So what are some common issues with furnaces and heat pumps that we run into?
Well, they are slightly different so let’s talk about some of the most common problems we run into with today’s modern gas and propane central air systems.
First, the most common problem we hear is that there is air blowing thru the ducts but no heat. Commonly this ends up being a dirty flame sensor or a bad igniter. If this is the case we can normally repair on the spot. At A1 Heating and Air we have adopted a transparent philosophy so that you will know exactly what is going on before we come out because we believe that honesty and integrity will build life-long relationships with our customers.
What do common repairs cost?
So after the diagnosis, you can expect the repair for a bad igniter to be between $175 and $225. This is lower than most large companies charge in the Sacramento area. And if you would like to just buy the part from us you can save about $65. Hot surface igniters are very fragile tho, and can be easily broken, even by an experienced technician, so we do recommend you let us do the repair.
Also, if you do decide to repair it yourself be careful not to touch the surface of the igniter because the oil from your fingers can reduce the life of this component…again, just let the professionals do it.
The next thing that can happen is a dirty flame sensor. While these commonly are not replaced, they can be and we will charge around $125 to $175 in most cases to replace. Normally, we clean them for $35 to $45.
The other things that can cause your furnace not to ignite could be an issue with a sensor like a tripped high limit switch or blocked flue or something to do with excessive heat in the heat exchanger area or flame sensor that has detected a rollout.
Diagnosing furnace repair safety issues
These things are very important to diagnose properly as they all affect the safety of your unit, after all, we are talking about fire, gas, and electricity. At A1 Heating and Air we will never bypass a problem like this for a quick or cheap fix. It’s not worth the risk.
All safety devices on your system are important and we will make sure they are doing exactly what they are designed to do or we will replace them. Price of replacing sensors? $125 to $275. Why do we give you the prices on our website? Again, transparency and good faith. We want to build trust in the Northern California area with all of our valuable customers.
Other furnace repair issues
Another thing that could be happening is that your control board may be bad or going bad. This is the brain of your heating system and is very important not to neglect. While some technicians feel they are doing their customers a service by “bypassing” or “rewiring” we don’t do this. If the board is bad we will replace it not do a quick fix.
This is the right thing to do and we realize that a bad board can be costly. Think of the motherboard in your computer or vehicle. The cost for replacement can be between $325 and $900 in most cases and we will always let you know the price before we proceed with the repair.
Want to fix it yourself? We don’t recommend that as there are other things that can be wrong when the board is bad. We want to determine why the board went bad, was it too much heat? If so, what is causing that?
Again, we are responsible, trained, and professional and want to do a thorough job for you, not just “replace parts”. This is how we build loyal customers.
The most simple furnace repair is sometimes a new filter!
Dirty Filters. Believe it or not this is one of the biggest issues we find that can affect your system. If your filter is dirty it will not allow air to flow thru your furnace at the proper rate. This causes several serious issues.
First, if the air is not traveling thru the heat exchangers at the rate the system was designed for it will not transfer heat properly into the air. The air is moving too slow and the metal overheats which can cause the thin metal of the heat exchanger walls to crack creating a possible dangerous condition.
Next, the fact that the filter is dirty will cause the unit to draw air around the filter. We have seen filters and even duct work bent in half by the suction produced by the blower motor. Dirty air will go right around the filter and into the unit itself making the blower motor and fan dirty. This dirt increase weight on the fan and will make the motor work harder than it has to.
Another thing that happens is that the dust coming thru the furnace will clog up the AC coil which is in the path of the air flow just like a car radiator. When this coil gets clogged it creates problems not only for the furnace overheating but also in the summer when the air conditioner is on.
This can translate into a costly repair from $225 for a basic clean upwards to $900 if we have to remove and clean that coil! So check your filter before you call us out, a dirty filter can cause a lot of problems.
Capacitors are another potential furnace problem
Capacitors going bad can cause problems because they provide a very important service to the main blower motor that moves all the air and also the combustion draft motor which eliminates dangerous fumes and gases such as carbon monoxide from the furnace.
When the capacitors go bad it puts an added strain on the motor, especially on startup but also while it’s running because they keep the motor in phase when healthy, but when failing the motor will lose torque, or power and will strain to keep up.
A failing or failed capacitor can quickly damage today’s efficient motors which aren’t designed to take much abuse. Capacitors cost us about $75 to deliver to your house and we charge anywhere from $149 to $245 to replace them.
Whether your system is natural gas, propane, or electric we can get you up and running fast.
No sales pitches, no gimmicks, just qualified technicians who will come to your home, find the problem and give you the information you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed.
We stock as many parts as possible so that we don’t have to leave and then return to repair your system later. That saves us both time and money. Also, if you happen to be someone who is savvy with technical things and likes to do your own repairs, we can even sell you the part you need. While we always recommend that you only let a qualified heating and air technician do the repair we know that there are some who prefer to do it yourself and that’s ok with us.
So if you are concerned about your furnace give us a call and let’s get your unit up and running!