blogIt’s one thing to know and understand that your furnace won’t last forever. It’s quite another to accept the fact that at some point – and maybe that point is now – it won’t be worth spending even one more dollar to get it fixed.

Of course between “brand new” and “time to replace” is a good long time – on average, about 15 to 20 years. With annual preventative maintenance, you can expect to go most of that time with few if any repair problems. But when furnace problems arise, these are among the most common:

  • Pilot light won’t come on: A pilot can be extinguished from a strong draft or breeze. In such a case, it’s usually a simple task to re-light it. Still, there are other causes, such as a loss of pressure in the gas line or built-up dirt inside the burner assembly.       Even if your furnace has an electric igniter, it can still malfunction and require professional assistance to get your furnace going again.
  • Failed heating elements: If you have an electric-powered furnace, the heat is transmitted by heating elements that contain electric coils. These are prone to wear out and fail over time, but replacing them is usually a simple and fast repair.
  • Cracked heat exchanger: If yours is a gas vs. an electric furnace, then heat is supplied by a heat exchanger. If your furnace isn’t faithfully maintained, cracks can eventually develop inside the heat exchanger. That can lead to the release of toxic gases, which can pose serious health consequences. Luckily, there are telltale signs, like black build-up on furnace components or an unusual pilot flame color. If you notice either of these, shut off power to your furnace and contact us immediately.
  • Broken fan belt: One thing all furnaces have in common is sending warm air through ducts to warm up your surroundings. This process is known as forced air heating, with the air being transmitted by motor-driven fans. Once again, and over time, a fan belt can loosen and eventually cause damage to other furnace components. So if, for example, you hear a loud clacking noise from inside your furnace cabinet, don’t wait for it to go away, because things will only get worse from there.

The moral of our story? Actually, there are two. First, Burton’s highly trained and qualified heating pros can troubleshoot and repair all makes and models of home heating systems, including yours.

But if you’d like to avoid repair problems from ever happening, then the best place to start is with annual system maintenance. Meaning that if it’s been a year or more since your furnace was last professionally cleaned and checked, please contact Burton today to schedule service.