5 Most Common Furnace Problems

You probably don’t give your furnace much thought – until it fails. The good news is that many furnace problems are easy to correct. While it’s advisable to hire a professional when your furnace isn’t working properly, there are some issues that you may even be able to fix yourself.

1. Clogged or Dirty Filters

Issue: Dirty or clogged air filters restrict airflow, causing your furnace to work harder than it needs to, making it less efficient.

Solution: Regularly check and replace filters every one to three months to keep your furnace in good working order and to ensure maximum efficiency.

2. Wear and Tear on Furnace Parts

Issue: Over time, components such as belts, bearings, and motors can wear out, leading to performance issues.
Solution: Schedule regular heating maintenance to catch problems early and avoid a headache later. This will help to replace any worn-out parts to avoid further damage.

3. Pilot or Ignition Control Issues

Issue: Problems with the ignition or pilot light can lead to issues with the furnace’s ability to start or stay running.
Solution: Check and clean the pilot assembly. Keep in mind that if you’re uncomfortable or unsure of how to do this, it’s always best to consult a professional HVAC technician.

4. Malfunctioning Thermostat

Issue: Incorrect thermostat settings, a dead battery, or a faulty thermostat can result in temperature control problems.
Solution: Verify thermostat settings, replace batteries if applicable, and consider recalibrating or replacing the thermostat if issues persist.

5. Lack of Maintenance

Issue: Neglecting regular maintenance and inspections can make your furnace prone to breakdowns and poor performance. You could also see increased energy costs as a result of failing to maintain your furnace.
Solution: Schedule annual maintenance. Annual checkups can prevent over 70% of all furnace repairs as well as improve your system’s efficiency by up to 16% — saving you money! Sign up for our maintenance program and get complimentary systems checks as well as priority scheduling and member discounts.

Choose Larry & Sons for Furnace Repairs in MD, PA, & WV

Remember that furnace issues can have various causes, and proper diagnosis is crucial. If you encounter problems that you’re unsure how to address, or if issues persist after basic troubleshooting, call the highly qualified heating experts at Larry & Sons. Our technicians can handle all aspects of furnace repair, maintenance, and installation.

Call (301) 733-5428 today to request furnace repair services.  

3 Things That Could Cause Your Water Heater to Burst

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, a ruptured water tank is one of the top five causes of residential water damage. These incidents cost an average of $4,444 after the deductible is paid. A ruptured water heater may not be one of your top concerns, but it is actually one of the most common types of system failure. Is your water heater at risk of bursting? Here are three things that could cause your water heater to burst.

Sediment Building Up Over Time

burst water heater

Over time, minerals from hard water build up and settle in the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment insulates the water from the burner or heating element, forcing it to work harder to heat the water. This often results in overheating that can deteriorate the tank.

If your water heater makes a knocking or popping sound, you have a sediment problem. Prevent this issue from draining and flushing the tank annually.

Metal Rust Corrosion

Conventional water heater tanks are made of steel, and steel eventually rusts. While water heaters feature a sacrificial anode rod that helps protect the system from rust, these rods eventually deteriorate. When that happens, the tank starts to rust soon after.

If your hot water has a brownish tint, the tank is likely rusting on the inside. Pay attention to the anode rod, and replace it if it becomes too worn down. Inspect the tank regularly for external rust, and look for small leaks that could indicate pinholes.

Excessive Internal Pressure

If too much pressure builds up inside your water heater, it will eventually burst. Water heaters feature a temperature and pressure relief valve, but over the years, the pressure can still wear down your tank.

If the T&P valve frequently opens or starts leaking, you likely have a pressure problem. Pressure tends to build when the temperature is set too high, so make sure your water heater is only set to 120 – 125 degrees.

New Water Heater Installation in Hagerstown & Frederick

A burst water tank is a plumbing nightmare that no homeowner wants to face. Since most people don’t give their water heaters much thought, though it’s a fairly common problem. If you need a new water heater in Hagerstown, Larry & Sons can help. Contact us today.

What’s Included in a Furnace Maintenance Appointment?

Technician servicing gas furnace

The last thing you need is your furnace going out on you unexpectedly. The best way to avoid this is by scheduling routine maintenance for your heating system.

At Larry & Sons, we understand that maintenance is a vague term, and you may not know what’s included in your tune-up appointment, so our team is sharing all the tasks we complete to help you keep your furnace in good shape!

