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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Signs That You May be in Need of Furnace Repair

As we enter a new year, the harshest part of winter for many people is still to come. This means it is important that you ensure that your furnace is working properly now so that it does not stop working when you need it most. Many homeowners, however, do not know that signs that can indicate that their furnace is in need of repair. Here are a few of the most common signs that can indicate that you may be in need of furnace repair.

Turning up the Heat Doesn’t Work

A common indicator that your system may be in need of repair is if you are constantly having to turn up the heat. When a furnace is running properly, turning it up a couple of degrees will warm your house up. However, when there is something wrong, such as a faulty thermostat or a problem with the computer module, you may find that no matter how much you turn up the heat you are still not warm. This can be a strong indicator that your furnace needs repairs.

Your Furnace Makes Strange Noises

While furnaces will make a certain amount of noise when running, they should not make an excessive amount of loud, strange noises. If your furnace is making groaning, banging, whining, or clanging noises, then it is likely that some component in your furnace has or is about to fail. It is thusly important to have it repaired before your system stops working altogether.

Your Furnace Has a Hard Time Starting

It is not uncommon for older furnaces to have a hard time getting started. When this happens, homeowners will immediately assume that their furnace needs replacement; however, this is not always the case. It may simply be that the pilot burner, fan motor, or wiring/controls need replacement. Contacting a furnace repair specialist can help you to determine whether your furnace is in need of repair or replacement.

Furnaces need periodic maintenance in order to ensure that they run properly. However, while the signs above can be obvious indicators that your furnace is in need of repair, more subtle signs can also point toward something being wrong. Thusly, it is always advisable that you have your furnace inspected and repaired each winter.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Five Signs That You Need Heat Pump Repair

With winter in full swing in British Columbia, you rely on your heat pump to keep your home warm and everyone inside of it comfortable. Like all types of heating and cooling equipment, heat pumps occasionally need repairs to operate at peak efficiency.

Most heat pumps don't just suddenly stop working one day. Instead, they give clues that something must be fixed. It is important to schedule heat pump repair with Complete Heating and Air Conditioning Services promptly if you notice any of the following:
  • If you are unable to switch the unit from cooling to heating mode, it usually indicates a problem with the reversing valve. 
  • If you stand by your heat registers and don't feel anything coming out, the reversing valve may be stuck, the board may be faulty, or the indoor blower need to be replaced entirely. It could also indicate a problem with your thermostat.
  • When your heating bills are higher than you expected, it could mean that one or more parts of the heat pump needs to replaced, or the refrigerant system may need to be recharged. 
  • Worn out parts cause your heat pump to work harder to achieve the same result. The extra work by your heat pump means a higher heating bill for you. Rather than just accept the higher bills, have a professional HVAC technician look at your heat pump to determine which parts need to be repaired or replaced.
  • It is not normal for your heat pump to make loud or strange noises. If you notice this, call for a repair appointment right away. The noise could be caused by problems with the compressor or a part that has become loose inside of the unit.

Don't Attempt Your Own Repairs

Although it may be tempting to troubleshoot and repair your own heat pump, doing so may do more harm than good. A service technician from Complete Heating and Air Conditioning Services is uniquely qualified to determine what the problem is and fix it on the spot. This minimizes your family's discomfort and ensures that the heat pump lasts as long as possible before you need to replace it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Furnace Repair: Common Problems and Their Solutions

As the weather gets colder, you may notice that your furnace just isn't working right or that it isn't keeping your home quite as warm this year. You might think that you need to call in a furnace repair specialist to take a look. However, there are things you as a homeowner can check before you decide to bring in the professionals.

Check the Thermostat

A dirty thermostat can be the culprit of all kinds of furnace issues because the air in your home cannot reach the temperature sensor in the back of the unit. It can cause your furnace to cycle on-and-off repeatedly, not allow your furnace to shut off, or stop it from coming on at all. Simply cleaning the dust out of your thermostat can save you an expensive service call during the busiest time of the year. It could also save you the embarrassment of knowing it was so simple to fix.

