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Furnaces – 5 Common Furnace Problems and Fixes

One of the most frustrating things anyone can experience is waking up in the middle of the night feeling cold. This would not be as infuriating if all you needed were to pull your covers. However, it can be pretty disappointing if the reason behind a cold night is a poorly functioning furnace or, worse still, one that is not functional.

4 Common Furnace Problems and How You Can Fix Them

1. Examine the Thermostat and Ensure It Is On

While this sounds silly, you must ensure that your thermostat is set to at least five degrees above room temperature, and it is also set on ‘heat.’ The number of individuals who make service calls to request furnace repair services without checking this is quite surprising.

Below are a couple of thermostat checks that you can do yourself.

Step 1: Check your thermostat’s battery. The batteries on your thermostat may require changing. Ensure that you change the batteries at least once yearly or as needed if your thermostat unit operates on batteries. While some thermostats may use batteries, others are usually wired to your home’s electrical system.

Find out how your thermostat is powered. Thermostats that utilize batteries may sometimes flash a low battery symbol if they require a replacement.

Step 2: Open your thermostat, then carefully blow off any debris or dust that may be clogging it.

Step 3: Whether you are using a programmable or electronic furnace model, you should ensure the time and date are correct.

Step 4: Examine the breaker. If the breaker is on, turn it off, then proceed to check the furnace’s fuse.

2. Your Furnace Does Not Give Off Heat- Try Resetting Your Home Circuit Breaker

Several minor factors could be the reason this problem occurs. Start by confirming that your thermostat is set to ‘heat.’ Next, move the dial down or up a couple of degrees and check if you feel any noticeable difference.

Suppose there is still no result after you have done this; in that case, inspect the fuse or circuit breaker and see if it was blown or tripped.

How Do You Test a Home Breaker?

Go to your home breaker panel and find the circuit that controls your furnace. You will be checking whether it is in the middle or whether it has been thrown to the ‘off’ position.

– Test the breaker manually by flipping it back and forth.

– Ensure that the breaker stays on the ‘on’ position.

Doing the above helps reset the breaker. However, should this not help resolve the issue, you may have a problem with the circuit breaker or the wiring in the circuit breaker. Follow the following steps if you have a digital multimeter.

3. Your Furnace Does Not Produce Sufficient Heat

– Check And Change the Clogged Filter: It is one thing for your furnace to struggle to produce heat, and it is a whole different matter if it somehow stops functioning. Suppose your furnace performs poorly and does not sufficiently heat your home, ensure that the air filter is in good condition and clean, if not new.

– Check And Change the Filter If It Is Clogged: Doing this is pretty straightforward and a crucial part of maintaining your furnace. A clogged filter is among the most common reasons behind your furnace not working. This is also one of the most straightforward maintenance tasks.

Frequently replacing your filter furnace is a quick and straightforward task that goes a long way in safeguarding your HVAC components while also improving your indoor air quality.

Step 1: Locate your filter. Specific furnaces may have their filters in the intake. Usually, this will look like a grate in the wall, ceiling, or floor. Other filters are found inside the furnace.

Step 2: Check your filter. You will tell if your filter requires changing by holding it up to the light. Your filter requires changing if no light shines through. Another good sign that your filter furnace needs changing is a dusty, dirty smell coming from the vents whenever the blower is turned on.

Step 3: Replace your filter. First, ensure that the filter is off. There should be no air coming out from it. Inspect the direction that the filter points as filters are designed to trap matter that is blown toward a single direction. Your filter’s effectiveness can be reduced when you install it upside down.

You can significantly improve the airflow by cleaning the debris buildup in your filters. Usually, your air handler is forced to work hard to make up for airflow blockage when your air filter gets clogged. This not only increases your utility bills but also causes overheating and a quick shut down of your heat exchanger as a result of reduced airflow in the cooling and heating system.

Filters clean the air that goes in the furnace then the heated air is redirected into your home. A clogged and dirty filter will reduce the airflow, which will gradually cause pressure and heat buildup in your furnace. New and more efficient furnaces are sensitive to this issue, so they shut down before the dirty filter causes further problems. The furnace will keep running in other units with reduced efficiency and less heat output.

