Winter is tough enough without your furnace failing you. With the coldest months here, it’s crucial to have your furnace checked out by a professional to ensure it’s running in tip-top shape. Furnaces keep our homes warm by heating the air inside. Although the concept sounds simple, it’s pretty complex.
Various things can go wrong and it can be tough to narrow down the exact cause if you’re not a professional. If your furnace is in disrepair, there are some warning signs you’ll want to heed to ensure you’re not left with an unexpected repair or worse- no heat at all. Here are some of the main things that signal it’s time to make a service call:
Strange or New Sounds
Sometimes we tend to ignore the sounds things in our home make, especially if they’re inconsistent or not particularly loud. However, it’s important to pay close attention to the sounds your furnace is making because it’s a warning sign.
A buzzing sound could indicate something electrical going on within the system. A screeching sound could mean a belt is worn out, which could potentially break. If you notice any strange or new sounds, contact a professional to determine if they are cause for concern or something minor.
Higher Heating Costs
If there’s a spike in your monthly heating costs, it may mean your furnace isn’t running as efficiently as it should. When a furnace is in distress, it works harder to heat the home.
Harder work results in more energy usage and that’ll be reflected on your electric bill. If you compare your heating bill this year to last year and it’s gone up significantly, you’ll want to have it checked out.
It’s Not Warm Enough
If raising the temperature on the thermostat isn’t making the home warmer, this is a sign of a problem. While it could be something minor like a thermostat problem, it could also mean a problem with the heating element.
If your system seems to always be running, it’s working harder than it should and will eventually wear faster. You don’t want to shorten the lifespan of your system because of improper maintenance.
Pilot Light Is Not Blue
The flames on a pilot light should be a bright blue. If you notice they’re a yellow or orange color, it means there could be a lack of oxygen, resulting in an inefficient burn. It could also mean there’s a substance on the burners affecting its ability to operate.
Since the flame can release carbon monoxide into the air if the system isn’t working correctly, it’s important to address the concern any time you see a color other than blue.
A furnace short cycles when it switches on and off without ever reaching the temperature set on the thermostat. Rapid cycling results in failure to complete a full heating cycle. Not only will you not be as comfortable because your home isn’t getting warm, but short cycling also leads to wear and tear on the system and shortens the lifespan.
Take note of all the indications your furnace is giving you that it needs a service before a minor repair becomes a major issue.