Benefits of Annual Furnace Maintenance

You should inspect, clean, and service your system at least once a year to:

  • Prevent breakdowns and premature system replacements
  • Keep your system running efficiently
  • Keep repair and utility costs down
  • Ensure you have the reliable heating you need

Gas Furnace Tune-Up Checklist

Your HVAC technician will run a thorough tune-up of your furnace so that you can reap all the benefits of annual heating maintenance. Tasks performed include:

  • Inspecting the heat exchanger surface: This is where the heat is transferred.
  • Inspecting the igniter or pilot light: If your pilot light is flickering, weak, or yellow, your furnace will not produce sufficient heat.
  • Inspecting all burners for proper operation: The burners on your furnace are responsible for creating heat in your system.
  • Inspecting the gas valve: This mechanism controls the volume of gas the furnace needs and uses.
  • Testing and labeling emergency shutoffs: This will ensure proper system safety should you need emergency service for your furnace.
  • Inspecting the draft inducer motor: This motor helps filter the toxins created when burning gas.
  • Inspecting the blower motor: This component forces air past the heat exchanger tubes to heat the air.
  • Inspecting the limit (safety) switch and controls: Just like your emergency shutoffs, this mechanism is designed to be a safety feature on your furnace.

General Heating Maintenance Tasks

While the above list of checks is helpful for gas-powered furnaces, you can apply the following maintenance tasks to a variety of heating systems, not just a furnace!

  • Replace air filters
  • Lubricate pumps, bearings, and fans
  • Inspect and tighten all electrical connections
  • Inspect the thermostat for proper operation
  • Inspect ductwork for leaks
  • Run and test a complete heating cycle
  • Ensure proper airflow
  • Inspect the humidifier and dehumidifier

Schedule Furnace Maintenance With Larry & Sons Today

While you can do a few maintenance tasks yourself, like changing your air filter every few months, it’s best to leave most HVAC maintenance to the professionals.

That’s why we offer the Ultimate Service Agreement. On top of our heating maintenance services, this program includes:

  • Exclusive money-saving coupons
  • Priority service
  • High-performance tune-ups for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems

Ready to learn more? Contact us online or call (301) 733-5428 to join our USA maintenance program and schedule furnace maintenance in our service areas in Maryland, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia.

Advantages of a Ductless Mini-Split System

Do you have one or more areas of your home that never get comfortable? It can be frustrating when you run the air conditioner all day and your office or bedroom just never seems to reach the desired temperature.

ductless mini-split system advantages

Thankfully, there is an easy solution for conditioning areas of the home that don’t get enough from the central unit: a Daikin ductless mini-split unit It is called a ductless mini-split because it can be installed without have to add or connect air ducts.

ductless mini-split air conditioning infographic
source: http://www.salmonplumbing.ca/fujitsu-heat-pump.htm

What is a ductless mini-split system?

A ductless mini split system is an indoor handling unit that is installed in the room you desire and connected to an outdoor condenser unit (much smaller than typical heat pumps) by means of tubing. Refrigerant is passed through the tubing passing heat from one area to another. Rather than having to install conventional ductwork, all that is needed is a 3-inch hole in the outside wall.

You can either install ductless mini-splits to supplement your existing central air unit or completely replace your system them. Using ductless mini-split systems as a supplement will help you to avoid spending a lot of money to resize your current heating and cooling system.

Here are some areas of the home that could benefit from a ductless mini-split unit:

  • Additions
  • Garage
  • Basement
  • Attic
  • Home Office
  • Bedroom
  • Home Without Ductwork

6 Advantages of a Ductless Mini-Split System

Small Size – With a small outdoor compressor and an even smaller wall mount unit, you won’t even notice it’s there. No additional ducts need to be installed, making the ductless mini-split system a very discrete heating and cooling method.

Quiet Operation – Small, ductless units provide whisper-level silence.

Easy to Install – Copper tubing, carrying refrigerant, runs through a small hole in the exterior wall from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. These systems are easier to install since they don’t require ducts that take up a lot of space.

Flexible – You can choose where you want the indoor unit – on the wall, ceiling, or floor. Most ductless mini-split systems can support multiple indoor air handlers, giving you the option to expand later. Each room can have its own remote thermostat control.

Energy Efficient – All ductless mini-split systems meet the minimum efficiency standards for central heat pumps and usually exceed them. Without having to pass air through leaky and inefficient ductwork, your air handler can release the conditioned air right into your living space. This improves energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

Indoor Air Quality – The Daikin Quaternity ductless mini-split unit include air purification and humidity regulators so that your air remains clean and properly humidified.

Click here for more information on Daikin’s Quaternity Ductless Mini-Split Systems.

Larry & Sons offers professional and competitively priced Daikin ductless mini-split installations and maintenance in Hagerstown, MD and the surrounding areas.

Visit our ductless mini-split page for more information on how Larry & Sons can create HVAC zoning for increased comfort and energy efficiency.

Whether you want to supplement your existing heating and cooling system or replace it entirely, give Larry & Sons a call today at (301) 733-5428.

We service Hagerstown, Frederick, and the surrounding Maryland areas. We also service parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.