5 Warning Signs of Furnace Problems
September 5, 2016
September 5, 2016
As autumn approaches and colder weather arrives, most homeowners will turn the furnace on for the first time in several months. Can you tell the difference between normal furnace “warm-up” and a genuine problem in your HVAC system?
Here are some tips to help you identify early warning signs of a problem with your furnace or other home heating system:
- Strange Heater Noises. Unusual banging, squealing, or popping may indicate your furnace is coming to the end of its useful life. If your furnace starts making loud or unusual sounds, arrange a professional inspection right away. Sometimes the problem is merely overdue maintenance, but don’t risk your family’s safety by delaying a furnace check-up.
- New or Unusual Illnesses in the Family. Aging furnaces lose efficiency, making them less able to filter dust, mold, and allergens from the air. In some cases, older heating units also develop cracks that allow toxic carbon monoxide to enter the home. If you or your family members start showing signs of increased allergies, headaches, dizziness, or other unexplained illnesses, arrange for a furnace technician to service your HVAC unit as soon as possible.
- Peculiar Furnace Smells.Some furnace smells are harmless, but others are signs of potential breakdowns ordangerous malfunctions in the HVAC system. Never try to diagnose a furnace odor on your own. Call a professional heating technician as soon as you notice any unusual smells or odors coming from the furnace or heating vents.
- Temperature Differences Between Rooms. Older or malfunctioning furnaces have trouble circulating heat efficiently. The result? Some rooms may stay cold, while others (usually closer to the heating unit) become uncomfortably warm. If you notice unusual temperature gradients, or significant differences in the way your heater maintains temperatures in different parts of your home, it might be time for furnace repair or replacement.
- Increased Energy Bills.Energy costs often rise in autumn and winter, as colder temperatures require more active heating of the home. However, sudden or significant jumps in gas and electric bills are often indicators of a furnace problem.
Annual furnace maintenance, including regular tune-ups, can extend the life of your furnace and help diagnose potential problems early, avoiding hundreds or even thousands of dollars in HVAC repairs. An air-conditioning tune-up at the start of summer, and a furnace inspection in early fall, will help you ensure your HVAC system is safe and ready to keep your family comfortable year-round.