As the temperatures drop and fall is only weeks away from our doorsteps here in Denton (phew! thank goodness!), you may find yourself turning on your furnace one of these nights for the first time in many months only to notice things may not sound, smell, or seem quite right.
Like any other piece of machinery, furnaces require regular maintenance to ensure they operate efficiently and safely. Ignoring signs of trouble can lead to costly repairs or even compromise your family's safety. So, let's dive into the 12 signs that suggest your furnace might be in need of some attention.
Issue: Uneven heating can be frustrating and uncomfortable, with some rooms feeling like iceboxes while others are toasty warm. This problem is often caused by blocked vents or ducts, a malfunctioning blower, or an improperly sized furnace.
Solution: A professional HVAC technician can assess the issue and recommend appropriate solutions. This might include cleaning ducts, repairing or replacing the blower, or, in extreme cases, resizing the furnace to better match your home's heating needs.
Issue: A sudden spike in your heating bills can be alarming. It's a sign that your furnace is working harder and less efficiently, which can result from various issues like clogged filters, a malfunctioning thermostat, or aging components.
Solution: Start by changing your furnace's air filters regularly, usually every 1-3 months. If the problem persists, have an HVAC technician inspect and clean the furnace components, calibrate the thermostat, or replace any worn-out parts.
Issue: A normally quiet furnace that starts making strange sounds like banging, clanking, squealing, or rattling is a cause for concern. These noises can indicate worn-out or loose components within the furnace.
Solution: Call a professional technician to diagnose and repair the issue. They may need to tighten loose parts, lubricate moving components, or replace damaged elements to eliminate the noises and restore your furnace's smooth operation.
Issue: Weak or no airflow from your vents can make your home uncomfortably cold. This problem may occur due to clogged air filters, blocked ducts, or a malfunctioning blower motor.
Solution: Replace dirty air filters regularly to ensure proper airflow. If the issue persists, schedule an HVAC technician to clean the ducts, remove obstructions, or repair or replace the blower motor as needed.
Issue: A properly functioning furnace should have a steady blue flame. If you notice a yellow or flickering flame, it can indicate a combustion problem, possibly due to a blocked burner or gas supply issues.
Solution: Do not attempt to address this issue yourself, as it involves potential gas-related hazards. Immediately shut off your furnace, leave your home, and contact a qualified HVAC technician or your gas utility provider to investigate and rectify the problem.
Issue: Inspecting your furnace for visible damage, rust, or corrosion is essential for safety and efficiency. These issues can compromise your furnace's operation and pose safety hazards.
Solution: If you notice damage or corrosion, consult a professional technician. They will evaluate the extent of the problem and recommend repairs or component replacements to ensure your furnace operates safely and efficiently.
Issue: Unusual odors like burning smells, rotten egg odors (indicative of a gas leak), or musty odors can be concerning and require immediate attention.
Solution: For safety reasons, evacuate your home if you smell gas and contact your gas utility provider. In the case of other unusual odors, consult an HVAC technician to identify and resolve the issue, which may involve cleaning, repairing, or replacing components.
Issue: A blower that runs continuously even when the furnace isn't actively heating your home is a sign of trouble. This can result from a malfunctioning limit switch or thermostat.
Solution: Consult an HVAC professional to inspect the limit switch and thermostat. They may need to recalibrate or replace these components to ensure your furnace operates as intended, cycling on and off at the right times.
Issue: A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to heating problems. If your thermostat isn't responding correctly, such as failing to reach the set temperature or not turning on the furnace when needed, it can be frustrating.
Solution: Start by checking the thermostat's batteries and settings. If issues persist, have an HVAC technician assess and possibly replace the thermostat. Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat can also enhance your furnace's efficiency.
Issue: Older furnaces with pilot lights may experience frequent pilot light issues, like it going out or being challenging to relight.
Solution: Don't ignore pilot light problems as they can leave you without heat. Call a professional technician to inspect the pilot light, clean the burner assembly, and replace any faulty components to ensure reliable ignition.
Issue: Furnaces have a typical lifespan of 15-20 years. If your furnace is approaching or surpassing this age range, it's more susceptible to problems and may be less energy-efficient.
Solution: Consider the age of your furnace and its repair history. If it's reaching the end of its lifespan and experiencing frequent issues, it might be more cost-effective in the long run to invest in a new, energy-efficient furnace. Modern furnaces are not only more reliable but also more environmentally friendly, which can lead to long-term cost savings.
In conclusion, your furnace is a vital part of your home's comfort and safety during the colder months. Paying attention to these signs and taking prompt action when you notice them can help you avoid costly repairs, enhance energy efficiency, and ensure that your furnace continues to keep your home warm and comfortable. Remember to schedule regular maintenance by a qualified HVAC technician to catch and address these issues before they become major problems, ensuring a cozy and worry-free winter season.
As a top rated HVAC company serving Denton County, we specialize in offering comprehensive assistance for your furnace needs, including regular furnace repairs, inspections, and maintenance. Give us a call or schedule online with us for your next service today!