At 1st Call Heating and Air, we guarantee our workmanship for a year. If we repair a customer’s furnace and the unit fails again within that same winter season, we will educate the customer about their options for a new furnace and discount the cost of the new furnace for the amount of the recent repair.
Furnace Replacement & Installation
Furnaces have an average life of 20 years, so if the furnace is within three years of its useful life, the question becomes, “Is it worth buying and installing a new part in an old unit?” While our service technicians will always try and repair a unit first, they will also educate customers in situations where throwing good money after bad may not be the right decision. Investing in a furnace replacement brings a new warranty, higher energy efficiency ratings and a new clock on its useful life giving you peace of mind that you won’t need a repair done in an emergency situation.
Furnace Repair & Service
We service and repair all brands of furnaces. Most often, our services on furnaces are related to the following components.
If your blower motor looks like the one in the picture you are in desperate need of our service! This is due to not changing the furnace filter per manufacturers recommendations.
There are many reasons why a computer board or “mother board” will stop working. Often, it is due to a water leak coming from somewhere in the unit. Another reason the computer board fails is due to dust. Dust is detrimental to a laptop computer. The same goes for a computer board, which is constantly in a dust filled environment. Adding humidification from a humidifier causes the dust to be conductive. Wet dust on a computer board will cause failure and require a costly service call. Being proactive by changing your filter often will minimize the chance that your computer board has dust on it.
When a gas valve fails, gas will no longer be sent, even if you still see the pilot flame or you see the automatic ignition activate. Call us at 1st Call, we are the professionals that can help you with this gas valve issue.
High Limit Switch
The high limit switch is a safety device installed in the furnace heat exchanger fresh air compartment. Its job is not to allow your furnace to exceed the manufacturer’s heat high limit. It is usually set between 175 – 215 degrees. Bypassing this safety switch can and will cause a fire hazard and is highly not recommended. In the event of a high limit switch failure, the manufacturer has set the furnace controls to turn on your blower. This causes cold air to be sent to you, which alerts you to trouble. Call us to help you with this issue because this part is not available in general stores.
Hot Surface Igniter (HIS)
An HSI is located in front of the burners. Its job is to become red hot and ignite the natural gas fuel as it crosses its path. It turns on for approximately 10 seconds and glows extremely red hot. If it is working properly, you cannot miss it. This device is activated for 40 seconds after the activation of the draft inducer motor. If this device is faulty, you will not see an orange glow and you will hear the click of the gas valve, you will hear gas flow for 4 seconds because no flame was realized. This is to prevent raw fuel escaping into the atmosphere. If this is an issue with your furnace, call us. We recommend that you never touch this HSI for two reasons; it is very hot and the oils from your skin will shorten the life of the HSI greatly.
It is located in the burner compartment opposite the hot surface ignitedr. Its job is to realize flame from the burners. After 4 seconds of no flame, the flame sensor will tell the computer board to discontinue the gas flow and will retry again three times until lock out. This safety device is to prevent raw natural gas flowing into your furnace and leaving the top of your house at the flew cap as unspent fuel. If the flame sensor goes bad, ignition will occur, but the computer will not sense the flame due to a faulty flame sensor. This will be read by the computer board as if no ignition had occurred and will try three times before lock out and blower will send cold air to you to let you know there is a problem. Call us to help you with this issue.
The blower wheel is located in the blower compartment. It’s job is to move air from your return to your supply. When a filter is not changed per manufacturer’s specification, dust will accumulate on the blower fan wheel fins. This causes an unbalanced blower wheel, which has the potential of shaking itself apart. This causes damage to motor bearings, brackets that hold the blower motor, and possibly causes an annoying shaking noise throughout your house. A humidifier will add increased weight to a blower wheel rotating at 1100 revolutions per minute (RPM). This is no different than the tire on your car being unbalanced. If a tire is unbalanced it will cause your car to shake and destroy the tire. An unbalanced blower wheel can cause many internal issues with your furnace. A computer board is fragile and should not be shook every time the blower motor comes on. Many problems can occur. A furnace cleaning can reduce this issue and prolong the life of your furnace.
It is located on the outside of the furnace. The 120-volt power to the furnace has a light switch or SSU switch to cut off power. This is usually a silver box with a fuse and a light switch. Not every furnace has an SSU switch, but most have a light switch to turn off power to the furnace. After years of never turning off this switch, one day it will stop working. In this case, the furnace will not have power. In this event, we need to install a new SSU switch. Call us to help you with this issue. If the fuse, is no longer clear, s short circuit has occurred in your furnace and is a sign of a larger problem.
