Summer Is Ending. Don’t Forget About Furnace Maintenance!

It may be a while before your hats and gloves come out for the winter, but as summer comes to an end, it’s important to start thinking about your furnace service.  Temperatures plummet during fall and winter, and you don’t want to discover a furnace problem when you need it most!

Now is a good time to perform a basic checkup and some standard maintenance to make sure you’ll have heat in the coming months. Give your furnace some TLC now, and you’re less likely to have problems later!

End of Summer Furnace Maintenance

Fall Furnace Maintenance
Replace your furnace filters! Dirty filters can cause premature system failure.
  • Replace your filters. Even if you do nothing else, change your filters. Regular filter changes keep HVAC systems running smoothly. Dirty filters cause the system to work harder, often resulting in premature failure.
  • Make sure your vents are clear. Obstructed supply vents can’t release warm air. Make sure all the vents in your home are unblocked by furniture, drapery, etc.
  • Check blowers and burners. Dust builds up on furnace burners during the summer. Before your furnace kicks on for the first time this season, remove dust and other debris to prevent a potential fire hazard. Also, make sure the burner is rust-free and properly aligned. Oil the blower motor to prevent unwanted noise and keep it running smoothly.
  • Schedule a furnace maintenance checkup. If you aren’t familiar with how your system works, we recommend scheduling a professional HVAC checkup. A technician will go over your furnace and your entire HVAC system to make sure everything is in good working order and make recommendations as needed. Checkups are an important part of maintaining your furnace because they allow professional to detect minor problems before they become major. Check out our maintenance program!

Hagerstown Furnace Maintenance

You might not be ready to see summer come to an end, but cooler days will be here soon. Contact us today for Hagerstown furnace maintenance to ensure that your heating system won’t fail on the first cold day of the season. Call 301-733-5428.

Signs Your Furnace Has a Gas Leak

What’s that nasty smell? If it reminds you of rotten eggs, it could be a gas leak originating from your furnace. While natural gas is odorless on its own, manufacturers are required by law to add a chemical known as mercaptan. This is what gives gas that unmistakable smell.

If you detect the odor of natural gas in your home, get out and call for help immediately. Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and could result in catastrophes like gas furnace explosions. The smell of gas isn’t always the only sign of a gas leak, though. If you notice any of these signs of gas leak, call for help right away.

Signs of a Gas Leak

gas leak signs
Gas meter flickr photo by allenran 917 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell

The chemical that is added to natural gas smells like sulfur or rotten egg. If you notice this uniquely unpleasant aroma, do not ignore it. Even if it isn’t being caused by a gas leak, you could still have a serious problem. Certain electrical issues cause this smell as well.

Hissing Sound

When a leak occurs behind a wall or in a pipe, you may hear it without being able to smell it. When it escapes from the gas line, natural gas makes a distinctive hissing sound. If you hear it, turn off your gas supply, if possible, and call for help.

Dead Patches in your Lawn

Gas lines run underground before entering your home and connecting to your furnace. If there is a spot on your lawn that is dying, you could have an underground gas leak. In addition, if a gas line runs underneath a pond or even a large puddle on your property, persistent bubbling could indicate a leak.

What to Do When You Have a Gas Leak

If you smell or hear a gas leak or if you have another reason to suspect you may have one, vacate the premises immediately. Don’t use anything that could cause a spark – including your cell phone. Wait until you are far away before calling anyone for assistance. If possible, turn off the main gas supply to your home. You may want to contact the fire department or your gas company for fast help in emergency situations. Contact a licensed service company that can respond quickly and repair the damage before disaster strikes.

If you need gas leak repair or heating repair in Hagerstown, Larry & Sons can help. Call 301-733-5428.

Fall Furnace Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your Furnace for Cold Weather

Fall is here, and we have already had some pretty chilly nights here in the Frederick area. Before we know it, we will be cranking up our furnaces to keep the chill at bay. If you haven’t given your heating system much thought since you switched if off last spring, now is the time to check it over and make sure it’s ready for the upcoming months. Here are a few easy fall furnace maintenance tips to help you get your heating system ready for colder weather.

Fall Furnace Maintenance

fall furnace maintenance
Fall Foliage flickr photo by kimberlykv shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
  • Replace your filter. Furnace filters becoming clogged with dust, pet dander, hair and other debris over time. The more blocked the filter is, the harder your heating system has to work to heat your home. If it’s been a while since you last replaced your furnace filter, we recommend changing it before cranking up the heat for the first time this season.
  • Make sure your vents are unobstructed. If heavy drapes, furniture or miscellaneous clutter are blocking your wall or floor vents, airflow may be restricted. Make sure your vents are not blocked to ensure that your furnace can heat your home evenly.
  • Check your thermostat. Older thermostats don’t always work like they should. Sometimes, they fail to correctly read the temperature or keep your furnace running as efficiently as it should. Test yours, and if you find that it is no longer working correctly, consider upgrading to an energy efficient programmable thermostat.
  • Schedule a furnace tune-up. Prevent winter breakdowns with a tune-up. When you have your furnace tuned up by Larry & Sons, your technician will thoroughly examine the system take preventative measures to make sure it is good health.

Winter is an expensive time of year for most homeowners. By tackling some basic heating maintenance, though, you may be able to avoid a costly mid-winter heating repair. With the four fall furnace maintenance tips listed above, you can prepare your system to keep your family warm and comfortable all winter long. For help with furnace maintenance in Hagerstown, contact Larry & Sons today. Call 301-733-5428.

Furnace Won’t Turn On? Try These 6 Steps

Furnace Won't Turn On

The temperatures are steadily decreasing, and before long, you’ll be setting your thermostat to heat and switching your furnace on for the first time this season. Chances are, it will come on without a problem, but what happens if your furnace won’t turn on?

A furnace that won’t turn on is a fairly common problem, and fortunately, it’s often easy to fix. Here are six things to try if your furnace isn’t turning on!

What To Do When Your Furnace Won’t Turn On

  1. Check Your Circuit Breakers: Even if you use a gas or propane furnace, some of the components run on electricity. If your furnace doesn’t switch on, the circuit breaker could be shut off. Check your circuit breaker panel to make sure all switches for your HVAC system are set to “ON.”
  2. Check Your Thermostat: If your furnace isn’t turning on, the thermostat may have lost its programming or reset. It may even simply be set on the wrong setting. For test purposes, set your thermostat about 10 degrees hotter than the current temperature to see if the system turns on. Also, double check to make sure it’s set to “HEAT.”
  3. Check the Drain Pan: Drain pans collect water that has been removed from the air by your HVAC system. When the system is working as it should, the water should be pumped out or drain out automatically. If the pan is full of water, a triggered float switch could be preventing your furnace from turning on. If this is the case, make sure the pan’s drain is clear or that the pump is working properly.
  4. Check Your Air Filter: If you’ve been neglecting your air filter, it could be seriously clogged, and a safety feature may be preventing your system from turning on.
  5. Check the Pilot Light: Many modern furnaces won’t kick on if the pilot light is out. This is a safety feature designed to prevent pumping natural gas or propane into your home.
  6. Check Your Natural Gas or Oil Supply: Lack of fuel could prevent your furnace from turning on. The best way to check your fuel supply is trying another gas appliance in your home, such as your stove. If it doesn’t work either, contact your gas or propane company.

When To Call for Professional Furnace Repair

If you’ve checked everything above and your furnace still won’t turn on or if you can smell gas or propane, you need help from a professional HVAC technician.

For furnace repair in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas, depend on Larry & Sons for fast, affordable help. Call us today!