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Los Angeles and its surrounding areas are widely known for a warm and sunny summer climate. Residents of the area know that winter frequently brings chilly air and a need to heat the interior of a home or business. Instead of installing a combined HVAC system, many people choose to meet their heating needs with a forced-air furnace. When your forced-air furnace breaks down or stops running efficiently, you need a quick, lasting repair that restores the health of your unit and helps you avoid unnecessary discomfort and expense.
What Is a Forced-Air Furnace?
Heating systems that rely on air to actively transfer heat from a central location are known as forced-air systems. The forced part of the terminology refers to blowers and ducts that carry heat to rooms throughout the building. Vents pass heated air into a room at strategic points to maximize efficiency and comfort. Sometimes a plenum space is used, this is basically a shortcut where the ceiling or under floor spaces are utilized rather than ducts. This practice has become less common due to fire-risk concerns.
A forced-air furnace is a forced-air system that relies on a fuel-burning furnace to actively generate heat. It differs from a forced-air heat pump, which uses existing heat pulled from an external source.
Gas forced-air furnaces rely on natural gas or propane to generate heat that’s pushed through the ductwork. The gas enters the furnace from an attached supply line and flows to a burner located in a chamber called a heat exchanger. Once inside the burner, the gas combusts after coming into contact with a pilot light, electronic igniter or hot-surface igniter. The heat from the combusted gas is then forced through the ducts by air pulled into the furnace. The heat exchanger serves an important secondary role in preventing carbon monoxide and other products of combustion from entering the ductwork. A gas forced-air furnace also has safety devices that stop raw gas or combustion byproducts from entering your home during a vent or ignition failure.
Electric Forced-Air Furnaces
Instead of relying on gas to generate heat, an electric forced-air furnace relies on a heating element. When activated, this component heats up the air inside the furnace’s main chamber. In turn, a blower pushes this heated air through the ductwork attached to the main unit. In daily operation, electric forced-air furnaces commonly have a higher utility cost than gas forced-air furnaces. However, electric units have fewer components than gas units, and therefore typically require less maintenance over time.
Functioning Forced-Air Furnaces
The main benefit of a functioning forced-air furnace is the ability to maintain suitable indoor temperatures during the colder parts of the year. Lack of adequate heating can easily make your home or business uncomfortable, or even unsafe. Safety is also a critically important concern if your furnace develops a gas leak or fails to properly direct carbon monoxide and other dangerous combustion byproducts away from the interior of your building.
Signs It’s Time for a Repair
Forced-air furnaces typically work well for extended periods of time, especially when properly maintained and routinely serviced. However, even a high-quality unit may eventually develop a problem that calls for some sort of repair. Relatively common indications of a potential need for a repair include a unit that does not:
Generate heat when activated or doesn’t turn on at all
Runs for longer than expected
Fails to generate enough heat
Shuts off prematurely
Whether you have a gas or electric forced-air furnace, the experts at West Coast Chief can assess the seriousness of the problems affecting your unit. After completing our assessment, we’ll have all the information required to determine if you need routine maintenance or a critical repair. The information we gather will also allow us to establish a proper maintenance schedule that can help you avoid serious furnace-related issues in the future.
Diagnosing and Repairing
Malfunctions in gas forced-air furnaces have a number of possible sources. For example, if the blower on your gas furnace doesn’t turn on during normal operation even if the pilot light is on, the problem may be related to the:
Furnace control board
If your gas forced-air furnace has no power, possible issues include:
Furnace power transformer
Furnace control board
Common problems affecting electric forced-air furnaces also have a number of potential underlying causes, these problems sometimes mirror those found in gas forced-air furnaces. If the heating element on your electric furnace is damaged, the unit will not produce heated air. However, a lack of properly heated air also has a number of other potential causes, including loose wires and a damaged control board.
We are a total solution company, we provide everything you will ever need to utilize the advantages of modern home technology. From installation to maintenance, repair to disposal, we are there for your convenience. Give us a call, and we’ll take care of it.