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How Dirt Build-Up Can Result in Heating Repairs

Dirt is the enemy of many things in your home: carpets, windows, countertops, appliances, and general tidiness. One place where dirt can inflict a tremendous amount of potentially expensive damage is to your heater, whether you have a furnace, heat pump, or hydronic system. When dirt infiltrates your heater and starts to build up into a layer of grime, it can lead to the need for repairs.

Dirt-build up problems can’t be solved with rags and cleaner. You need to have professionals address the ways dirt accumulation can affect your heating system. We’ll look at a few of the ways dirt build-up can make skilled repairs necessary. Call Comfort Flow Heating when you need quality heating repair service in Salem, OR.

The ravages of dirt and your heater

For forced-air systems (furnaces, heat pumps), an air filter in the return ducts traps dust and debris from entering the system’s cabinet. You should change the filter once a month during periods when the heater works regularly; otherwise, the clogged filter will begin to allow dirt into the cabinet. (In some extreme cases, air filters have become so clogged they have collapsed and fallen into the cabinet, causing tremendous damage.)

One of the most quickly destructive effects from a dirt intrusion is a build-up on mechanical parts that causes additional stress: the motors that run the compressor and blowers will start to wear down and eventually burn out. Dirt can also ruin motor bearings. Any extra strain put on the internal components will cause other components to overwork and also wear down sooner. You will need technicians to remove the failing parts and replace them.

For gas-powered furnaces and hydronic water heaters, a dirt build-up along the burner will prevent the flow of oxygen and prevent the burner from igniting. If the system uses a standing pilot light, excess dirt will also extinguish it. The burner will need a technician to clean it.

For heat pumps, dirt build-up can cause another problem: icing along the coils. If dirt collects along the evaporator coil (the outdoor coil during heating mode, the indoor coil during cooling mode) it will prevent the coil from absorbing sufficient heat. The refrigerant in the coil will then begin to cause the water moisture to freeze, and this will in turn further restrict heat absorption. Professionals will need to detach the coils and clean them.

Maintenance: Your best defense against dirt

Repairs will fix problems that dirt can cause, but signing up for a regular maintenance program will help prevent repair needs in the future. A visit from a skilled HVAC technician once a year will keep your heating system cleaned and tuned-up.

Contact Comfort Flow Heating to talk about out preventive maintenance program with our staff. You can also reach us any time of the day or night for emergency heating repair in Salem, OR.

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