Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating Repair’

Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Gas-BurnerHave you ever turned on your furnace for the first time of the season, and smelled something burning? A lot of people do, and they think that something is actually wrong with their furnace. Not to worry, though. That’s typically nothing to worry about. Most of the time, that’s actually the smell of the dust particles that have built up in the furnace over the year burning away as the system starts up. After a few hours of operation, that smell should go away. However, there are plenty of other symptoms of furnace issues that you absolutely should take seriously. Read on to find out more about these signs.

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Why Schedule Heating Repair Services Now

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

We’re coming to the end of another winter, and while no one cries too hard for us here in sunny So Cal, we’ve still had our share of cold nights. Area furnaces and heaters have seen regular use, and with the weather growing warm again, that use is dropping as we focus on our air conditioners instead. Ironically, that makes the best possible time to plan for heating repair service from a trained professional. Here in Laguna Hills, CA, heating systems can be repaired by the same companies, but why should you schedule heating repair services now? In short, because there is no better time.

Not every problem with your heater announces itself with a full-bore breakdown. In many cases,  the problem simply leaches energy from your system. It still runs, but it costs you more in monthly costs than it should and increases wear and tear on the system overall. Not only are you paying more every month than you need to, but the chances of a more serious repair issue increase every  day the initial problem goes unsolved. You might not be able to fix it during the winter, when the eater may see use every day, but with temperatures rising, your unit can afford to be out of action for a day or so in order to handle it.

In addition, that reduced need gives you the flexibility to schedule repairs at your leisure instead of scrambling to react to an immediate problem. We all lead busy lives and increased flexibility can be a boon when juggling your schedule. The spring is the best time to make these plans, before the needs of your air conditioner take center stage.

If you know why you should schedule heating repair services now, the next step is to call the experts at Saddleback Plumbing to help. We professionally handle heating system repairs in Laguna Hills with the same high levels of quality that you’ve come to expect. Give us a call today to set up an appointment and let us show you what we can do!

 

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What Is the Difference Between a Hydronic Baseboard and Radiant Floor Heating?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

In matters of heating repair, Mission Viejo CA residents often need more specialized attention than a general HVAC technician can provide. In particular, a house with a radiant heating system needs someone experienced to make the proper diagnosis and repairs. Radiant heating systems utilize more than one type of format, most notably hydronic baseboard heating. What’s the difference between a hydronic baseboard and radiant floor heating? The answers can show you why the right service technician is key.

When we talk about radiant floor heating, we usually mean heating where the system is built directly into the floors. The technician removes your floorboards and installs the radiant heating system beneath them, usually coils or tubes full of liquid held in place with heat-conducting tiles. He or she then re-installs the floorboards, returning your room to its previous appearance. The radiant system sends heat up directly through the floorboards into your furnishings (or feet), warming the room evenly without any breezes or drafts.

Hydronic baseboard heating systems use a similar principle but different execution. They run a series of baseboards along the walls by the floor. A boiler heats up water and sends it through pipes located in the baseboards, which pull cool air in from your room and heat it by passing it over the hot pipes. The hot air then moves back into your room to heat the area. Like radiant floor heating, they don’t rely on forced air, which means that cold spots and the like are kept to a minimum. They don’t require ductwork and they don’t circulate dust through your home. They also take less to install than radiant floor systems, and aren’t as disruptive since you don’t need to tear up the whole floor.

Knowing the difference between a hydronic baseboard and radiant floor heating is the first step. The next is determining a knowledgeable source for installation and repairs. When it comes to heating repair services in Mission Viejo, CA, residents can turn to Saddleback Plumbing for help. We understand these kinds of heating systems, and our experts can handle both installing and maintaining the right system for you. Call us today to set up an appointment!

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Steer Clear of These Common Heating Repairs with Regular Maintenance

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

If you haven’t already enrolled in a professional heating maintenance plan, then do not hesitate to do so. The late summer and fall months are the best times to have your heater inspected, cleaned and adjusted so that you can be confident in its performance and efficiency throughout the winter. While residents enjoy excellent temperature in the Orange County, a cold wave can quickly make your home uncomfortable if you are unprepared. To put it simply, heaters break down more often when they are not maintained, although some problems are simply inevitable. Let the expert Laguna Hills heating repair technicians at Saddleback Plumbing take care of your heater so that it works well all heating season long.

