Preventing Common Furnace Problems

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If your furnace ever stops working in the middle of a Michigan sub-zero cold snap, it’s something you will remember for a very long time. Depending on the situation and how long it lasts, the results can be frozen water pipes and a quick departure for a hotel room. Or if you’re lucky, you can stay at the home of a friend or family member. If it’s a catastrophic breakdown, it could take days for furnace replacement and installation in Holland, MI. and the surrounding area.

Mast Heating and Cooling works hard on furnace repair in Grand Rapids to make sure it doesn’t happen to you, but there are literally hundreds of things that can go wrong. Over the years we’ve come up with this list of common furnace problems:

  • Mechanical wear and tear
    • This covers a lot of areas, but your furnace has a lot of moving parts and all of them are essential for proper operation. Wear and tear affects belts, bearings, fans, and motors. All together it can cause poor heating or air flow problems. The easiest way to limit the damage is with routine maintenance, which includes a thorough cleaning of all surfaces. Dirt is the enemy of all moving parts.
  • Pilot or ignition problems
    • If the ignition system doesn’t work properly or works intermittently, the fuel won’t burn and you won’t get any heat. There are a couple of different types of ignition systems, but they work the same way. When the thermostat tells them to turn on, a spark or heating element ignites the burner. This leads us directly to what might be the most common problem.
  • Thermostat malfunctions
    • It’s the device that controls the entire system. A thermostat problem can result in no heat, intermittent heat, or no fan to move the heated air throughout the house. Generally, there’s not much a homeowner can do to prevent thermostat problems, but our trained Mast technician can inspect and test it during regular maintenance visits.

And yes, there is a recurring theme here. While there are many pieces and parts that can cause a breakdown, the most common reason the parts fail is from lack of maintenance. Right at the top of the list is regular replacement of furnace filters. If you don’t do it yourself, then make sure someone is doing it for you. A dirty or clogged filter restricts air flow. As a result, the furnace has to work harder to keep your home warm. Working harder means more wear and tear, and an increased risk of a breakdown.

And you know all about Murphy’s Law, chances are good that breakdown will happen during the worst cold period of the winter. Don’t take that chance, call Mast Heating and Cooling now to make an appointment for service on your furnace. Better yet, talk with us about joining the Mast Comfort Club, which gives you regular maintenance and a host of other benefits. It’s the best way to make sure we don’t have to do a furnace replacement in your Grand Rapids home.

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