The days are getting shorter. Fall jackets come down from the attic as a chill arrives in the air. At this moment, the diligent homeowner prepares his or her air conditioner for the elements and revives the furnace from its summer slumber. Though an easy task, a smart homeowner takes a few strategic steps when switching from the air conditioner to the heater.
A seasonal shutdown of the air conditioning is essential in maximizing the life of the unit. You should dry the drainage and clean all parts of the unit. Finally, wrap a protective cover securely around the entire air conditioner to protect it from the winter environment.
An important aspect to firing up the furnace for the first time in the season is to do so when you do not yet need the warmth. You never know when you’ll encounter problems when you first start up your heater, so it’s best to start sooner rather than later.
After you adjust the thermostat upward and flick the switch over to heat, you’ll hear the fan motor turn on and then the click of the ignition as the gas begins to flow. But let’s say 30 seconds later the whole system shuts down, and a few minutes later the process starts anew with the same result. If this happens to you, flame detection is usually the culprit. The safety system allows for only so much time for the gas to be lit and for the system to sense it. No detection results in the system shutting down.
The two main remedies for the above scenario are simple fixes. The first is to verify that gas valve is on. The other is that over the months of inactivity the flame rod may have dust and other sediment on it. A dirty thermocouple will not allow the level of current to be transmitted for detection. A fine grit sandpaper can usually solve this issue.
After a period of inactivity (AKA summer), an unusual smell is common for a furnace. Dust and other particulate matter settles on all the internal parts and as the furnace cycles, these materials are burned off. That’s why ventilation is a good idea during this initial fire up. Open up your windows so the household doesn’t absorb the odor. Again, this is another reason to test early on in the season.
Forethought and planning are essential for a household to function properly. By practicing good maintenance with attention to detail, any homeowner can ensure that their family’s heating and cooling needs are seamlessly met season after season.
Post Author: andyc.