As homeowners, there are a lot of systems in your home that can break down, and sometimes at the worst possible time. Without an expert under your roof, it can be tough to know when your furnace is doing its job or on the fritz. Here are 6 signs that your furnace needs some love from a professional furnace maintenance and repair company.
1. Strange noises
A furnace is never totally quiet. It’s normal to hear some bangs and pops in the ductwork, and humming while the blower runs. But if you start to hear loud bangs, rattling, whining, grinding, or squealing, it’s time to call an expert in. They can assess the sounds, find the problem, and (hopefully) resolve it before you need an entirely new furnace. Regular maintenance is a great preventative measure.
2. Flame won’t stay lit
If your furnace burner light or pilot light keeps going out, that’s a sign of trouble. There are different types of furnaces that ignite in different ways so it can be difficult to troubleshoot what’s causing the ignition issues. You don’t want to ignore an issue like this, which can leave you cold – or cause gas to leak into your home. Call an expert, and keep your fire burning all winter long.
3. Water leaks
The most common cause of a water leak around the base of a furnace is due to leaks from your condensate trap and drain lines, which again, should be assessed by a professional. If it’s not a condensation trap/drain line issue, it could be related to your humidifier (if you have one) or a clog in the humidifier drain line. A professional furnace inspection will typically provide a thorough cleaning and inspection of the condensate trap, drain lines, and condensate pump, which will help prevent leaks which if left without repair will cause rusting and premature failure of your furnace cabinet and other components. It’s another reason regular inspections are a good idea.
4. Cold air
When winter rolls in, the last thing you want is cold air rolling in with it. From pilot lights going out and poor gas supply to condensation clogs and duct issues, there are many reasons your furnace could be blowing cold air. There are some simple things you can try on your own. First, check your thermostat. Is the temperature set to where it should be? If your thermostat is battery-powered, check to see if the low-battery indicator is flashing. If so, change it!
Other things you can do yourself include; checking and relighting the pilot light and changing a clogged furnace filter. You can always review your users’ manual too. If the cold air persists, pick up the phone and call for help.
5. Heating costs rising
Maybe there are no strange sounds or water leaks, but suddenly your heating bill is out of whack. That too can be a sign that your furnace is on the fritz, and needs a tune-up or inspection. Professional servicing will reduce the need for repairs, reduce energy bills, improve the efficiency of your system, and keep your home safe and secure. Keep eye on your furnace, and call the pros if it fails you.
6. A rapid ‘stop and go’ of warm air
“Short cycling” is a common problem where a furnace turns on for a very brief period before shutting off again. This prevents the warm air from moving throughout your home. Short cycling can happen if the furnace heat exchanger is overheating, and turning off to protect itself. A clogged filter, or blockage in the ductwork or in some cases a clogged exchanger (very common in early Carrier High Efficiency Furnaces) can also be the culprit. If the furnace is overheating, call a professional right away. Overheating can cause the heat exchanger to crack, which can allow dangerous carbon monoxide gas to enter your home.