Heating & Furnace Repair Services in Houston
Thanks to our legendary heat and humidity, Houston residents can be forgiven for giving too little thought to their furnaces and other heating systems. With summers that seem to begin in March and continue well past Halloween, coupled with the mild weather we are treated to in the intervening months, some households could go an entire Houston “winter” without ever turning on the heat!
As a result, the “H” in our HVAC system pays the price for our sub-tropical climate, being neglected in several ways. We rarely use our heating equipment, which sometimes sits idle for a year or more. All the downtime results in motor lubricants drying up, creating more friction when these parts do move, causing your system to work harder to achieve the desired temperature.
Of course, it’s natural that if we’re not using a device, we wouldn’t think that we should still maintain it. Combine lack of use with lack of proper furnace maintenance, and you have a recipe that can leave the homeowner facing extensive heating repair service bills.
Common Furnace and Heating System Issues
So, let’s assume that you’re the type of homeowner I described in the intro to this page. What heating repair issues could you face the next time you fire up your furnace after months –or years—of neglect?
Issues With Mechanical Components
Fortunately, if your heating system is part of a central HVAC system or a mini-split heat pump setup, most of the system’s mechanical components get regular use in air conditioning mode. For standalone furnaces, such as those in older homes that use window AC units, there is the possibility of blower motor issues and the possibility of gas leaks due to corroding fuel lines.
Dirty or Clogged Air Filters
Reduced warm airflow has a few potential causes, but the most frequent is a dirty—or clogged—air filter. Your central HVAC system relies on a single filter to clean the air in your heating and AC systems.
Swapping an air filter is a simple project that a handy homeowner can tackle in 10 minutes, but Nick’s Air Conditioning can take care of this for you if preferred.
Most central HVAC systems connect their blower fan output to a series of flexible ducts that deliver the air to individual rooms through multiple grated vents. Flex duct is designed with a flexible metal core that resembles a Slinky toy with an outer wrap of plastic and foam insulation.
Since flexible ducts are installed primarily in attics and finished walls, care must be taken to avoid contact between the outer surface of the flex duct and any exposed screws, nails, or metal wall studs. A lot of flex duct damage can occur during installation if the technicians aren’t careful.
The only way to determine if your air conditioning ductwork is damaged is to have it checked by a professional HVAC company. By performing pressure tests and looking inside the ductwork with a high-definition video camera, Nick’s Air Conditioning can isolate the source of the air leak and get it repaired the same day.
Furnace is Short-Cycling
Ideally, modern furnace heating cycles operate for much shorter 10 – 15 minute cycles, 2 – 3 times per hour. This reduced downtime for the furnace and its components reduces wear and tear, thus, prolonging the furnace’s life. Longer “off” cycles also allow the HVAC system to use less energy and significantly decrease energy bills when the system is working properly.
There are several reasons a furnace or heating system can short-cycle, from dirty air filters and closed vents to thermostat problems or even issues with the fuel ignition components.
You’ll probably feel short-cycling before you notice that your furnace’s normal operating cycle has changed. A short-cycling furnace will turn off before it has gotten the room up to the set temperature, leaving your family shivering and complaining while you look for extra blankets and the phone number for Nick’s Air Conditioning.
When Does Replacing My Heating System Make More Sense?
All good things must come to an end eventually, and although you may have enjoyed a long, meaningful, home-warming, and trouble-free relationship with your furnace, there comes a time when we have to say ‘farewell.’ In the HVAC industry, that time is anytime when the repair of a current heating appliance will equal or exceed 50% of the cost of a heating system replacement.
Another factor to consider in the repair vs. replacement battle is the age of your heating system. Nick’s Air Conditioning recommends replacement to any customer who is facing a major repair in any HVAC-related appliance older than seven years. HVAC systems have made so many improvements in performance, efficiency and features in the last decade, any system older than seven years is outdated at this point.
What Options are There to Central HVAC for Heating Replacement?
Ductless mini-split heat pumps are a perfect option for any homeowner looking to supplement their current central HVAC system. For those who choose to heat and cool their homes only with mini-split systems, they can eliminate the need for a central HVAC system and have more accurate room-by-room comfort control.
Everybody Needs a Heating System or Furnace Repair Eventually.
Any heating system that is showing any of the symptoms listed above needs to be looked at by a professional HVAC company. Nick’s Air Conditioning is part of a home services company with a four-decade-plus reputation for quality workmanship from professional and prompt technicians who know their trade inside and out.
Are you guilty of furnace neglect? Call Nick’s Air Conditioning today and book an HVAC maintenance service call to get your system running at peak performance and efficiency. Sign up for our annual VIP Maintenance Service Plan and ensure your system’s year-round health.
Have a more serious furnace issue? Our experienced heating repair and furnace installation experts are standing by with the necessary equipment and knowledge to make your family comfortable again.
Call Nick’s Today, We’re on the Way!