Posts Tagged ‘Heating Repair’

Common Furnace Safety Malfunctions

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Gas-powered furnaces have a bit of an unfortunate and unfair reputation as dangerous heating systems. Furnaces did once present numerous hazards, but that was decades ago. Current furnaces come equipped with numerous safety precautions to make them as benign as possible. As long as you maintain your furnace with yearly professional check-ups and prompt repairs, it should pose little danger to you or your family. However, malfunctions can still occur, and you should be aware of what can go wrong.

General Air Conditioning has put together a list of the more common malfunctions that can occur with a furnace that might make it unsafe. Whether it’s an emergency or not, General Air Conditioning can handle all your needs for heating repair in San Antonio, TX.

  • Thermocouple failure: The thermocouple is a device used to detect if the pilot light of a gas furnace is burning. A simple device made of two different pieces of metal joined at one end that increase in voltage as the heat around them rises. Should the pilot light go out, the voltage in the thermocouple will cease, which in turn will shut off the gas valve. This prevents unburned gas from flooding the combustion chamber and creating an explosive hazard. If a thermocouple fails, an HVAC professional will need to replace it to make sure it’s the right type and that it goes in correctly.
  • Cracked heat exchanger: Heat exchangers are metal chambers where the temperature from the combustion gas transfers to the air that blows from the furnace. If corrosion weakens a heat exchanger, it could cause cracks to appear, which will allow exhaust gas to escape: toxic carbon monoxide. Heat exchanger cracks need repairs immediately before more carbon monoxide can get out of the furnace cabinet.
  • Loose front panel door: You should never operate a furnace without its front-panel door securely in place, as this can allow carbon monoxide leaks. This panel can become loose without you knowing it. Many modern furnaces have a special safety switch that will automatically prevent operation if the panel comes loose. If this switch also malfunctions, or if you have an older furnace without this safety precaution, have repairs done immediately.

It’s a smart idea to have carbon monoxide detectors in your house—the gas is colorless and odorless, so it is difficult for humans to detect—that will inform you if there is a leak coming from the furnace. When this happens, shut off the gas to the house and call in an HVAC technician to see what malfunction in the furnace has caused the problem.

Stay safe with help from professionals; don’t try to investigate or fix furnace safety problems on your own. Call General Air Conditioning when you need experienced technicians who will put your safety first. We take pride in our history of heating repair in San Antonio, TX.

Common Winter Heating Problems to Watch For

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

When dealing with winter heating problems in San Antonio, you don’t need to worry about snow or extremely cold temperatures. But just because we enjoy a warm climate throughout much of the year and experience mild, short winters (dropping into the 40s at night is the average “worst” temperature we’ll probably experience), we still need to have reliable heaters in our home for comfort during those cooler stretches. And because we aren’t as used to dealing with trouble from heating as we are from air conditioning, it’s easy to let problems slip past us… until they turn into emergencies.

We’ve put together a short list of common problems you may encounter this winter with your heater. If you require heating repair in San Antonio, TX, contact General Air Conditioning and trust our 15 years of experience providing high quality home comfort.

Insufficient insulation

The insulation in the walls and ceilings of our home form a thermal barrier: it keeps heat outdoors during the summer, and traps heat indoors during the winter. If your home has poor insulation, heat will escape almost as fast as your heater can produce it, and you’ll discover cold rooms throughout your home. Your heater will start to overwork and soon require repairs. Make sure that you have good insulation in your walls and especially in the attic (the place where heat finds the easiest place to get out) before winter arrives.

Struggling heat pump

Heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, but in extremely cold weather they can experience trouble with heating, since they must move ambient heat from outdoors. However, this problem usually only occurs at temperatures below freezing, and San Antonio rarely experiences this. So if you find your heat pump struggling to get you warm, it probably indicates a refrigerant leak, or troubles in the compressor that takes care of the heating process. Call in a professional to find out what is ailing your heat pump.

Poor air flow

Furnaces and heat pumps use forced air to send heat around your home. During the winter, you might start to experience a decrease in the air flow coming from the vents. The usual culprit for this is a clogged air filter. If you didn’t change the air filter after the summer cooling season, it will probably have too much dirt and dust trapped in it to allow for a steady air flow. Change the filter (and remember to change it every month for the rest of the season) and have a technician inspect your heater to see if it has sustained any damage from the excess debris.

When you need repairs, don’t leave the work to inexperienced technicians or amateurs. Hire professionals, like those at General Air Conditioning. We can take care of your San heating repairs so you’ll have a warm, pleasant winter ahead.

Common Heating Repairs in San Antonio

Monday, January 21st, 2013

None of us enjoy having to repair the components of our home. At General Air Conditioning, we have been providing heating repairs in San Antonio for many years. We get heating repair calls for all different types of heating systems and we thought it would be helpful if we put together a short list of some of the most common repairs that we see. If your heating system isn’t working, it’s always best to call your local San Antonio heating contractor. Some problems can be indications of much larger and more dangerous issues.

The Air Filter

If you have a forced air heating system like a furnace or a heat pump, you should always try to remember to change the air filter regularly. The air filter is, by far, the most common culprit of heating repairs in San Antonio, TX. The air filter is often located near the return air duct for your heating system. It keeps dirt and dust from getting inside your heating system. But without regular changing it can get clogged and restrict the flow of air into your heating system. This can cause a bunch of nasty problems including low heat, no heat, overheating, short cycling, heat exchanger cracks and much more.

Strange Heating System Noises in San Antonio, TX

Another common heating repair call that we get is for homes whose heating system is making a strange noise. Here are some of the most common heating system noises in San Antonio.

  • Squealing – This is most common with forced-air systems like heat pumps and furnaces. Normally, this is caused by a fan motor or fab belt that is worn out. This fix is easy and can almost always be done in very little time.
  • Rumbling – If you have an oil boiler, rumbling can indicate unburned fuel left over in the combustion chamber. In furnaces, rumbling can be from the ducts expanding at the hot air or it can be a dirty burner.
  • Rattling – This is one of the most dangerous problems. It can sometimes be caused by a cracked heat exchanger which might mean that carbon monoxide is leaking into your home’s air supply. The heat exchanger is responsible for exhausting all of the harmful and toxic combustion gases.

No Heat or Not Enough Heat in San Antonio, TX

Finally, this is another common heating repair that we do in San Antonio, TX. If your heating system isn’t putting out any heat, it could be caused by a faulty thermostat. It could also be that the pilot is out or that the thermocouple has mistakenly shut off the flow of gas into your furnace or boiler.

If you need any kind of heating repairs in San Antonio, contact General Air Conditioning today!