A functional furnace will keep your home warm and comfortable, but it is quite easy to take this comfort for granted until you wake up shivering on a cold winter night. If your furnace malfunctions completely, you may have to wait for a few cold and miserable days as it gets repaired or replaced.
To avoid such undesirable occurrences, you can look out for telltale signs that your furnace needs the attention of an HVAC expert. These warning signs include:
Increased Utility Bills
While an increase in utility bills during winter is expected, you should be suspicious of a sudden, sharp rise in your electricity bill. If your furnace is working extra hard to keep your home comfortable during moderate weather, it is likely running inefficiently.
Furnaces will typically lose their efficiency with age, but the process can accelerate if it is inadequately maintained. An inefficient furnace will run longer to deliver the same amount of heat, consuming more electricity to function.
Banging, groaning, and squeaking sounds are common with older furnaces close to the end of their life. Furnaces typically emit a rhythmic hum, but you should call an HVAC contractor if you hear pops and other strange sounds as this may suggest a broken furnace .
Strange noises will indicate that there are broken and loose components that need to be repaired immediately. If the blower fan is continuously running, you may need to replace your furnace.
Challenges Starting the Furnace
If your furnace keeps going out such that you have to turn it on several times during the day, you should get it probed. As your unit ages, you may have problems turning it on and keeping it working.
Start-up problems can be caused by worn thermostats, disconnected wiring, malfunctioning fan motor, damaged condensate pan, or other components. A professional will identify the underlying problem and advise you if you need to invest in another heating system.
Yellow Pilot Light
As long as the pilot light in your furnace is blue, you can be confident that the gases working in your unit are appropriately balanced. Keep a keen eye on the light to ensure it does not turn yellow, as this will mean that the residents in your home are exposed to carbon monoxide. A broken furnace is a danger as it leaks carbon.
This gas is hazardous because it is odorless and will circulate undetected. Carbon dioxide is released from a poorly functioning furnace, and you should switch yours off and call an HVAC technician if the pilot light turns yellow.
Reduced Air Quality
An inefficient furnace will not clean the air in your house correctly. An older unit will have a harder time filtering external air, and your home will start to feel stuffy. Check the heating vents regularly for accumulated dust, as this may also indicate a malfunctioning furnace.
The reduced air quality will rigger respiratory symptoms among your home’s residents due to the circulation of contaminants like pollen, dust, pathogens, allergens, and mold. People may complain of itchiness, coughs, and dry nose, throat, and skin.
Have you observed rooms that are colder than others? If you keep adjusting the thermostat to heat cold rooms, you may be working with an inefficient furnace. Your unit should heat your entire home, but the blower fan can malfunction and result in cold spots.
Other times, the furnace can stop blowing warm air, which often indicates an issue with the heat exchanger or leaking ductwork. The thermostat can also fail to communicate correctly with the furnace and cause cold spots despite your settings.
A functioning furnace is the delight of any homeowner, and you can preempt any problems by paying attention to your unit. Now that you know what you look for, you will be prompt to call HVAC contractors for furnace replacements and repairs. Our seasoned team at Air Expo is a call away to identify furnace issues and provide world-class repair services to your broken furnace.