4. Check the Limit Switch

The blower will continuously run if you have a bad limit switch. As a result, this will significantly shorten the lifespan of the blower. You can quickly solve this problem by having a technician replace the limit switch.

How do you test whether your furnace problem is the thermostat or the limit switch?

The furnace should not fire if the high limit switch is bad. The heating/flame element will shut off, and the blower will keep running to clear the heat if the high limit light switch trips. The blower will keep running until the limit switch closes or the system is reset.

Typically, limit switches are closed and should always fail open. This means that they open the circuit if the temperature gets too high or the limit switch goes bad. You will want to replace the limit switch if the circuit is open.

5. Clean Debris and Leaves From Intake And Exhaust Vents Or Heat Pumps

If your furnace vents out on the side of your house, ensure nothing is blocking the exhaust or intake. If any pipes are covered with screen mesh, replace them with half an inch of mesh hardware cloth.

Should ice be clogging any of the pipes, it is an indication that there is a more significant issue somewhere in the system. Clear it, then contact a technician and find out what the problem is.

Clear the leaves and grass from the outdoor compressor unit’s fins if you own a heat pump. Before the heating session begins, gently hose it down from the top and rinse the debris and dirt out of the housing.

What Do Financial Planners Do?

The primary role of a financial planner is to create projections and plans that will show you decisions you should be making that will assist you to achieve financial success over the long-term.

Some factors may include paying extra into your mortgage or putting any extra cash into an RRSP in Canada or 401(k) plan in the US. Other factors include the type of insurance you need, or should you be refinancing? Should you be buying stocks or using mutual funds? A financial planner can answer these questions.

Read more on “How to Choose a Financial Planner

How Do Financial Planners Answer Your Questions?

A financial planner will collect financial statements and gather information and then put this into a software that will project results over the following years. In the way of running a number “what if” scenarios, your financial planner is able to identify the decision sets which will result in the best outcomes for your unique situation. These comparisons and projections are then used by a financial planner in order to answer questions that include:

  • How much money do you need to be saving?
  • What type of investments should you be involved in?
  • How can you protect your savings from bad markets?
  • Should you be using any extra funds to pay off a mortgage faster, or should you be placing it into your 401(k) plan?
  • What type of income can you expect once you retire?
  • Should you be keeping your life insurance policies?
  • How is inflation going to affect your retirement lifestyle?
  • What amount will you be able to withdraw in this year?
  • When will you be able to retire?

Some of the above questions are not so easy to answer. Looking ahead to 30 years into you future can be an exercise that is rather daunting. The important factor is to keep in mind that the financial advisor is working with many moving parts. You need to experiment with moving parts along with creating “what if” scenarios. It is these types of scenarios that will assist you in seeing what you can expect from your finances in 5, 10 or even 20 years on.

Financial Planners Can Help You To Stay Focused

lens image - staying focused

Once you have your financial projection, you need to leave the things you are unable to control such as what the stock markets did today and rather focus your attention on things you are able to control.

Here are some of the ways that financial planners can assist you with focusing on the factors that will actually make the difference.

  • If you have concerns about losing a job, you could save additional funds in a dedicated emergency-fund. This will mean if you do lose the security of a job, you will have more than enough time in order to regroup.
  • Do you have concerns about inflation? Social Security will offer inflation-adjusted lifelong income. In addition, if you are married you can often achieve additional benefits when you strategically make the decision on when each partner should start taking benefits.
  • Are you worried about investment markets? You are able to make choices in guaranteed and safe investments, or using time-segmented approached to investing, which can free you from the worries about inevitable ups or downs in the different markets.

A good financial planner will facilitate conversations on all these different aspects.

They will offer you with objective advice as well as educate you on choices that are currently available. Good financial planners will never begin by showing you brochures about investments.

Do Financial Planners Sell Insurance And Stocks?

After over two decades as a professional financial planner, I have come to realize that when a person starts asking me what my job involves, and I tell them I am a financial-planner, many of them are still under the impression that I sell things like insurance or investments. I have an understanding why there are many people that think that financial planners are into selling things. Out of the 350,000 financial planners across the country, many of them in fact over 90% receive commission in some way from the products that they sell.

