Though you may not pay your furnace much attention during the warm months, it is critical for helping you get through the colder ones. Unfortunately, there is a lot that can go wrong with your furnace despite not being used for half the year. The good news is that being able to recognize the signs of imminent failure can help you to get your furnace repaired when it needs it. With this in mind, let’s go over six signs that your furnace needs repairs.
1. The Furnace Won’t Activate
This one is pretty obvious. If your furnace isn’t turning on, then it likely needs to be repaired. However, there are some cases in which this isn’t as big of a deal s it may seem. Firstly, you’ll want to check your thermostat and make sure it is set to heat. If that isn’t the issue, you can check the fan, pilot light, and gas supply. You should also check to make sure that rats haven’t damaged any of the wires. If all of this isn’t an issue, then you should call HVAC contractors to take care of things for you.
2. Insufficient Heat
Sometimes your furnace will turn on, but it won’t produce a sufficient amount of heat. This can be caused by a malfunctioning thermostat or air escaping through damaged ductwork. In any case, your furnace isn’t going to be able to do its job in this state, so you’ll need to get someone to come take a look at it.
3. Bad Smells and Poor Air Quality
If you’re noticing bad smells or poor air quality that coincides with using your furnace, then it may be having problems. This is because a furnace that is poorly maintained can be responsible for distributing bacteria, dirt, and other particles around your home. This can be a big problem for those with asthma and/or allergies.
How you deal with this problem depends on the cause. If it’s a dirty filter that’s the culprit, then a simple replacement can take care of the issue. However, if the problem lies deeper, such as in the ductwork, then you’ll need professional help to fix the problem. In some cases, the furnace unit may even need to be professionally cleaned.
4. Odd Noises
Weird noises coming from your furnace can indicate that there’s a problem. Knocking and/or groaning could mean that some of the internal equipment is damaged, while whistling or squealing could mean there is a belt problem. Regardless, odd noises are usually a sign that something is wrong and that there will be worse problems down the road if you don’t get it taken care of ASAP.
5. Carbon Monoxide Detection
Your furnace should be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector to let you know if the deadly gas is present. If the detector goes off, shut down the furnace and have it inspected as soon as possible. When it comes to carbon monoxide, you’re always better safe than sorry.
Also, be aware that the pilot light flame inside your furnace should always be blue. If you notice that it’s burning yellow, that’s a sign that carbon monoxide is being produced. Call the professionals for an inspection if this is the case so that they can fix the problem.
6. Your Furnace is Old
A furnace usually lasts around 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is older than that or just looks beat up and worn out, then it may be time to get a new one. If it’s still working without any problems though, consider having it inspected or maintained regularly to keep it running.
Avoiding Total System Failure
Every furnace fails eventually, so having a contingency plan on what to do when that time comes is important. However, it is also equally as important to know and recognize the signs of distress that your furnace could experience so that you can have it repaired by HVAC contractors and avoid a complete failure. The last thing you want is for your furnace to completely stop working during a particularly cold spell during the winter, especially if you or someone in your home is elderly.