As temperatures begin to drop in the evenings it is natural to be giving a lot of thought to how you heat your home. If you are like many homeowners, you have a furnace as part of a HVAC system, and you typically keep an eye on it and maintain it as best you can. How can you know if you should take care of a little furnace repair before the weather really turns cold? Besides the obvious sign of a furnace simply not working any longer, there are some warning signs that you can watch out for and hopefully use to catch a major problem before it gets out of control!
1 – Your furnace sounds like it’s possessed
While it’s true that no furnace is going to be whisper-quiet, it is also not normal for a furnace to be making all manner of strange noises. If you hear sounds that sound like something out of a horror film (groaning, banging, and whining noises) your furnace repairs might include replacing a loose belt, correcting an ignition problem, or replacing a component that is about to fail.
2 – Cranking up the thermostat isn’t cutting it anymore
When you’re cold, your natural response is to try to warm things up. Usually all you need to do if you have a furnace is go bump the heat up a few notches at the thermostat…but what if this isn’t working? Your thermostat may be faulty, or you may have leaking ducts, or a problem with your pilot light.
3 – Your electric bills have gone sky high
Higher than normal electricity bills often indicate inefficient performance, which can be caused by a variety of problems. It is best to have a qualified professional diagnose the issue rather than trying to do so yourself.
4 – Your pilot light is yellow
When you check on your furnace and notice that your pilot light is burning yellow, you may not think anything of it at first. The trouble is that a yellow flame indicates that the gas combination of your furnace is not in good condition. A blue flame is the ideal because it indicates an ideal balance of gases. Yellow can indicate problem gases such as Carbon Monoxide.
5 – Your furnace has trouble getting started and staying on
Furnace repairs that might be needed to correct this problem are replacing a thermostat, faulty wiring, repairing a pilot light, or fixing a fan motor
6 – Your family isn’t doing so well in the air quality department
If your furnace needs repairs, you can often see a rise in the frequency that you and your family experience breathing-related troubles such as asthma, allergies, and other illnesses. A poorly-functioning system can be putting dust, mold, and other irritants into the air that circulates through your home.
7 – Chills everywhere and ice where it shouldn’t be
If constant drafts are the norm, it is likely that your furnace is not able to heat your entire house anymore. If ice is forming on your roof, it can be a sign that furnace repairs are needed because the heat from your home is leaking up through your attic as opposed to staying down in the living areas where it belongs.
8 – Condensation is common
Furnace repairs might not be needed if you are seeing condensation on the insides of your windows, but it is a sign that you should call in a professional to take a look at your system.
9 – Your furnace could give fossils a run for their money
The average life of a furnace is between 10 and 20 years, with most units lasting into the upper end of that range. If your furnace is beyond 15 years old, it is time to start planning to replace it sooner rather than later.
10 – You have repaired in within the last 2 years
If you have needed furnace repairs more than once in the past two years it may be time to consider replacing it. Furnaces are like cars in that they tend to break down more as they age. The average lifespan for a Furnace is approximately 12-15 years.