  • Damaged motor bearings. Your blower motor is one of the most important components of your heater if you own a forced-air distribution system. It pulls your indoor air through the various ductwork and sends it through the heat exchanger or coils to be heated. It is then returned to your home. Debris can present a challenge to mechanical components like your motor bearings, however. When dust and dirt get inside the internal components of your HVAC system, it can lead to serious damage in the long-term.
  • Clogged air filter. If you have a heater, then you need to ensure that its air filter is kept clean at all times. There is simply no other way for your heater to perform effectively and efficiently. A clogged air filter can lead to various problems throughout the rest of the heating system. It can increase your energy bills and contribute to overall system general wear and tear.
  • Dirty coils. If you own a heat pump, then you need to keep your coils clean. That includes both the condenser and evaporator coils. Both are responsible for absorbing and dissipating heat so that the entire system functions efficiently. But over time, your coils can accumulate a serious amount of debris, and this can effect your ability to stay comfortable during the winter.

With routine maintenance, you can prevent many unnecessary repairs. But sometimes, such problems cannot be prevented. In that case, you need the expertise and quality workmanship of the team at Saddleback Plumbing. We can take care of your Laguna Hills heating service needs.

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Heating Repairs Caused by Electrical Failures

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

When it comes to heating repairs, Irvine CA has it comparatively easy. Our Southern California weather is warm and mild, and air conditioning systems usually play a much larger role in our household comfort than heating. But winter nights can still get chilly, and it’s nice to have a functioning heater to warm things up when temperatures drop. Heating repairs caused by electrical failures are not uncommon out here, and while you may be tempted to let them wait, moving promptly on them will ensure that you don’t need to suffer through an uncomfortably cold house.

Don’t Be A Victim of An Electrical Failure!

In some cases, electrical failures stem from the wiring connecting your heater to the circuit box distributing power to your entire house. Frayed wiring or a bad connector can interrupt power to your heating unit, requiring an electrician’s attention to get fixed. Electrical power can also be cut off if one of more components in your heater is overloaded. Motors running the fans and other key components may suffer an internal breakdown. Many of them have automatic shut-off switches designed to keep the heater from turning on if they overload. This not only alerts you to the problem, but prevents other components from suffering damage if the heater keeps running.

In many cases, routine maintenance can prevent the need for electrical repairs. A qualified technician can replace faulty components and re-test connectors to make sure they’re working properly. A maintenance session can also clean dirty components, reducing wear and tear and lowering the possibility of a component overload.

If repairs are needed, the technician needs to know where to look to find the faulty component, He can then replace it while leaving the rest of the system intact, reducing the cost of repairs while still ensuring that the issue is resolved.

If you electrical failures ruined your system, call on the Irvine heating repair experts at Saddleback Plumbing. We have experts who specify in heating repair, and Irvine, CA lies in the heart of our service area. We also pride ourselves on absolute customer satisfaction. Contact us today to set up an appointment, and let us handle the issue for you!

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Heating Tip 1: Are Your Gas Pipes in Good Shape?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Natural gas is a popular fuel choice for home heating and cooking. It is affordable, dependable and in large part domestically produced. It is also very safe, generally speaking. It is important that you as a property owner ensure that your gas pipes are in good, safe working condition. In order to do so there are some steps that you will need to take and some warning signs that you should keep an eye out for. Here is some information from Saddleback Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to keep your Irvine home safe and comfortable when using natural gas.

The first step towards ensuring that your gas pipes are in good shape is to be sure that the installation process is handled only by a qualified profession. If you are having a gas piping system installed for the first time or are scheduling repiping service you need to do your research. Look at testimonials and read online reviews, as well as asking contractors for references directly. Your gas pipes are too important a component of your home plumbing system to take any chances with. Call Saddleback today to learn more about gas pipe installation or to schedule service.

If you already have a gas piping system in your home you need to know what to look for in terms of trouble. While a gas leak may not cause as obvious problems as a leak in your water lines there are plenty of indicators that will tell you your gas pipes are compromised. Because natural gas is colorless and odorless an odor is added to help you identify a leak. This is where the rotten egg smell that so many associate with natural gas comes from. Any unusual sounds from your gas equipment may also indicate a gas leak so it is important that these irregularities are assessed by a professional.

