A faulty furnace is more than a nuisance: it can cost you money, lower your home’s comfort level and even pose a safety risk. Ideally, your home heating system will work efficiently through its entire lifespan, but that doesn’t always happen. Without proper maintenance, a furnace can quickly fall into disrepair, which is never fun to deal with as a homeowner.
It can be difficult to tell when your furnace isn’t performing optimally, so it’s important to know what to look out for to identify when it’s time to repair or replace your equipment. Learn the most common furnace warning signs for homeowners before a breakdown catches you by surprise.
No furnace lasts forever, so it’s a good idea to compare the age of your unit to the national average of 15–20 years. When your furnace is approaching this age, it’s time to start looking for new equipment. Don’t wait until something goes wrong to shop for a furnace because you might have to rush your decision in these situations. A proper installation is important; so make sure you choose a qualified and licensed contractor when it’s time for a replacement. Get proactive when your furnace is reaching the end of its lifespan to ensure your home stays comfortable year in and year out.
While higher energy bills during the winter and summer are to be expected, sudden jumps in pricing are not. Many factors may contribute to this problem, but a faulty furnace is one of the most likely culprits. As a furnace gets older, it can malfunction in ways that make it lose efficiency. An inefficient furnace must work harder to produce the same results, which quickly raises energy costs for homeowners. This problem is especially pronounced when a furnace hasn’t had regular maintenance, such as filter replacements. Instead of pouring money into excessive energy bills, sometimes it’s best to invest in a new furnace.
It’s never a bad idea to check on your furnace’s burner to find out if it’s operating correctly. One hint that can help you identify a problem is the color of the flame. It should always be blue, so if you notice a yellow color instead, it may be time for a replacement unit. A yellow burner indicates the presence of poisonous carbon monoxide. Other possible signs of carbon monoxide include a lack of upward draft in the furnace chimney, rusty or leaking flue pipes and soot streaks near the furnace. If you notice any of these issues, you should call a professional immediately to take a look at your furnace. It could be posing a danger to everyone in your household.
Keep your ears open while your furnace is running — what you hear might indicate that it’s time for new equipment. When you notice popping, rattling, banging or squealing noises near your furnace, it could be due to the fact that the unit is reaching the end of its lifespan. In addition to abrupt noises, unusual furnace cycles can signal a problem; if you hear your furnace’s blower motor running more often than usual, there could be an underlying mechanical issue. If the blower turns on and off every few minutes, it could be time to start browsing stores for one that doesn’t.
A Stuffy-Feeling Home
When your furnace ages, it begins to lose its ability to moisten and purify the air in your home. If things are starting to feel stale or stuffy, a dysfunctional furnace may be to blame. Some of the first people to notice this change are likely to be those with allergies. If they are sensitive to mold, pollen, dust or dander, a faulty furnace could exacerbate their problems. It’s not just people with allergies that suffer from impure air; a broken furnace can lead to a dry nose and scratchy throat for anyone in the home. When you feel like you’ve come down with a never-ending cold, your furnace could be to blame.
Even though we are approaching spring, it’s still important to ensure that your furnace is operating at its best. Air conditioners use the furnace blower to move air through your home’s ducts, so taking action now helps you prevent a breakdown when things get muggy this summer. Over the next few days, watch and listen closely to your forced air system. It could be signaling a furnace problem that’s worth looking into. If you think your furnace needs repair or replacement, check out our furnace services. We’re here to help you solve any furnace issue and keep things running smoothly through the life of your equipment.