If you have a programmable thermostat, the battery may need to be replaced. This should be done every 12 - 24 months when you change your smoke detector batteries. Furthermore, it's entirely possible that the battery has simply jiggled loose from an accidental bump to the wall. Checking and replacing the battery, if necessary, is often a simple task.

Check the Furnace Filter

The furnace filter is one of the easiest things a homeowner can check and replace if necessary. Although often overlooked, a dirty filter can greatly reduce your furnace's ability to heat your home efficiently. Additionally, a clogged filter will cause your furnace fan to work a lot harder trying to push air through your heat ducts to warm your home.

Some furnace filters are made to be cleaned with a simple vacuuming. However, most are disposable and will need to be replaced. Fortunately, furnace filters are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store. When going to buy a new one, you'll want to remove the old one first and take down the measurements to be sure you get the right size. Generally, they are sold in packs of two or more, so you'll have one handy for next year.

Calling in the Professionals

If you notice other things such as a funny smell, a squealing sound or any other strange noises, it's time to call in the pros. Obviously, if your furnace won't turn on or off and you've already checked the thermostat, you're going to need help from a qualified technician. There is little a homeowner can do to remedy this type of situation safely.

Many people turn on their furnace for the first time during late fall or early winter only to find out it's not working right. Regular, annual maintenance checks can help avoid this. If you haven't done this yet, call a reputable heating company in your area to schedule a visit. That way, you'll eliminate the risk that a small maintenance issue doesn't turn into an expensive, untimely furnace replacement.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Go-to Guide to Water Heaters: Repair or Replace?

When your water heater quits or doesn't seem to produce enough hot water, it can be quite frustrating for the whole family. Rather than scour the Internet for answers about repairing or replacing water heaters, let us help you out with this go-to guide. Here's all you really need to know about common water heater problems and how to handle them.

If your water heater is suddenly not providing you with enough hot water, then the first thing to check is whether the unit is getting power, if electric, or that the gas is not off,  if it is a gas-fired unit. If it's on but not able to heat the water to the right temperature you can check to see if the thermostat has been inadvertently bumped to a lower setting. If it has, this is an easy fix by readjusting the control to a safe temperature.

Be very aware of just how hot you set the thermostat, it can be very dangerous to set it too high. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends setting water heaters to a safe limit of 49°C (120°F). Water heated at anything close to 60°C (140°F) poses a severe scalding hazard, especially to children and the elderly.

Water heaters usually break down because a part inside them stops gets damaged or the tank itself leaks. In addition, water heaters may also quit working effectively if supply lines that connect to them, or the tank itself, is clogged with minerals or rust. Both of these issues require a professional to diagnose properly.

If you are suddenly experiencing low water pressure throughout your home, it's possible that the pressure reducing water valve controlling the pressure from your city supply line has failed. More likely, someone has accidentally moved the handle on the water shut off valve. You can easily check that this valve is completely open yourself. The least problematic and newer valves are the lever type ball valves. You can recognize these by a straight lever instead of a round handle. When fully opened, the handle runs parallel to the pipe.

However, if you are experiencing low pressure only at your hot water faucets, this is likely caused by mineral buildup in the lines coming from the heater. A common cause of mineral buildup in the lines from your water heater is from a faulty anode inside.

The anode protects the inside of the heater and your lines by the process of electrolysis. This is an important part of your water heater which helps it last longer. If the anode rod stops working, it causes decomposition of the interior lining and mineral buildup will start to do damage to your plumbing. So, if the rod has dissolved to the point where it doesn't work properly, it likely has to be replaced by a professional.

Leaks are the most common problem that customers will call a plumber for. You'll usually notice a leak around the bottom of the water heater. This can be due to a crack in the tank whereby a replacement is going to be necessary. Sometimes however, you may not have to replace the entire heater, but calling in a professional will remove all doubt.

Water heaters are not extremely complicated, however, they are essential to the comfort of your family. While some problems may be able to be resolved by the average homeowner, this is not always the case. The best thing to do, in most situations, is to call in a professional to take a look.