Most of us don’t want to think about our furnaces (out of sight out of mind). Today’s furnaces are built with safety and efficiency in mind. However, most often keeping you safe involves shutting down the furnace. That’s great if you happen to be home, not so much if you’re not. Being proactive can save you the minor inconvenience of being cold while it’s being repaired, or spending a small fortune when things freeze in the house because you are not around to catch it, or save you from perishing as carbon monoxide leaks into your home.
Every heating season you should have a professional come in and do a tune up. Things that often need attention include: replacing furnace filters and cleaning in-line electronic filters. April Aire systems will leak if the water panels are not changed out; (sometimes more than once a season), and condensate tubes have issues too. (These need to be checked to make sure they are draining, and if they feed a condensate pump—the pump needs to be working properly. If the pump fails, it will shut down a modern furnace.)
Heat exchangers can and do rust out, and can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your heating system. This can kill you! The good news is that most heat exchangers are warranted for 15-25 years. However, if your furnace is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacement of the furnace vs only the heat exchanger. Even though the exchanger itself is covered, the labor to replace it is not; and the balance of the furnace and its parts (i.e. the inducer & blower motors) are expensive to replace, which is why a new unit is worth consideration.
Note: Reputable companies will be able to show you pictures of a bad exchanger; (they have cameras now that can go inside the furnace)—ask to see them. Most (if any) homeowners are not equipped to know what a heat exchanger is, and are freaked out by the news they have a bad one… Sometimes a camera does not tell the whole story—they also should have a carbon monoxide detector. This will tell the tech that the exchanger is, or has cracks in it, and needs to be replaced. There are homeowners who have been sold furnaces that were not needed, by techs who received commissions based on equipment they installed—that were not needed. (Ask me how I know—from experience!)
All this to say routine maintenance is less expensive and should catch an issue before it becomes a major problem. Please call Sontag Home Services at (262) 215-9587 for more information on heating and air services for homes in Lake Geneva, Delavan, and nearby Wisconsin Communities.