a fire in your living room, there is a bit of troubleshooting you can do. More often than not, furnaces can stop working for something as simple as a switch in the off position, and for simple problems – there are simple solutions.
1) Locate both the power switch and the breaker to ensure they are on. A breaker that has been tripped will be toggled in between the on and the off position. The power switch generally looks like your everyday household light switch but is usually mounted higher, so locate that as well and ensure it is in the on position.
2) Check to see if your furnace’s filter is clogged. A clogged filter in your furnace will not only limit air flow, but can cause your unit to overheat and shut down. It is highly recommended that you change your filter every 1-3 months, just to be on the safe side.
3) Make sure there’s no snow blocking the exhaust or intake vents outside. While the heat of the exhaust from the vent often melts the snow and ice in its immediate area, a buildup of snow around the venting can cause safety controls to shut down the unit.
4) Often times, a lack of heating can be caused by an incorrect setting on your thermostat. Check your thermostat for the following things:
- Is your thermostat set to “heat?”
- Have you set the temperature at least 5 degrees above your set room temperature?
- Do you have an electric thermostat? If so, it may be as simple as changing the batteries.
Hopefully by now, you will have figured out the issue and regained the heat and comfort of your home. If these troubleshooting methods didn’t work, then it’s time to give Affordable Comfort Heating and Cooling a call at (705) 503-HEAT (4328) for our Barrie office, and (705) 352-COOL (2665) for our Wasaga Beach location.
Don’t overcrowd your furnace, you want to make sure you can access the air filters regularly for cleaning or replacing, as well as access to the coil so you can have someone clean it every couple of years.
ECM motors are used in all Variable Speed Furnaces. Keep an eye out for these while shopping around for a new furnace.
ECM motors have more turn down ratios allowing for more flexibility in temperature control.
ECM stands for Electronically Commutated Motor, a motor technology that is programmable and brushless that uses a magnet rotor and inverter.
Older Furnaces run at about 60-70% efficiency, mid efficient furnaces run at about 80% while new high efficiency furnaces run up to 92-97%!
A new furnace is an investment into your home and family. A lot of thought goes into a purchase like this and it is not always considered an emergency. A lot of people wait until their current furnace no longer works before looking at getting a new one. But there are so many other incentives to purchase a new furnace for your home.
Here are a few reasons you may wish to replace your existing furnace:
- Old furnace repairs- as a furnace gets older, expensive repairs can sometimes outweigh the cost of a new furnace.
- Efficiency – Older furnaces run at about 50%-60% even mid-efficiency units only run around 80%, but with today’s technology you can get high efficiency units that get up to 97%
- Make space – Older units can take up a lot of space in your furnace and hot water tank area. You can now get lots of compact units to replace your existing ones and often add some extra storage space in that basement.
- Gas, Oil or Electric – Switching from Oil or Electric to Natural Gas will save you money, is safer on the environment and you no longer will have to call someone to refill your old oil tank.
- Upgrade – When talking about efficiency, you also will want to keep in mind that switching from a single stage to a 2-stage or modulating furnace will lower your gas consumption. Switching from a belt or PSC blower motor to a high efficient ECM motor will save you hundreds a year and deliver a more comfortable in home atmosphere.
- Warranty – Most of the new furnace warranties are now 10 years conditional unit replacement so if you have issues with your heat exchanger, they will replace your whole furnace.
Now that you have taken some time to read over these points, are you ready for a new furnace? Talk to us about what you would like to get out of your new furnace and we will happily help you achieve your goals.