The winter months have settled in, and it’s highly likely that you are using your gas furnace more than ever! During this time, it would be especially problematic if your heating system were to fail. Your furnace is essential for keeping you and your family in a safe, warm environment during the harsh cold that winter brings. Because your heat is so important, you should be sure that your furnace is working properly at all times. Just like you are able to feel the cold when the heat stops working, you may be able to sense issues with your furnace before total system failure occurs. Here are some of the ways your senses can pick up warning signals from your furnace:
Its normal for any furnace to hum, but it should otherwise be pretty silent at all times. If you can hear any loud or alarming sounds, it’s a sign that there may be something wrong with your furnace! And loud banging noises, rattles, or groans are enough of a reason to call an HVAC professional for maintenance. When you hear these noises, it means that a piece has likely become loose of detached. Loose or broken parts can cause larger, costly problems over time.
Take a look at your pilot light. It may be in or under part of your furnace, but it should be visible if you are standing in the right place. If you see that your pilot light has a blue flame, you have nothing to worry about! A blue light means that the gasses working inside of your furnace are perfectly balanced. If you notice the light is yellow, it’s a sign that something is wrong. A yellow pilot indicates that harmful carbon monoxide may be releasing into your home. Carbon monoxide is harmful and can even cause death. Contact an emergency professional immediately for assistance.
Can you smell oil or gas whenever you switch on your furnace? I’s normal to smell a faint amount when you turn it on for the first time of a season, but if you can still smell it after a few uses you should schedule an inspection as soon as possible. Being able to smell these materials can mean that there is a leak or fault somewhere in your heating system. Gas and oil are highly flammable, so strange smells could indicate a potential fire hazard.
Grab that electric bill! If you are shocked by a price increase upon opening your utility statement, it’s a telltale sign that you are wasting electricity. If your furnace isn’t working as well as it should be, it will require more electricity to operate. The need for more power will certainly reflect in your electric bill! Schedule professional maintenance from an HVAC professional as soon as possible. Whether you need repair or replacement, you will save money in the long run due to the efficiency of your updated or upgraded furnace.