Signs You Need Furnace Repair: Part One
A survey conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration back in 2015 showed that over 80% of American homes relied on furnaces as their primary source of heat. Of those 80%, approximately 45% used gas furnaces in their homes (the remainder used electric). Furnaces are still in use today, with most households relying on them for heat, particularly in the fall and winter.
The average furnace has a lifespan of up to 20 years, but that longevity requires some maintenance. As with all home appliances, furnaces can develop periodic issues over their life, and most individual furnace parts will require maintenance or replacement at some point to keep the whole unit functioning. While maintenance and repairs are inevitable, attending to them promptly can stave off more costly expenses or the need for an entire system replacement.
To ensure the earliest detection of furnace problems, look for these tell-tale signs:
The Furnace is Showing Its Age
So how would you know in advance that your furnace is going out? Tracing the equipment’s current age is a good start. If you bought a home in anything other than brand-new condition and didn’t receive information on the installation date of the furnace, then you may need to look for such details as a matter of urgency.
A furnace over 15 years old may require more repairs- and therefore cost more money- than getting a new furnace. And when the furnace unit is over 20 years old, it is likely to require more maintenance than it would have needed in its younger life to continue functioning properly.
This is because with age, furnace efficiency decreases. While repair and maintenance can remedy this inefficiency in the short term, you may consider replacing the furnace for a long-term solution.
Abnormal Furnace Smell
Most furnaces emit a subtle smell of fuel when they’re first turned on and begin to run. As it continues to run, the odor dissipates and eventually you won’t notice a smell at all.
However, if the scent becomes intense or abnormal (i.e. different from what you usually smell when the furnace kicks on) you might need urgent furnace repair. The scent may either appear then disappear, or linger long after the furnace is off. A gas leak in the system is a likely culprit, but it is possible that your unit may have excessive dust leading up to the smell as the furnace struggles to function.
Have you been searching for “furnace repair service near me” to help you remedy the odor from your furnace? For safety’s sake, furnace repair should be left to a trained HVAC technician, so contact us for help diagnosing the source of the problem.
The Furnace Makes Strange Noises
One of the surest indicators that your furnace is going out is the recurrence of strange noises- such as rattling, popping, or banging noise from your HVAC system. Wear and tear is often the culprit for the noise, so as parts deteriorate, you’ll likely experience a recurrence of noise from the furnace. A HVAC technician can diagnose worn parts and replace them. Once the worn part is replaced, the strange noises should subside.
When the Heating Bill Hits the Roof
The average American household incurs close to $246 as the annual cost of heating. Residents using natural gas to fuel their furnaces part with the lion’s share of this high energy cost. If your utility bills and energy consumption have skyrocketed recently, a faulty furnace may bear part of the blame.
Note that as a furnace ages, issues related to air ducts start to manifest. If your air ducts have problematic seals, the furnace may not work optimally. If this happens, your utility bill may increase dramatically over a short period. Keep your furnace functioning efficiently to conserve energy and keep utility bills low by taking care of any maintenance and repairs your furnace needs.
Contact us to have one of our HVAC technicians inspect your furnace, diagnose any issues and remedy them before the chill of winter and exorbitant heating bills set in.
There’s A Change in the Pilot Flame Color
When operating your furnace, the standard color for the pilot light is a strong, bright blue flame. Check your pilot light often so you can detect any slight changes in how the pilot flame lights up. If the flame changes color over time to a weak and wavy flickering flame, this could signify that the furnace may go out soon and you will need professional heating repair.
Why would the color change? The pilot flame may change color if the rate the furnace burns gas slows down. Even if your furnace is new, the pilot light can change. This is especially the case if carbon monoxide isn’t venting away from the system like it is supposed to.
A yellow pilot flame indicates the gas may not be burning as it should. The furnace system could also be dirty, leading to partial blockage of the system. If this is the issue, contact us to get rid of the blockage.
Call in the Pros
There are more signs that indicate your furnace needs maintenance and/or repair, and you can read them in “Signs You Need Furnace Repair: Part Two.“
But ultimately, if you aren’t getting the warmth and comfort you seek from your furnace, contact us and let us inspect your furnace. We’ll advise you of any issues we uncover and all the options available to you to remedy the problem, then get you back up and running in a timely manner.
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