There are also buried gas lines outside that allow natural gas to be piped into your Irvine home. If you see any dirt being blown into the air around this buried pipe or notice bubbling when the ground is wet this gas line may be leaking. Keep an eye out for dead vegetation in the vicinity as well.

When properly used and with a high-quality gas piping system natural gas is a perfectly safe, convenient fuel source. If you have any concerns about the condition that your gas pipes are in call the gas piping experts at Saddleback Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today. We can help ensure that your home is as safe as it is comfortable with our gas piping installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services.

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A Question from Brea: Why Does My Furnace’s Pilot Light Keep Going Off?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

If you have an older furnace with a gas pilot light and it keeps going out, heating your Brea home can become a frustrating process. Not only are you forced to trudge downstairs to light it every time you need heat, but you’re probably starting to worry that there is something wrong – either with your furnace or with your gas supply. Here are some possible reasons for your pilot light shutting off and what you can do about them.

  • Thermocouple – The thermocouple is used to generate electricity from the gas being burned by the pilot light to power the sensor that keeps the pilot light running. So, if the thermocouple goes bad or gets blocked in some way, the sensor won’t work properly and your pilot light won’t remain lit. Even a small problem with the thermocouple can lead to the valve closing and the pilot light going out.
  • Gas Pressure – If the gas pressure going to your furnace is too low, due to a leak, pipe problem or another appliance, the pilot light may not have enough gas to stay lit. While it is possible that the problem is not related to gas pressure, anything that affects the flow of gas into your home should be inspected by a professional. If you smell gas, leave the house and call your gas company immediately.
  • Mercury Sensor – The sensor in your pilot light that maintains the flow of gas to keep it lit can go bad. Keep in mind that these sensors almost always used to contain mercury (and often still do), so you should be careful with them. It’s best to call a professional who can replace and dispose of it properly.
  • Dirty Burners – Excess dust, lint, rust or sulfur build up can result in blockage of the burner holes. When this happens, gas will flood into the chamber but not light right away. When it does finally light, it will create a small boom or banging sound that will often put out the pilot light. Not only is this inconvenient, it is very dangerous. Fortunately, it can be avoided with annual cleanings of your furnace.

The best way to keep your pilot light lit at all times is to have someone inspect it once a year. If something happens in between, you can usually rule out cleanliness issues and call in a Brea HVAC contractor to check the thermocouple and sensor.

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Heating Tip 4: How to Check a Gas Furnace Draft Pressure Switch

Monday, December 12th, 2011

There are many reasons why a furnace stops working and in many cases, a Woodbridge homeowner can perform some simple diagnostics to pinpoint the problem. Finding the problem is one thing – fixing it is another. When in doubt, don’t try it yourself. Call a heating contractor.

But let’s look at one possible problem and solution you may be able to perform yourself – testing the draft pressure switch. The draft pressure switch on a gas furnace allows an electrical current to pass through to ignite the furnace. The pressure switch monitors the draft conditions and won’t allow the furnace’s gas valve to open unless draft is correct.

If the switch is malfunctioning, so too will (or will not) the furnace.

The best way to locate the switch is by consulting with your owner’s manual or by going online and simply typing in the words “gas furnace draft switch.” It is identifiable by its round size and is bolted to the outside of the furnace. It should be nearby the draft inducer motor because the two are connected by a metal tube. The tube may sometimes be the culprit, too. A tube that is blocked with condensation may cause the switch to go bad.

To check for proper function, first turn off power to the furnace, either by shutting down the ‘on’ switch at the furnace or shutting off the circuit breaker.

Use a volt ohm meter to check if the switch is opening and closing properly. Start by zeroing out the meter’s probes by touching the tips together. Using the dial (could be analog or digital), set the meter to 24 volts. Ground the black probe by attaching it to any metal part of the furnace. Then place the end of the red probe on the metal tube connecting the draft pressure switch to the draft inducer motor.

If the switch is working properly the meter should read at least 24 volts, or very near that. If the reading is short of 24 volts, the switch is not working correctly. At that point you may decide to replace it or call a professional to do the task (recommended).

