As a homeowner it’s the little things you don’t know exist that can give you the biggest headaches. Sometimes these issues are seemingly invisible, but for techs they stand out like a oversized stop sign. We recently encountered this type of invisible headache and assisted a homeowner with changes to improve the comfort in their home.
We were called out to a no heat (yes, it’s that time of year again). The homeowner explained that starting last year they’ve been needing to replace their furnace filter monthly (as opposed to every 90 days), and now their furnace had completely stopped working for them! On site diagnosis proved that the high limit switch was tripping, shutting down the furnace. This switch measures the temperature of air leaving the furnace and will shut down the unit if it senses the temperature rising too high for safety concerns. Over time if the high limit is tripping often, each time it will open at a lower and lower temp until even normal operating temperatures shut the furnace down. When a furnace is not working due to over heating there is almost always a more major problem as to why the furnace cannot distribute the heat fast enough.
As a tech, this is when we team up with the homeowner. We put our HVAC knowledge together with the knowledge they possess about their home’s operation. At this point we found out about the constant filter changes. Plugged filters reduce the return airflow, easily causing a build up of hot supply air. So we look for what is causing the filters to get so damn dirty…..And then we found it.
Several small holes had been drilled into the return elbow, likely a DIY repair to increase the amount of return air needed. Sitting directly beside those holes was the cat’s litter box. Everything made sense now, the blower fan bringing in return air was also bringing in particles from the litter box that was eventually clogging the filter. The homeowner had no idea, for them this was an out of the way spot where their cat could splat in private. With the new information we provided they were able to find a new spot for the litter box that wouldn’t affect their home comfort as well as solve their need for excessive filter changes. Following up with he homeowner everything was back working again, besides the cat being pretty miffed about the change.
Moving into the Fall and Winter it’s always a good decision to have your furnace maintenance/inspected no matter its age (even the new ones can have problems). A maintenance will provide you a baseline for how your heating system is likely to operate during the incoming cold months and help prevent breakdowns BEFROE they happen. We can get your HVAC system working to peak efficiency and provide a heads up for any issues that may be coming your way.
Feel free to call us @ 306-519-3722 to further discuss having a maintenance completed.