Owning a gas furnace provides several cost-effective benefits in heating your home during the winter months. And with routine maintenance checks, it can last around 15 to 20 years. However, if you encounter any issues with your furnace, they can turn dangerous if left ignored. Some of these problems can include:
Incorrect Gas-to-Air Ratio
Your gas furnace should have the correct mixture of natural gas and oxygen to burn fuel as efficiently as possible. It should also produce little pollution when running at peak conditions. If you find sooty residue in the furnace, it could indicate incomplete combustion, which happens when it’s getting too little oxygen or too much gas.
Of course, safe and efficient combustion still occurs as long as a blue-colored flame is being produced. But if you notice flames with yellow or orange streaks, this could mean incomplete combustion. It’s a problem simply because you waste more gas while the furnace drives up the energy bills. It can also produce higher levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and lead to health problems if it leaks into the air.
Your furnace most likely has a delayed ignition problem if you hear a bang or a boom whenever you start it up. It occurs when the burners are getting gas but something is preventing them from lighting up immediately. The gas builds up instead and creates a small explosion when it finally ignites. This isn’t ideal for your furnace since the gas bursts can put your furnace’s components under unnecessary stress. They may malfunction or break down eventually if not addressed immediately. This particular issue also creates a hazard since the furnace fills up with flammable gas, turning into a flash fire when you manually relight the pilot light.
Cracked or Corroded Heat Exchanger
A heat exchanger functions by heating the air in your furnace. It’s typically a set of coils or tubes in various shapes depending on the unit model and fuel type. The component usually gets extremely hot when fuel combusts inside, then the heat transfers to the air blown over it by the blower motor. After the air gets warm, the blower motor distributes it throughout your home’s ductwork.
Since the heat exchanger warms up and cools down repeatedly, the metal constantly expands and contracts. Over time, this makes the metal brittle, causing it to crack eventually. Improper venting and old age can cause corrosion which also leads to cracks. When damaged, the carbon monoxide exhaust gas can come out of the cracks and compromise your indoor air quality.
Get in Touch With Us
Giving your furnace care and maintenance helps avoid issues that can pose many safety risks. As a trusted HVAC contractor in Northern Virginia, Thomas J. Fannon & Sons offers service agreements that help lengthen the life of your investment. Our thorough inspections also eliminate small problems before they result in an untimely breakdown or malfunction. To learn more, you can reach us at (703) 549-5700 or fill out our contact form. We’re here to keep you comfortable!