Always remember that there are many sources which will help you diagnose and repair a problem, especially those available through the Internet. If you search YouTube.com you will find many videos advising you on how to repair certain components. Use all of the resources available to you and keep the phone number of a qualified and professional heating and cooling contractor nearby.

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Why is My Furnace Turning On and Off? A Question from Laguna Beach

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

One of the most annoying things your furnace can do is to constantly keep turning on and off. This on-off cycling keeps your Laguna Beach home from heating up properly. This action – called short cycling – also requires more electricity and drives up utility bills.

Short cycling is caused by an overheated furnace, which triggers safety mechanisms and shuts down the furnace. After a brief interval and cooling down, the furnace starts up again the cycle keeps repeating itself. Not only is it an annoyance, it can also signal more serious problems. A leaking heat exchanger can cause a furnace to overheat – and produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.

If a furnace is working too hard and overheating, it is usually because of airflow in and out. Your home’s ventilation system needs to be clear of dirt, dust, and debris. The more blockage in your ductwork and vents, the more friction is created, slowing down airflow and ultimately ending with an overworked furnace that continues to cycle on and off. And a blocked exhaust vent, such as a chimney or dedicated exhaust vent, can also cause a furnace to work harder. Check for things like leaves or bird’s nests.

The blockage may also be coming from a clogged furnace filter. You should clean or replace your furnace filter after a visual inspection reveals any type of build-up of dust or dirt. Do this at least every three-six months.

If you have a two-speed fan on your furnace, it is recommended that you run the fan in low speed during the cold months and high speed in the warm months. The reason? Warm air is lighter and takes less force to move.

There are other measures to take to prevent short cycling but these usually require a professional heating and cooling service technician to correct the problem. If in doubt, call your local qualified heating and cooling contractor and schedule a furnace inspection. Don’t make your furnace work any harder than it was designed for – and keep your home’s occupants comfortable and safe.

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Warning Signs of a Broken Furnace: Some Pointers from Coto de Caza

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

How do you know when your furnace is “on the fritz?” There are warning signs of a broken furnace and some are recognizable – but not all. A broken furnace not only deprives your Coto de Caza home of heat and comfort, it also can be deadly, too.

Let’s look at some of the warning signs.

Each year, hundreds of people die and many more are injured from the most common household poison: carbon monoxide. This colorless and odorless poisonous gas comes from several sources and the furnace is the most common source of all; more precisely a broken or malfunctioning furnace. Carbon monoxide is a result of incomplete combustion of a fossil fuel, which is when a fuel does not burn correctly or completely. In a furnace, carbon monoxide gas comes from a poorly operating burner or a cracked heat exchanger. A properly tuned and maintained furnace greatly reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Since carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless, it can go undetected. It can make people sleepy and create flu-like symptoms. Sometimes a person may fall asleep and never wake up. But there are warning signs. Drowsiness, vomiting, or flu-like symptoms are a warning sign. Regularly scheduled maintenance of your furnace by a qualified heating and cooling professional and installation of carbon monoxide detectors can reduce the risk of falling ill to carbon monoxide gas.

Another warning sign is a higher energy bill. Sometimes you can’t detect a problem right away because, like carbon monoxide, there may be no obvious signs. Higher utility bills can be a sure sign of a furnace that is working too hard and running more than usual. This may be a result of clogged or dirty air vents, or dirty filters. If your monthly bills are higher than those of the previous year, it may not just be because gas prices are higher.

There are other warning signs of a broken furnace, too. The most obvious is the failure of your furnace to bring your home up to the desired thermostat settings or to maintain an even temperature. Cold or uncomfortable houses are sure signs of a broken furnace. The furnace may cycle on or off, causing an uneven or inconsistent flow of heated air. This can be because of a poor blower or a clogged furnace filter. If you don’t feel any moving heated air or detect any unusual odors or smells coming from your heating vents, that’s a sure sign of a broken or malfunctioning furnace.

A broken or cracked gas line can emit odors and can cause a furnace to malfunction, too.

Don’t take a chance of losing heat and comfort this winter. At the first possible warning sign, call your local heating professional for a heating system tune-up.

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