Well, it’s that time of year again. Wintertime is closing in and those seemingly never-ending cold days and nights are just around the corner. When the temperature begins to fall outside your home or business, you know it won’t be long before it is going to get cold inside as well. This is the time of year when the condition of your furnace is most important.
Having a heating system in top working condition is important when trying to keep your home nice and cozy throughout the winter months. A good heating unit is important for keeping you and your family healthy and comfortable for the entire winter. But did you know that not having a properly working furnace can cause a variety of different problems in nearly any structure? Some of these problems can even be dangerous to the health of both you and your family members.
Different Types of Furnace
In today’s modern world, there are several different types of furnace used in commercial buildings, houses, condominiums, apartments, mobile homes, and other structures. The most common type of furnace is gas burning, oil burning and electric. There are still some wood-burning heating systems in use, however, these are not as popular in modern structures.
Dangers of a Malfunctioning Furnace
Fuel-burning heating appliances are a fast and effective method for heating your home. Unfortunately, with this efficiency, there are some dangers to consider. This is especially true if your furnace is old or not working properly. Jimmy from gmrmechanical (https://gmrmechanical.net/furnace-repair-nashua-nh/) said that if your heating system uses natural gas, oil, butane or other types of combustible fuel and is not working properly, it can cause your home to become filled with carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can fill the air in any structure in a short amount of time. This can present a serious health risk to you and your family. The real danger comes from the inability to see or smell the poisonous gas being produced. During wintertime, with no open windows to allow the gas to escape it becomes trapped inside the home, quickly creating a dangerous situation.
Care and Maintenance
You should have a routine cleaning and inspection of your heating system every year. This cleaning and inspection should be performed by a qualified technician sometime before the start of the cold winter season. Having a thorough evaluation completed by a trained expert can not only eliminate any dangers from using your heating system but can allow your furnace system to operate much more efficiently. This will in turn save you money with the cost of heating your home. These cost savings can add up significantly over time.
The savings from having your heating system regularly maintained will not only keep you and your family members safe but will help you to save money over the years. Paying to have your furnace serviced each year will keep it running at peak performance and save you money every month. These cost savings can add up over time saving you a bundle on heating costs.
Chimney or Vent Pipe Cleaning
A blocked chimney or vent pipe from your gas, oil or wood-burning furnace is a common repair problem during the winter months. The pipe can become clogged due to a variety of different reasons, however, some of the most common are a buildup of residue from combustion, animals or birds building nests, animals or birds themselves becoming trapped in the vent pipe or leaves and other remains becoming caught inside the pipe. There can also be debris from a rusted vent pipe, a defective or improperly installed top or a chimney that is dirty from slowly decomposing and crumbling. All of these common problems can be fixed by a technician, allowing you to safely use your furnace when necessary.
Except for situations like a crumbling chimney, a blocked vent pipe is a common problem with any heating system that can be quickly fixed without costing you a fortune. Prices can vary somewhat depending on your location or region within the country. For problems like animal nests or remains, debris, leaves or other objects, a simple inspection and removal of the obstruction by a trained professional should cost you somewhere between $100 and $200.
Upon inspection of your chimney or flue, it may be discovered that you have a serious buildup of ashes or other residue adding to the problem of a blocked vent pipe. If a chimney sweep is included you can expect to pay more. A typical inspection and correction of the problem including a chimney sweep, will usually cost around $200 to $300.
If your heating system has been neglected for many years, the price for a chimney or vent pipe cleaning could go much higher depending on the condition of the pipe being cleaned. The cost of having your chimney or vent pipe cleaned that is badly blocked by a buildup of burnt debris, ashes and other residues will likely fall somewhere between $300 and $500. Remember, this can go higher if your heating system is in bad shape from years of not being cleaned.
Blower Motor Repair
Your heating system is only as good as the blower that delivers the heat produced throughout your home or business. If your blower motor is malfunctioning or not working at all, it will have a detrimental effect by allowing the majority of the heat produced by your heating system to be lost either through the flue pipe, into the basement or furnace room itself. Your furnace likely has a safety mechanism or relay circuit that will prevent it from getting hot or igniting and burning without the blower also operating at the same time.
The blower motor on the heating system in your home or business could suddenly stop operating at any time. Sometimes it is the motor itself, but more often it is something simple and less expensive causing the motor to stop working. The blower motor on your heating system could have stopped because of something as basic as a defective electronic switch, malfunctioning capacitor, loose or broken wire, blown a fuse or excessive heat. Simple problems such as these are usually fast and easy for a service technician to fix. Repairs like these will typically cost you around $250 to $350 depending on the exact cause of the motor not working.
Burner/Heating Element Repair or Replacement
Another common problem you might encounter with your heating system is a malfunctioning or defective burner or heating element. If you have a gas or oil-burning heating system it likely uses a special burner or series of burners to produce the flames for heating your home or business. The actual burner could be malfunctioning for a variety of reasons including simply being too dirty, rusty, defective or simply worn out. If you find you need to have the burners maintained or repaired on a gas or oil-burning furnace, you can expect to pay a total of approximately $300-$400.
If your heating system uses an electric heating element, then you might find yourself suddenly without heat if this part of the appliance stops working. It is not uncommon for heating elements to suddenly stop working without warning. Sometimes you might notice a considerable drop in the efficiency of your electric heating appliance which usually means that one or more heating elements are nearing the end of their life-span. For a trained heating and cooling technician to replace the element on your electric heating system, you can expect to pay around $200 to $300.
Cleaning and Filter Replacement
If you find your heating system needs a simple cleaning and filter change, you typically will not pay a large amount. The amount of cost can vary somewhat depending on the condition and the region in which you live. A dirtier heating system will cost more to clean than a well cared for unit. A heating system that has been well maintained and only needs a quick vacuuming and filter change does not cost as much. For a typical cleaning and filter change of your heating unit, you can expect to pay between $75 and $250. It is always money well spent to keep your heating system in good and safe working condition.
Whatever type of heating unit you have in your home or business always remember to have it inspected, cleaned and new filters installed by a certified technician a minimum of one time per year.