Preparing for the Fall: 5 Common Issues During the Heating SeasonWritten by: Jackson Systems
As the dog days of summer come to an end, the inevitable heating season will be upon us in no time. Families will begin turning on their heat for the first time in months, business owners will start heating their offices and warehouses, all with the hope that nothing goes wrong.
Veteran technicians understand this can mean a huge wave of replacement parts, leaks, and a slew of issues ready to arise as the equipment turns over for a new season of use. Today we’re going to cover some of these issues and suggest some affordable products to help solve these problems at their core, all available right here at Jackson Systems. Let’s get into it!
One of the most common issues tech’s run into out in the field during the heating season revolves around old furnaces. The best place to start when troubleshooting a furnace that isn’t producing heat is the ignitor. Today let’s stick to discussing the most common type of ignitor tech’s will run into, hot surface ignitors.
The first way to check your surface ignitor is simple: Take the furnace panel off, switch on the furnace and keep an eye on your ignitor and burners. When you hit the on switch, first you should hear the inducer motor turn on, followed by the gas valves opening to release gas down to the burners (it should make a small click sound), at this point if the surface ignitor at the back of the burners isn’t beginning to glow red hot you’ve got a faulty ignitor. You can also use a multimeter tool to access the current to the connectors of your ignitor, occasionally it’s a connection issue instead of faulty equipment.
We offer a wide variety of popular hot surface igniters in all sizes. From Honeywell, White Rodgers, Supco, and much more. You can also find helpful multimeter tools like the RMS meter from UEi.
According to the CDC, at least 430 people die in the U.S. every year from CO poisoning and almost 50,000 people visit the emergency room from accidental exposure. Most of these cases happen during the chilly winter months when homeowners are forced to run their furnaces, kerosene heaters, stoves, lanterns, or generators. Specifically, old rusted our furnaces can leak dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into the home without any notice by the people inhabiting the space. This is due to CO’s odorless and invisible properties.
Without proper carbon monoxide sensors, families could risk their health without realizing the damage being done. Make sure your homeowner’s have CO detectors installed in their home and inform them that changing the batteries every 6 months is key to keeping them safe. As a technician remember to check for these potential holes and rust spots in equipment, keep vents and flues free of debris, and educate your clients about the importance of CO poisoning prevention.
We carry a variety of reliable CO detectors and now offer imprinting options to contractors. This is a great way to keep a phone number or contact info top of mind for homeowners if any new issues arise.
Inefficient heating systems can be a product of multiple issues but one of the easiest places to check first is the heat filter. If they haven’t been replaced in over 6 months they can build up and clog with dust, dirt, and various debris. The blockage can lead to decreased air flow, in turn reducing warmth in the home or apartment. Changing the heat filter for a new heating season is a great way to protect the equipment and keep it as efficient as possible.
There are lots of effective solutions to issues like this. In the short term you want to find the right dimension’s and MERV rating for your unit. This will allow you to find replacement filters with ease online. If remembering pesky expiration and install dates is not your forte, the solution might be our Filter Fetch service.
Filter Fetch is one of the only filter fulfillment subscription plans that allows the homeowner to have full control over when and how often they want filter’s delivered right to their doorstep. Contact your local contractor to see if they offer our service. It’s the easiest way to maintain a healthy air quality in your space and protect your equipment from long term damage.
As your humidifier sits around all summer waiting to be used in the cooler months, there’s plenty of opportunity for parts to age and break. A very common occurrence is the solenoid valve beginning to show issues. If you start to notice the valve not opening or closing correctly, not properly shutting off or continuously leaking, there’s a high chance the solenoid valve needs to be replaced. If you allow for it to continue without addressing the issue, it could lead to further equipment damage or malfunctions.
A universal solenoid valve is a great option when looking for a proper replacement part. ESP’s UHS24 universal kit is a fantastic option for these scenarios. No OEM specifics required, all the appropriate fittings are included with the kit. It’s a great solution that replaces Aprilaire, Honeywell, Skuttle, and other name brand valves without the hassle.
When troubleshooting natural gas furnace issues, sometimes just replacing the ignitor isn’t enough. If issues persist, it’s probably time to test other areas. The controls system or gas valve are good places to look after confirming the ignitor isn’t the issue. This is contractor only territory, a trained technician should be able to tell when a gas valve is not utilizing the 24V downstream signal sent to the leads. Unfortunately, if the gas valve isn’t working properly its a part that needs replaced instead of repaired.
Replacing a bad gas valve could also mean replacing the ignition system board. Contractors rejoice! We have the perfect one purchase solution with the Robertshaw Combo Gas Valve Kit. It comes with everything needed for an essential part furnace replacement. With this product you’ll receive: The ignition system control board, a brand new gas valve, and a flame sensor. We offer 4 different gas valve types to fit a wide range of furnace sizes and applications.
For more information on issues and products like this, check out our common heating issues video. You can also visit our website, or call us today with any questions about similar products like these.