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It’s that time of year again, when heating units across Maryland are starting to give out. Even if we have warm days here and there, temperatures can turn on a dime and force the need for heating repair in Potomac, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Beltsville, and the surrounding area.

But when someone tells you that their heater gave out last night, it’s unlikely they’re talking about their space heater. When they say that, you’re probably thinking that they have the same type of HVAC unit that you do and are getting their heat from the same source. For instance, if you have an oil-based furnace, you’re probably imagining that they have one as well. But the fact is that Maryland is actually home to many different types of heating units. Let’s take a look at the most common types of heating repair our heating contractors are often called to deal with.

Furnace Repair

Furnaces are the most common type of residential heating unit found in Maryland. Because they’re so common, it’s very easy to find a heating contractor who can perform furnace repair for you. This also means that they may well have common repair parts with them in their truck, or at the very least have one back at the shop.

There are two primary kinds of furnaces our heating company deals with in the Potomac area. The first, and most common, is the natural gas burning furnace. The gas is burned and transferred to a heat exchanger, and a fan blows across the exchanger. This heated air then moves through a ductwork system to deliver heat throughout the building. Natural gas furnaces get their gas from underground utility pipes.

The second type of furnace that’s common in Maryland is the oil furnace. Oil furnaces work much like natural gas furnaces do, in that they heat a heat exchanger while a fan blows over it. The primary difference is that a thin spray of is burned instead of natural gas. This supply of oil has to be restocked on a unit-by-unit basis.

Why Is Furnace Repair Needed?

Furnaces are essentially huge appliances, and are therefore filled with electronics. And like anything with moving parts, basic wear and tear can cause parts of the machine to become misaligned or break outright. Furnaces also use electricity in order to run the fan, and eventually the heat caused by that electricity is going to cause circuits and other electrical components to break (starter problems are a common type of furnace repair). And if you’ve ever heard of a “cracked heat exchanger,” you probably know that it’s usually the death knell of the entire furnace; it’s time to replace the entirety of the unit.

Oil furnaces have an additional problem when the jets that produce the spray of oil can get clogged. Regular furnace maintenance can help prevent this from happening.

Geothermal Repair

Geothermal heating units are a type of heat pump and are one of the most efficient types of heating available. Geothermal heating utilizes the constant temperature of the earth in order to heat a home or business. Pipes are buried outside the building, and a special mixture of liquid moves through the pipes and transfers the heat picked up back into the home or business. Geothermal units are both heating and cooling units, so there’s no need for an exterior air conditioning box.

Geothermal is an excellent choice for those who want to be environmentally friendly. Once it’s installed, the only cost associated with it is the electricity required to run the pump. In other words, you don’t have to pay for natural gas or oil delivery.

Geothermal heating is incredibly efficient, but the startup cost is considerable. It also requires the owner to disturb the landscaping in order to install the geothermal pipes.

Why Is Geothermal Repair Needed?

In general, geothermal units don’t require much repair. When they do, it’s often because a component that runs the pumps has given out. And like any type of heating unit, thermostat problems can arise.

Many people fear the idea of one of the pipes underground bursting, because they think that the entire yard will have to be torn up in order to replace the broken pipe. In truth, pipes can often be repaired with a minimum of disturbance to the landscaping. (And that’s only if they break in the first place, which is rare.)

Boiler Repair

If you’re not familiar with boilers, they’re essential special-purpose water heaters. Boilers use water to transfer heat to registers throughout a home or business, and then that cooled water is returned to be heated again. (Boilers usually use natural gas or oil to heat the water.)

People prefer boilers for a number of reasons. First, they’re very quiet, unlike a furnace which is constantly turning on and off. The lack of moving air also means that there’s not as much dust flying through the air and settling in the ductwork. Those who suffer from dry skin also like boilers because they don’t dry out the air like a forced-air unit (furnace) does.

Boilers also offer a very luxurious way to heat a home: radiant floor heating. Plastic pipes installed under flooring deliver heat to your toes and help heat rooms at the same time.

Why Is Boiler Repair Needed?

Like all types of heating units, boilers can suffer from basic wear and tear that occurs over time. One of the most common problems involve leaks that happened due to a worn out pressure valves, airlocks, diaphragms, or pump seals. This can cause leaking and dripping, and the lack of water leads to less water pressure and heat transference.

Because boilers are using water, there’s also the problem associated with limescale building up in the pipes. If you have particularly hard water, this can create extra pressure and exacerbate the problems we mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Contact JC & JC For Heating Repair Today

In some states, nearly every type of residential heating unit is the same. States that have a lot of natural gas, like Colorado, almost exclusively use natural gas furnaces. But here in Maryland, there’s a much greater variety when it comes to HVAC units. That’s why our heating contractors have to have extensive training in the various kinds of heating methods we mentioned above.

No matter the kind of heating repair you need in Potomac, Silver Spring, Bethesda, or the nearby area, JC & JC HVAC Mechanical Contractors is ready to help. If your HVAC is having problems and you have to search “heating repair near me,” we hope you’ll check our Google reviews and realize that we’re the heating contractors you’ve been looking for. Schedule an appointment today!