Furnace Installation and Repair

Furnaces and Air Handlers: Installation, Repair and Maintenance Experts

AC Repair Kennewick, WA Terence Portrait

Did you know there’s a big difference between a furnace and an air handler? A furnace burns fuel (typically natural gas in the Tri-Cities) and transfers the heat into a heat exchanger, while an air handler uses electricity to heat a metal coil. Both appliances then push air over the heated elements, which travels through the ducts to heat the home or building.

Due to our frigid winters in the Tri-Cities, it is common to see a furnace/air conditioner combination installed in homes. It’s much more cost effective to pay for natural gas than it is to heat an electric coil when temperatures dip below freezing. However, air handlers have recently become the go-to installation due to the significant advances in heat pump technology (air handlers are typically installed with heat pumps, not air conditioners). Heat pumps have become incredibly efficient, which means less time using electricity to heat the coil in an air handler.


6 Common Furnace and Air Handler Problems

  • Kennewick Dirty Air Filter

    A dirty air filter forces your system to work harder to circulate the air throughout the ducts, which can cause your indoor unit to fail. It also drives up monthly energy costs.

  • Kennewick Cracked Furnace Heat Exchanger

    Cracks in a furnace heat exchange can be dangerous. Carbon monoxide can be released into the home, which is very toxic to breathe in and impossible to detect with our human senses. Most furnaces today have a safety shut off, but a cracked heat exchange will need to be fixed by a professional.

  • Kennewick Furnace Fan Belt

    Many indoor units have belt-driven blower fans that are driven by a powerful electric motor. A belt connects the motor to the fan, and over time this belt can become cracked or loose, which can cause the belt to slip off and prevent the fan from spinning. A loud squeaking noise is an indicator of a loose belt.

  • Kennewick Furnace Pilot Light

    A faulty pilot light or electric ignition in a furnace will prevent the fuel from burning. An electric ignition is most common in new furnaces and will require the help of a professional to fix if broken.

  • Kennewick Faulty Thermostat

    Make sure your thermostat isn’t forcing the fan to run 24/7. If your thermostat is in Heat mode make sure the Set temperature is higher than the current room temperature. Also, make sure the batteries haven’t died.

  • HVAC Blower Motor Problems

    Your blower motor assembly has ball bearings to make sure the fan rotates smoothly. If your furnace is several years old and you hear a scraping sound when the fan is on, the ball bearings are likely worn and need to be replaced.

The best way to avoid problems with your home’s most expensive appliance is to have scheduled maintenance on your heating system. But sometimes even regular service can’t prevent malfunctions. When your furnace or air handler isn’t working as it should, make sure to call a licensed professional.

Chinook Heating & Air has a team of highly trained technicians with the tools and knowledge to help keep your home or business warm and comfortable during cold winter months in the Tri-Cities. Our crew is honest and reliable, providing furnace repair and service 24 hours a day, even on weekends for emergencies.

Need a quick furnace repair in Kennewick?

Our techs are experienced, courteous and won’t try to sell you products you don’t need.