Westland Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Furnace’

Safety Mechanisms on Furnaces

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Gas-powered furnaces once had a reputation as potentially dangerous installations because of the threat of carbon monoxide leaks and explosions. However, contemporary natural gas furnaces are much safer than older models, and as long as you make certain that your home’s furnace receives regular maintenance check-ups and prompt repair work, you shouldn’t expect to encounter serious dangers from it. Always leave repair work to HVAC professionals who are experienced with how the different models of furnaces operate. You can count on the NATE-certified technicians at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning to help you whenever you require repairs or maintenance for your furnace in Avon, OH.

Today’s furnaces have a number of safety mechanisms, which differ from model to model. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • Thermocouple: Standing pilot lights are only used now on water heaters, but if you still have an older furnace with a standing pilot, its main safety device is a component called a thermocouple. This pair of metallic strips detects the heat from the pilot light and sends a current to keep open the gas valve to the burners as long as it stays lit. Should the pilot light go out, the thermocouple closes the valve, preventing unburned combustion gas from flooding the chamber.
  • Electric flame sensor: Since standing pilot lights are now rare, electric flame sensors are used to determine if a heat source exists to burn the gas when it enters the burner. Computerized controls only ignite the gas when necessary, making newer furnaces far safer than older units.
  • Limit switch: The limit switch is located on the plenum inside the furnace and detects when the furnace’s temperature rises too high. When the temperature exceeds the limit switch’s upper level, it shuts off the gas and turns on a blower fan to reduce the temperature. When the temperature drops down to safe levels again, the limit switch permits the burner to come back on.
  • Solid state circuitry: Should the temperature in a furnace continue to rise due to constant overheating, the circuitry will shut off the entire system.

Modern furnaces have more safety controls then ever: some may have four different mechanisms. Although this makes furnaces safer, it also makes it even more important that you only allow experienced professionals to handle any repairs for the system. Technicians must be familiar with all the different controls in a furnace so they can determine why the furnace malfunctioned, and later restore the safety mechanisms to working order.

At Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, our heating repair and maintenance technicians are experienced and certified to see that you receive the best care possible for your furnace in Avon, OH. To keep your home warm and safe, rely on our services. Give us a call today.

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Are There Any Furnace Repairs I Can Do on My Own?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Doing home repairs yourself can seem like a good idea, but the truth is that, unless you are an expert at a chosen task, you may do more harm than good. Case in point: furnace repairs. Furnaces are complex combustion systems that are not for novices to work on. Choosing to repair your own furnace in Westlake may actually make your problems worse and potentially compromise your safety – two things that are definitely not worth risking. But there are other reasons to consider hiring an expert from Westland Heating and Air Conditioning to repair your furnace system.

  • Specialized tools – there are a few reasons why a trained technician arrives with a company van; one of these reasons is because all of the tools he/she needs are inside it. There are a number of specialized tools needed to work on heating systems, and unless you have all of them, as a technician will, it may be challenging to correctly repair your furnace.
  • Time is money – trained professionals do repair work every day. As such, they are both effective and fast at what they do. A trained professional doesn’t have to figure out things every step of the way – he/she knows the layout of the furnace and what to look for – do you?
  • Mistakes cost money – furnaces are complex systems with many components. Making a mistake with one can lead to a variety of problems that you may not be able to fix. As a homeowner, you have to weigh your ability to truly fix something against the possibility that you could make it worse and potentially more expensive to repair.
  • You may find bigger problems – it isn’t unusual to find other, more serious problems once you start investigating the initial problem. Do you have the expertise to correctly repair the other problem(s) you are discovering?

DIY is a nice idea – for those with the knowledge and expertise to truly perform repairs as needed. For most people, the best decision is to hire a trained professional. If you experience problems with your furnace in Westlake, call Westland Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule a service appointment with one of our specialists.