On newer furnaces there is an indicator light. If your furnace is not working at all, you will not see a red light in the site window for the computer board. If the indicator light is not on, check the breaker at your main service panel. Look for the breaker for the furnace to make sure it is on. If the breaker at the main panel is on, go to the SSU switch (usually a silver light switch with a fuse) located next to your furnace or boiler and check the fuse. This is the next possible interrupter in the power supply to the furnace. If the fuse looks clear, the SSU switch could have stopped working and will need to be replaced by professionals. Another explanation, could be that the door to the blower compartment is not properly reinstalled. There is a door switch, which if not depressed, causes interruption of power to your furnace. This could happen when you change your filter. This safety switch is there to prevent you from putting your hand in the blower fan while its rotating at 1100 revolutions per minute (RPM). Check to make sure your door is secure. If this does not correct your power problem, give us a call. We are here to help and do not want you to risk your safety dealing with electricity.
Rollout Flame Safety Device
This device interrupts the 24 volt power to the gas valve in the event that the flames in the burner compartment are improperly drafted. This device is there to stop rollout flames. Depending upon the furnace manufacturer, these sensors have red reset buttons as seen in the picture. If this is a continuous reset, you need our help.
This component transforms 120 volt power to 24 volt power and is the source of communication between devices on the furnaces. The thermostat, parts of the computer board, the humidifier aquastat, and all safety devices on your furnace are powered by the transformer at 24 volt power on a newer furnace. On an older furnace, the thermostat and certain safety devices are powered at 24 volt, including the gas valve. When a transformer quits, there is no power to any of these devices. Call us and we will help you with this problem.
There are many different kinds of thermostats.
A simple heat thermostat – These thermostats are used on boilers and furnaces with no air conditioning. These require two-wire 24-volt communication. It runs off a simple transformer and does heat only.
A simple heating and cooling thermostat – This is a simple control thermostat that communicates between the thermostat between heating and air conditioning. This is a non-programmable device. It’s job is to hold a temperature, set by you.
Programmable thermostat – A 5-2 thermostat means you can program it to turn on and off per customer schedule. The “5” represents the weekday and the “2” represents the same schedule for the weekend days. A 5-1-1 will allow you to program the weekend days differently.
If your thermostat is not working, it could simply need new batteries. If you do not see a display on your digital thermostat, your thermostat is powered from the furnace. Check the furnace breaker, the door
If your thermostat displays “no AC” (alternating current) it means you do not have power at the furnace. Check the breaker at your main service panel. Look for the breaker for the furnace to make sure it is on. If the breaker at the main panel is on, go to the SSU switch (usually a silver light switch with a fuse) located next to your furnace or boiler and check the fuse. This is the next possible interrupter in the power supply to the furnace. If the fuse looks clear, the SSU switch could have stopped working and will need to be replaced by professionals. Another explanation could be that the door to the blower compartment is not properly reinstalled. There is a door switch, which if not depressed, causes interruption of power to your furnace. This could happen when you change your filter. This safety switch is there to prevent you from putting your hand in the blower fan while its rotating at 1100 revolutions per minute (RPM). Check to make sure your door is secure. If this does not correct your power problem, give us a call. We are here to help and do not want you to risk your safety dealing with electricity.
Furnace cleaning is vital for your unit to run at the manufacturers specifications. Furnace cleaning is like an oil change, it prolongs the life of the motor in your car. Maintaining your furnace extends the life of all moving parts. Dust is a destructive force in motors and moving parts, which need lubrication. The dust mixes with the oil to become a friction environment. This causes heat to build up and wear on the bearings. Each of which will be a costly service repair in the near future. Changing your filter often will slow down this process and extending the life of your furnace components.
If you prefer for us to change your filters and clean you equipment twice a year, and gain peace of mind in the process, sign up for our preventative maintenance program for a fixed annual fee, and you’ll never have to schedule a maintenance appointment again.
Small tips for our customers, before you call us:
- Check to see if your filter is clean. If not, this may be a possible symptom for your service needs today.
- Newer furnaces are equipped with an LED light, which flashes to tell you the diagnostic issue. This light is located on the computer board where the blower compartment is. In most cases you should not have to remove the doors to see this indicator light. It should be a clear port hole plastic viewing window the size of a half dollar. After viewing the LED indication, remove the door and look at the back of the door for a list of diagnostic codes, or refer to the paperwork for the furnace. Having this information available when you call us is extremely helpful.
- If your furnace is not working, check your doorbell. The doorbell is powered by the furnace breaker, so if the doorbell doesn’t work, check your breaker at the main panel. If this breaker continues to break, call us because this might be a symptom of a larger problem.