Whether you are a seasoned homeowner, or you recently made your first purchase, you should always be aware of the condition of your furnace. No matter what part of the country you live in, it’s likely that you will need to check on your furnace every once in a while to make sure it’s working properly. If your furnace goes without routine maintenance, it increases the chances that something may breakdown in your system. Major malfunctions can be problematic, especially when the colder months settle in. Replacing your furnace before it stops working completely may be in your best interest, especially if yours has experienced issues before.
A new furnace will give you peace of mind knowing that you and your loved ones won’t be stuck in the cold this year. Here are 10 signs that your furnace may be failing:
Any aged furnace is likely to make noise, the occasional hum of machinery is never any cause for concern. When it starts to make scarier noises, like loud groans, whistles, or banging sounds, it’s a sign that something may be seriously wrong with your equipment. If you have already experienced these unpleasant sounds before and have paid for repairs, it may be in your best interest to consider having your furnace replaced. Extensive repairs to an outdated machine can be costly and impractical.
Whenever your home gets too chilly, the natural reaction is to turn up the thermostat a few degrees. If your heating system is functioning properly, it should heat your home up to a comfortable temperature in little time at all. If you find that turning up the thermostat doesn’t work like it used to, there may be a problem with your furnace. It’s possible that your thermostat itself may be broken, or that you have a leak somewhere in your duct system. No matter the cause, your heat should be constant and reliable at all times. You should contact a specialist to assess the situation.
Suddenly Spike in Electricity Bill
As a homeowner, it’s likely that you monitor your utility bills closely. A sudden spike in your electricity bill is a telltale sign that your furnace may be failing. In this situation, its best to call a professional for help. They will be able to locate the problem before you waste any more money on a faulty heating system.
Yellow Pilot Light
The flame of your pilot light should always be blue. This indicates that there is a perfect balance of gasses in your furnace working together to heat your home. A yellow light is a clear sign of an imbalance between these precious gasses, and that you may be in danger. A yellow flame means that carbon monoxide is being emitted from your furnace. This is a dangerous chemical that can lead to injury or death due to exposure.
Any furnace that’s up to date and working efficiently should have no problem turning on. Start up issues can range from faulty wiring to a broken fan motor, but needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Professional servicing will let you know if the problem can be easily fixed or if it needs extensive work.
Respiratory Problems Amongst Family
A furnace in need of repair can cause respiratory problems for those living in your home. Asthma that is triggered more often, as well as other chest related illnesses, can be caused by an old or dirty furnace. Systems that work inefficiently can pump dust, mold, mildew, and other airborne pathogens into your homes air supply. To increase the air conditions in your home, you should seek repair or replacement as soon as possible.
Hot and Cold Spots
Inconsistent heating throughout your home is a sign that your furnace is no longer capable of heating your home efficiently. If you can feel drafts or some rooms are noticeably warmer than others, it’s also possible that you are leaking heat somewhere. Ice present on your roof is an indication that heat may be escaping through your attic. Routine professional maintenance will be able to stop these problems before they can escalate.
Air condensation isn’t cause for immediate concern, but it can cause damage over a prolonged period of time. If the problem persists, you should schedule maintenance.
The average furnace has a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. A good furnace that has received professional maintenance throughout the years can live out its full life free from serious error. If you know that your furnace is 15 years or older, you should begin looking for a new one before you desperately need a replacement. A newer model will be more energy efficient and up to code, improving your safety and saving you money on your utility bills.
The only time you should ever be able to smell your furnace is when you first turn it on for the season. If you can still smell gas or oil after several uses, you should contact a professional immediately to diagnose the problem. Not only is it a sign that your equipment isn’t working properly, but it could also be a potential health hazard for you and your loved ones.