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The Best Ways to Protect Your Furnace This Summer

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Spring is here, and with it, the cold temperatures that make your heater a daily necessity as slowly giving way to blue skies and warm days. That means your furnace probably won’t see much use between now and next fall. Here in Avon, furnace use will drop off considerably in the next few weeks until the time comes to put your air conditioning system on the same rigorous schedule that your furnace was once. Even though your heater is going into mothballs for a few months, however, you want it to perform at its best when you have need of it again next fall. Here’s a general guideline on the best ways to protect your furnace this summer.

It starts with a routine furnace maintenance session from a qualified technician. He or she can clean dirty parts, tighten loose components, unclog burners that may be choked with detritus and perform a thorough inspection designed to spot any potential problems that may still be in the development stages. If he or she notices one, you can then plan for a repair session at your leisure. Because you won’t be needing the heater for a time, you have a lot of flexibility and can fit the repair session into your schedule without worrying about the timing. (Contrast this with scheduling a session during the winter, when time is a factor and you need it to run ASAP.)

You can further protect your furnace by running it every few weeks during the summer, for at least 15 minutes or more, and checking for any signs of problems. (Ideally, you can do it at night when things are cooler.) Again, that gives you a jump on any lingering issues, and lets you take care of it before you have need of your heater.

If you know the best ways to protect your furnace this summer, the next step is to contact Westland Heating and Air Conditioning to help you out. Furnace maintenance and other heating system services in Avon are a regular part of our service, and we’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction at every step of the way. Give us a call today to set up an appointment.

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Noises Your Furnace Should Not Be Making

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Your furnace is an important part of your household, providing reliable heat and comfort during the cold months of winter. In towns like Westlake, furnace technology is the best line of defense against Ohio’s notoriously bad winter weather. Whether it’s a traditional gas furnace, a boiler, or an alternative form of heating such as a heat pump or a radiant system, your heating system needs to function when you need it to. Part of that equation means spotting signs of trouble before they get out of hand. Noises, in particular, are a harbinger of problems, and if you hear any odd sounds from your heater, you should shut it off and call in a repair service immediately.

Here’s a brief list of noises your furnace should not be making.

  • Grinding noises. This usually indicates metal parts, such as the fan, grinding against other parts: increasing friction and enhancing the chances of a motor overload.
  • Booming noises; especially when the furnace starts up. This might mean a problem with the burners releasing too much gas, or a similar issue.
  • Rattling noises. Rattling noises could mean a loose bolt or other object in the heater itself, or a fan motor or similar component that is loose in its housings and vibrating as it works.
  • Groaning noises. Groaning noises sometimes arise on a cold day when you first start your furnace up. The cold metal of the ducts can sometimes stretch a bit when the warm air hits it. On the other hand, it could indicate a component under considerable stress, and in any case probably merits the attention of a service professional.
  • Clunking noise. A clunking sound could indicate a fan blade that is out of alignment, or a cracked fan belt which is thumping in its rotation.

In general, any noise you’re not accustomed to hearing is probably a noise your furnace should not be making. Furnace repair in Westlake can be handled by the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. If you’re having a problem with your heating system, then don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call!

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How Can I Tell if My Furnace Needs Professional Repair?

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

There are few better ways to make it through a cold winter in Avon, OH than a furnace. These old warhorses of the HVAC world continue to prove their usefulness each year with dependable and effective warmth. Continual advances in heating technology keep furnaces up-to-date and competitive with other heating systems. The furnace in your home should give you many years of comfort with few issues, as long as you make sure it receives regular maintenance and prompt repairs. If you think your furnace requires professional attention, don’t hesitate: call in trained professionals, like those at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, to have the problem looked at right away.

But how can you know that your Avon furnace needs professional repair?

Here are 4 signs to watch (and listen) for:

1. Strange sounds from the furnace cabinet

Furnaces contain numerous mechanical parts, and malfunctions in moving parts often create obtrusive noises that indicate something is awry. Clicking sounds can mean trouble with the pilot light or the ignition; booming sounds come from dirt over the burner; rattling may mean loose pieces in the motors. Have a professional investigate to find the source of the noise and a method to fix it before the problem becomes worse.

