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The winter holidays are a time for taking a break from work, catching up with your family and friends, and relaxing while pushing the usual routine aside. Nothing ruins this, however, like the heat suddenly going out, or a house being evacuated because of exposure to a deadly gas. These seven heating and air conditioning repair issues aren’t to be taken lightly, and if you’re a resident of Fort Worth, TX, you may find taking several steps towards maintaining these easy to overlook parts will save you a lot of time and money in the future.
#1: Dirty Air Filters
When a heater experiences constant use over the course of winter, it may pick up a lot of dirt and debris, clogging it and inhibiting air flow throughout the home. IN the case of a forced-air central heating system, this leads increased energy consumption as the air blower becomes over-worked, struggling to supply the entire home with warm air. In extreme cases, the parts in the heater start to fail, and the only solution in this case is to install new parts with the help of a heating and air conditioning repair technician. So remember, Fort Worth, TX residents may find themselves with a huge headache if they forget to change their air filters and clean their heaters responsibly.
#2: Frozen Pipes
With cold snaps occasionally popping up around the country, even the usually mild Fort Worth, TX winters may cause the pipes and coil in hydronic heaters, such as steam radiators to freeze over on an especially chilly night, leaving your house vulnerable to the elements. The immediate solution in this case is to call a heating and air conditioning repair technician, and turn off the water to prevent your pipes from bursting. You can also take the initiative and take preventative measures in the event your pipes start to freeze.
For pipes in crawlspaces, installing installation, and sealing any pipes exposed outside will make it so that your pipes won’t freeze due to lack of use. There are also several home appliances that a heating and air conditioning repair technician could install that heats the pipes automatically, such as heating cables or electronics periodically activate your heater.
#3: Heat Pump Failure
Fort Worth, TX home owners may find having an external heat pump to be convenient until fall rolls around, then cold fronts can cause them to freeze over. Most heat pumps come with anti-frost settings, but if the setting is broken, and the frost isn’t cleared by hand, the heat pump’s coil, and fan won’t work and may be damaged by quickly expanding ice. A heating and air conditioning repair technician can diagnose more specific causes such as a malfunctioning thermostat or sensor preventing the setting from being used, but there are simple maintenance tasks you, the homeowner can perform to prevent more permanent damage to your heat pump.
Checking indoor air vents to make sure they aren’t blocked by new furniture, or anything else that can stop air flow and wear out the fan can make it so that your heat pump isn’t working harder than it has to. Clearing away any sticks or leaves from the exterior unit can prevent the same issue from happening outside. Finally, making sure any gutters over the unit, or other nearby source of water such as automatic sprinklers aren’t making the unit wet will improve the life span of your heat pump. You can also consult a heating and air conditioning repair technician for any problems unique to your property your heat pump may have.
#4: Faulty Pilot Lights
If you own a heater that uses a pilot light, then you’ll know a pilot light that is too weak or just not turning on will lead to uncomfortably cold temperatures. Heating and air conditioning repair technicians have the tools to fix and replace various parts in your heater, including the pilot light, however there are several maintenance tasks you can use to troubleshoot the potential causes for your pilot light going out.
The pilot light can fail to turn on due to soot and dirt accruing from continued use, so make sure to clean the pilot light orifice, and the thermocouple (the sensor that detects whether the flame needs to be on) whenever your heater’s going to be used for extended periods. There can also be a draft from the output duct that simply blows the flame out, this is more common on windy nights, and can be fixed by keeping the air intake in your home open to weaken any drafts. Finally, you can check to make sure the gas regulator in your home is working properly, if the gas meter has gone bad, other appliances such as your stove and dryer could be affected too, and you have to call your utility company.
#5: Carbon Monoxide Leaks
When the winter months start and you find yourself closing windows and blocking up most sources of ventilation, you may find yourself to be the victim of sudden carbon monoxide poisoning due to a sudden leak. While certain appliances can also generate carbon monoxide if used improperly, calling a heating and air conditioning repair technician or the fire department and finding a leak is as important as maintaining your health. You can however prepare for a sudden leak by installing carbon monoxide alarms, and set up yearly inspections to check your furnace for cracked heat exchangers and other parts that may contribute to carbon monoxide accumulation.
Fort Worth, TX is a city where you can enjoy idyllic weather year round, but home owners who neglect heating and air conditioning repair may find the winters and summers harder to deal with.