Fall is here, and soon enough homeowners throughout our area will be using their heaters on a regular basis. If you are using a forced-air furnace, you should check it to make sure it’s operating as it should, and as efficiently as it should. Of course, this starts by scheduling professional maintenance, so if you haven’t done that already, there’s no time like the present!
A common furnace problem we get Denver heating service calls for is that of a system that’s not blowing air out as powerfully as it should be, or as it used to. This is understandably a very frustrating problem, as it means you won’t be able to get comfortable this winter until it’s fixed. We are the team to call when you do need heating repair, but in the meantime we’ve shared some information below that can help you understand what may be going on with your furnace when it experiences this problem.
This is typically caused by one of two things—something is either preventing the air form moving through your system, or there is a problem with the force pushing the air.
With the former, you’re usually seeing a clog in the filter, a blockage or breach in your ductwork, or disconnected ductwork joints. With the latter, it’s typically a problem with the fan or fan motor. Either way, our technicians can get to the root of the problem quickly.
First off, low airflow means that the time it takes your furnace to warm your home is increased. This means the furnace has to burn more fuel and raise your energy rates to do its job, and the added stress will be felt in individual components in the system too.
It goes beyond that, though. If a blockage is causing the hot air to stay in your system, this elevates the temperature within the system and can cause damage. Most furnaces are equipped with an automatic shutdown feature to prevent this damage from happening, however that still leaves you without a functioning furnace.
And if the blockage is caused by breached ductwork, you’re wasting energy and subsequent money. What happens is the conditioned air that’s meant for your home escapes into other unoccupied spaces where your ducts run, such as your attic or crawlspace. You’re essentially paying for heating that you aren’t receiving.
If a clog is due to a dirty air filter, this is fortunately an easy fix you can do on your own. All it takes is simply changing out or cleaning the air filter. This should be done every 1-3 months depending on the level of contaminants in your home and what kind of air filter it is.
One thing you should not do on your own is try to fix your ductwork. Too many homeowners believe that slapping a little bit of duct tape on broken air ducts is all that’s needed. Unfortunately, duct tape is not aptly named. It may provide an extremely temporary solution to the problem, but the fact is due to the temperature fluctuations of the ducts, this tape becomes very brittle and in a few months or less breaks down. Rather, you should be calling in a pro for duct repair if this ends up being the problem.