2. An unexpected increase in energy bills

You will expect to see your energy bills climb during the winter, but if you notice a spike that can’t be accounted for, then it may indicate a malfunctioning part that is making the furnace work harder than it should.

3. Low air flow from the vents

If you feel the air coming from the vents into the rooms is much weaker than it used to be, it might mean trouble with the blower motor fans. Another culprit is leaks in the ductwork causing a loss of air pressure.

4. Odd smells from the vents

If the air coming from the vents develops a musty or acrid odor, it could point to a number of problems. Excessive dust along the burners, a motor overheating, or gaps in the ducts drawing air from a musty attic or crawlspace… all of these are serious issues that require professional attention.

Furnaces are intricate machines that require work from technicians with special training and tools to safely repair. Do not open the furnace cabinet yourself and attempt to troubleshoot when you think there is a problem. This will put both you and your furnace at risk. Rely on the NATE-certified technicians at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning to take care of your furnace in Avon, OH. We also offer an Ultimate Service Agreement Plan that delivers a yearly maintenance visit for your furnace, plus a 5-year guarantee on all repairs performed, and many other benefits.

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North Ridgeville, OH Heating Guide: Why Buy a Trane Furnace?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Investing in a new home heating system is a big step. You need to do the necessary research and speak to trained professionals to ensure that you are purchasing the right heating equipment for your North Ridgeville, OH home. If you are in the market for a new furnace, Westland Heating and Air Conditioning would like to recommend that you consider purchasing a Trane furnace for installation in your home. Trane has made a name for itself over the decades that it has been an industry leader. Westland Heating and Air Conditioning is confident that a Trane furnace installed by one of our expert technicians will exceed your home heating expectations.

One of the main reasons that you may want to consider a Trane furnace installation is how efficient Trane products are. The more efficient your home heating system is, the less money it will cost to keep your home comfortable. A Trane XC95m variable speed furnace boasts up to 95% AFUE. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. What this number means is that the Trane XC95m furnace will successfully convert 95% of the fuel it uses into energy to heat your home. That amazing home heating efficiency is just one reason to consider a Trane furnace installation.

Another reason that a Trane furnace may be right for you is simply the quality of the heating service that they provided. A variable speed fan motor allows your furnace to better regulate the way in which your home is heated. With the incorporation of a Trane CleanEffects package you can heat your home efficiently and effectively while also improving indoor air quality. If you had the opportunity to keep your home comfortable and to breathe cleaner, healthier air at the same time, why wouldn’t you?

With a professional installation and the exceptional maintenance and repair services offered by Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, you can enjoy a great performance from your Trane furnace for years to come. Isn’t it time you got more heating power for your money in North Ridgeville, OH? Westland Heating and Air Conditioning and Trane can help you do just that.

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Thinking About Upgrading to High Efficiency HVAC Equipment?

Friday, September 7th, 2012

There are many reasons to consider upgrading to high efficiency HVAC equipment. Newer high efficiency systems increase the effectiveness of your system, decrease your overall energy cost, and may be a required by the government in the future!

Furnace Efficiency | Westlake| Westland Heating and Air ConditioningThe Department of Energy released new regional standards for HVAC equipment to take effect between May 2013 and January 2015. Once this ruling goes into effect, “In the North region, most furnaces will be required to have an AFUE of 90 percent or more”. The rule also sets requirements for standby mode and off mode for residential furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps. The DOE splits these requirments into three regions (Northern, Southeastern and Southwestern).

So if you are considering upgrading your replacing your HVAC equipment in the near future, we advise choosing a model that complies with the new DOE regional standards. Even though there has been little information on how they plan to implement and enforce this ruling, there are so many great reasons to chose a high efficiency furnace or air conditioning system. Contact the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning today to find out what your best heating and cooling options are. We can help you find the best systems for your home, that will bring you efficient home heating and cooling for years to come.

At Westland we provide top quality heating, air conditioning, air filtration, water heater and commercial HVAC services in Westlake, Avon and throughout the surrounding areas.

 

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