Yet there is a financial planner group, which makes up about 10% of this industry, that are not in the business of selling stocks or products. They might manage your investments for you, but they do not get payments for selling you investments. These types of financial planners are known as “no commission planner” or “fee-only financial planner”.

Financial Planners Might Have Specialties

The area that we specialize in involves planning for individuals that are 55 or even older that are within 10 years of the desired retirement-age. We also work with individuals across the country with the use of web-based technology along with screen-sharing. Certain planners will focus on assisting people with funding their kid’s retirement. While others are focused on the retirement plans associated with businesses.

There are also financial planners that are focused on dentists or doctors or to assist younger families to begin savings plans. It is essential to ask your financial planner to tell you about their usual clients. Make sure you are working with the planner that specializes in what you need.

If you are close to retirement and you would like to find out more information on what financial planners are able to help you with, you need to contact different financial planners and then work with the one that accommodates you the best.

Life Insurance Policy Information for Those Aged 70 or Older

Senior Life Insurance

Many people assume that the life insurance policy that they have when they are young will be sufficient throughout their lives. Although this may be true for some individuals, it may not be the case for you.

Many people do not think about getting a life insurance policy until they are 70 years old or older. Other people may purchase life insurance earlier in life; however, their term life policy ends or they lose their insurance coverage for another reason. If you or your loved one is aged 70 or older, you have the right to purchase, and can receive assistance in choosing a life insurance policy.

Long-Term Insurance for People over the Age of 70

senior life

Most insurance companies do not want to share pertinent information about life insurance policies because they do not want to insure a person who has health issues that can result in an early death before the insurance company has collected a lot of money from the insured to cover the costs of the policy.

When a senior is reaching the age of 70 and begins to look at the different life insurance options, it often seems that their choices are very limited and the insurance premiums are very expensive. However, you have many affordable options. There are insurance companies that offer affordable payments and plenty of insurance coverage, no matter your age. Because there are several options when it comes to life insurance policies, you must determine your unique needs and guidelines.

This information will help make your search much easier.

Getting a life insurance policy for someone who is older than 70 does not have to be expensive or difficult. All you need is to understand the type of coverage you are looking for. If you are not sure what policy features that you need, talk with a professional. Life insurance agents or companies can help you to find the best coverage to suit your needs. The insurance premiums and the terms associated with life insurance policies can be confusing. There are different types of policies available. If you are looking for a life insurance policy and you are over the age of 70, use a life insurance professional to help guide you through the confusion that often surrounds life insurance policies for the elderly.

Obtaining a life insurance policy does not have to be difficult or expensive. You can obtain a great life insurance policy if you are over the age of 70 and even if you have some health concerns.

Many people believe that a life insurance policy cannot be obtained after you reach the age of 70 or if you have a medical condition. There is no truth in this belief at all! There are several life insurance policies that are affordable if you know what to look for and how to obtain the policy.

One of the best ways to find the best policy is to work with an independent insurance agent. You should never try to find an insurance policy for yourself or your loved one aged 70 or older because it is quite difficult. A licensed insurance professional will work to find an affordable policy with the benefits that you need.

Term life insurance is one of the most popular types of insurance policies; however, this is not the best type of policy for people aged 70 or older. If possible, you should avoid this type of life insurance policy if you are over the age of 70.

Although term life insurance policies are the most popular type of life insurance on the market, it isn’t the best policy for those aged 70 or older. Why? Term life insurance policies for the elderly often have high premiums that continue to increase dramatically term of the policy (10 to 15 years). Typically, someone aged 70 or older will only need a life insurance for 10 to 15 years; however, if the person needs life insurance for longer than this, the term could run out and the rates of the policy would increase dramatically when they reapply for a term life policy. Although term life policies seem affordable at the beginning, you need to look at how the premiums will increase for the duration of the policy. Oftentimes, you will find that this type of insurance is not the optimal choice for you or your loved one.

How to Recover a Good Credit Score

How and Why You Want Increase Your Credit Score

Are you looking to purchase a new car because you have a new baby coming in the next 9 months, but you cannot get loan approval due to poor credit? If you are in this situation, it is possible to quickly improve a bad credit score. This is due to the fact that the factors which affect your credit score are at your finger tips. However, this will take a little effort on your end.

