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Common Furnace Problems & How to Solve Them

inside of schaumburg furnace before cleaning and repair

Furnace repair in Schaumburg, IL can be stressful, and you may not be sure what is going on with your furnace. There are various types of problems which can occur in furnaces such as a dirty filter, dirty flame sensor or something a little more involved such as a blower motor, control board or lack of airflow.

Here are some common furnace problems we see, as well as some ideas to help get your furnace up and running again or prevent a breakdown in the future. Of course, if you have a furnace-related question, you can reach out to our Schaumburg furnace service experts today!

Using the Wrong Filter Type

What type of filter should I buy for my furnace? This is a very common question in Schaumburg, IL. There are so many different types of filters in Home Depot, Menard’s, Amazon, Lowes. How do you know which one is right for you? The physical size of your filter (ex 16x25x1, 20x25x4) will always be the same. From there you have different thicknesses of filter, from a thin fiberglass filter all the way up to a 3M MERV 13 allergen filter and everything in between.

The MERV rating is what you’ll look at to see how dense the filter is. The higher the MERV rating is, the smaller the particles / allergens / dust it will catch. Even though a higher MERV rating may sound like the best option because it will help you breathe better air, it does not allow your furnace to breathe the way it was designed to.

Asking your HVAC professional is always best to understand what the highest MERV rating is you can use without damaging your HVAC system. As a quick rule of thumb, we recommend getting a filter that costs around $4-$7 per filter. That is usually a good mix between filtration while still allowing your furnace to breathe properly.

Dirty Flame Sensor

What is a flame sensor? Just like it sounds, the flame sensor’s job is to detect a flame and make sure everything turned on the way it was supposed to. The flame sensor is meant to keep you safe. Over time and hundreds of furnace cycles, it gets buildup of carbon and can no longer detect the flame properly.

Solution: Simply remove the flame sensor and wipe it down with some very light sandpaper or steel wool and you’ll be back up and running.

Weird or Loud Noises

Furnaces make all kinds of noises. There are two motors that turn, on plus the burners. Some of these sounds you have probably become accustomed to, but there are some noises you’ll want listen out for.

If you hear any kind of high-pitched noise, grinding, the furnace turning on and off, etc., these may be early warning signs that a more serious (and more expensive to fix!) issue is on the way.

Another common noise is a loud boom when the furnace first turns on and/or off. This is caused by the ductwork expanding and contracting with the air moving through it. If you have “Duct Boom” there are some economical options to help make that noise go away.

Solution: Call your Schaumburg HVAC expert right away!

Other Signs You Have a Furnace Problem

The issues below also indicate that there is a problem with your furnace and you should call in an expert for a furnace inspection, and likely a furnace repair:

  • Your furnace turns off and on repeatedly
  • Your furnace blows cold air
  • The pilot lights keeps going out
  • Your furnace leaks
  • There’s a bad odor when your furnace is running

Preventing Furnace Problems

The real key to preventing Schaumburg furnace repair is to do maintenance on your furnace once per year. Years ago, furnaces were like older cars; not a lot of bells and whistles on them and made very simply, meaning not a lot to go wrong. Technology is changing faster than ever before and this includes your furnace.

There are so many more electrical components and safeties built into these new furnaces that maintenance is now a must. When On the Mark performs a furnace tune up in Schaumburg, we are looking at many different things and the main checks that we do are on everything electrically, everything mechanically and of course the heart of the furnace – the heat exchanger, which determines if it is safe. At On the Mark, our #1 concern will always be the safety of you and your family.

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