Of course, it is important to be realistic when looking at quickly improving your credit score. After all, you will not be able to see a difference tomorrow, but you may be able to quickly see an improvement once you get the ball rolling. This will usually range from 3 months to a year or so, depending on the start health of the score. When you show that you’ve become disciplined with your spending as well as your debt re-payments plan, you’ll have a better chance of showing that you’re a ‘low-risk’ client.

Request Your Report

First off, you need to get a copy of your latest credit report and this can be requested from the credit bureaus. To do this, you will need to send them some basic personal information and then wait for 2 to 3 weeks to receive the report by mail. If you’re willing to pay a minimal fee, you will be able to get your credit report online.

The credit score (3 digits) is the ‘key’ number score in the report. It will tell you your overall credit health. The report will include additional information about certain accounts. This can be a tad overwhelming to flip through, especially if you do not know what you are looking at. There are a number of explainers that you can use which will help you with this.

Improve Your Score

Steps To Quickly Increase Your Score

Leave Your Existing Debts On The Credit Report

It is impossible for you to improve your credit score without any history of credit. Young adults and those new to the country often have this issue because they’re just getting established financially. This is why you should look at keeping old accounts open. The longer you can show responsible credit history, the better it looks. Having old debt which has been paid consistently as agreed will help you boost your overall score.

Report Errors

You should be looking at your credit report at minimum once per year to ensure that everything on it is correct. Checking for errors, typo’s or incorrect info, is good practice. If found, you’ll need to initiate a request for an edit to the posted information. Errors such as; missing or incorrect info in your report (often due to someone with a similar name), debts that are not yours, and even debts that may have been fully paid, but have inaccurate payment historical details.

Request a Credit Limit Increase

There are many people who view increasing their credit limit as only a means of enabling them to go even deeper into debt. This is not completely true. Increasing various credit limits can result in great advantages if managed responsibly and wisely. This will decrease overall “credit utilization ratio” which will, in turn, improve your credit score, particularly if you are keeping up with your payments.

Pay Those Bills Before the Due Date

Punctuality is vital when it comes to paying your bills and repairing your credit. Approximately 35% of the credit score is made up of your payment history. If you’re constantly late with making payments on your loans and credit cards, your score will suffer.

Setting Up Automated Payments

If your score is taking a hit from late or missed payments, you might want to think about setting up auto-payments. Automatic payment are a great way to stay on top of debts with a fixed payment date. This will include personal loans, student loans, car loans, and your mortgage. By doing this, you won’t forget to make a payment against and this will improve your score.

Use Credit More Often

A lot of people assume that this will be counter-productive, but is it actually the easiest ways you can repair your score. Your credit score is basically built on how you use credit and your ability to pay it back as agreed. It shows you can manage your personal finances. You should look at ways you can use your credit for normal purchases like groceries and utilities, as these are expenses you would normally purchase with your checking account, and then transfer the balance from your checking account to the credit card as the payment each month..

Request a Secure Credit Card

One of the simplest ways that you can build credit history would be to open a secured credit line or card. This is an account which requires you to make a deposit upfront and can be used like a normal credit card. This is a good option for people without any credit history yet, or a low score who have a hard time getting a traditional loan or credit card account.

Keep Your Card Balances Low

It is not a good idea to keep a high balances on your cards. Maxing your cards out each month and not making any payments, will affect your credit score because the used credit will be compared to the available credit. A good rule is to never exceed 30% of your available limit. This means that with a credit card with a limit of $2500 should never exceed a balance of $750 in a month.

Monitor Your Score Regularly

You will be able to get a free credit report from the credit bureaus. All you need to do is send them some basic personal information and then wait for them to send your report by mail. For a moderate fee, you’ll be able to get instant access to the report.

You need to get your credit report to monitor the changes and to ensure that everything is correct. The credit bureaus will often have guides that you can use to help you determine what the report states and how this affects your score.

When you can clearly understand what your credit score is, you will have a good idea of what you need to do to make it better. There are a number of steps that you can take to try and quickly turn your score around. Of course, you will need to be realistic in the time-frame that you allow for this because it will vary depending on the starting health of your credit score and how much you want to improve it.