Did you know that furnaces that need to be repaired often function at only 80% in comparison to a typical 95-100% rate?
You rely on your furnace to keep your home warm for your family, and a damaged furnace can prevent that from happening. Even worse, a furnace in need of repair can cause major issues—some even life-threatening.
The key to preventing furnace issues from worsening is knowing when a furnace repair is necessary. Continue reading to learn 12 signs that you’re having furnace problems and should call someone to take a look right away.
- Increased Energy Bills
Have your energy bills recently gone up despite the fact you haven’t changed your habits?
An increase in energy bills is one sign that something is going wrong with your furnace, and a furnace repair or furnace replacement might be necessary.
If the unit isn’t functioning correctly, it might require more effort to keep your home at the same comfortable temperature. This can be a problem financially. But, it can also lead to unsafe conditions in your home or prevent your house from being kept at an optimal temperature at all.
If you notice you’re spending more than usual, keep an eye out for some of the other problems mentioned in the rest of this article as well.
- A Yellow Pilot Light
The pilot light inside of your furnace can be a good indicator of the health of the furnace.
When you look inside, it should be a bright blue color. However, if you ever notice that it seems yellow instead, this is a problem. A yellow pilot light could be a sign that your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide.
This gas, known as the silent killer, is extremely dangerous. Because of this, if you experience this particular issue, it’s crucial for you to call a professional in to assess the situation right away.
One great option if you find yourself in this situation is Thomas HVAC Company.
- It’s Making Strange Noises
Have you ever noticed strange noises coming from somewhere, but you can’t figure out what they are?
This is one of the common furnace problems that many people don’t realize at first. So, if you hear creaking, squeaking, or popping noises, head to your furnace and see if that’s the source of the noise.
If it is, it’s likely caused by a piece inside the unit getting loose and moving around periodically.
In this instance, it’s best to have a trained professional come in to figure out the exact problem and fix whatever it is. Thankfully, it’s a quick fix in many cases, and some tightening of a few loose bolts will get things back to normal again.
- Your Home Takes a While to Get Warm
When you turn up the heat, have you noticed that it seems like it takes forever to warm up? Does your furnace not kick on right away when you turn up the thermostat?
If it’s taking your furnace longer than expected to get your house to the temperature it needs to be at, this is a clear sign that something isn’t working right.
Your furnace might be working harder than it should be to warm up the house, and this can lead to issues down the line. It also might be slowly dying and in dire need of a replacement.
It’s best to have someone take a look at it, so you know what you’re dealing with and what action needs to be taken to move forward.
- The Furnace Looks Dated
If just looking at your furnace makes it clear how old it is, it might be time for a replacement, or at the very least, a repair.
An experienced professional can take a look at your heating and cooling systems and see if replacing any parts would extend the life of the unit as a whole.
Above all, when your furnace begins to look visibly worn out, it’s a good sign that you will need to take action.
- It Cycles on and off Often
A furnace that’s working properly will regulate the temperature in your home by turning on when it senses the air temperature is colder than what you have it set at.
If you notice your furnace turning off and then back on again more frequently than it needs to be, something is wrong. If this continues to happen, the unit can get damaged, and your home might not be staying at a comfortable temperature.
This is all one thing that can cause your energy bills to go up, too.
- You Notice Bad Smells While It Runs
When furnaces are first installed, there might be a weird smell, but it should go away once some time has passed.
If your furnace isn’t newly installed, and you’re smelling something off, this can be a sign of poor combustion. The byproduct of poor combustion often smells terrible. And, if this problem worsens, it can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.
Overall, if something doesn’t smell right, it’s because something isn’t functioning properly.
- The Heat Isn’t Distributed Evenly
Have you ever been in one room and been freezing cold only to enter a new one and feel hot? It’s most likely not because you’re imagining things. It’s a side effect of the heat not being evenly distributed throughout your home.
This can lead to uncomfortable situations because while you’re turning the heat up to make one room more comfortable, it might be making another room unbearably hot.
When your furnace is working properly, there won’t be warm and cold spots around your home. The entire space will be one, even temperature.
While a basement or attic might differ in temperature from the rest of the house, if you’re noticing an issue in other areas, it’s a good idea to call a furnace repair service.
- Your Furnace Is More Than 20 Years Old
As a general rule, furnaces last between 15 and 20 years. After this, the chance of them breaking down or stopping working completely greatly increases.
There should be a label attached to the unit that contains information about how old it is. If it’s getting up there in age, it’s wise to have someone come look at it and see how well it’s functioning.
Even if everything seems to be running smoothly despite your furnace falling into that 15-20 year age range, it might be working less efficiently. This is another issue that feeds into higher energy bills.
If you notice your furnace is getting old, it’s best to mentally prepare for an in-depth tune-up or total replacement in the near future.
- You Experience a Gas Leak
If you smell a gas leak, immediately take the time to look up “furnace repair near me” to find someone that can come assess the situation as soon as possible.
As soon as you smell the leak, it’s important for you to turn your furnace off if you can. If there is a leak, no matter how small, the gas is highly flammable and one stray spark could lead to a house fire.
In line with this, once the furnace is turned off and the call has been placed for help, you should leave your home if it’s possible for you to do so. Once a professional either confirms the unit is in good working order or fixes the unit and ensures it’s good to go, you can safely return it.
Another type of leak you want to keep an eye out for is a water leak. If you notice a puddle of water on the floor near the furnace, call someone to take a look. It’s often a small fix, and this type of issue isn’t potentially dangerous, so it’s not as serious as a gas leak.
But, it can lead to mold, so calling someone in is still important.
- The Unit Has Trouble Starting
If your furnace has trouble starting or won’t start at all, this is an obvious issue.
Before you call someone to come look, there are a few things you can check for on your own. First, make sure that the thermostat is turned on and you have it set to heat.
Next, check that the fan on the furnace is working. Finally, you can check the gas supply by testing any other gas-run appliances in your home. This rules out a gas supply issue.
If there’s a furnace light on your furnace, you can take a quick look to see if it’s still on.
If you notice the gas isn’t working at all in your home or the pilot light isn’t on, you’ve narrowed down the problem.
Overall, if you notice your furnace struggling to start, calling a professional sooner rather than later can prevent your furnace from totally breaking down.
- You Notice Soot
If you notice soot build-up on your walls, particularly in the area of the room the furnace is in, this is a problem. It likely means that the furnace was installed improperly in the first place or that your furnace is going bad.
In either case, a professional will need to come in to look at the unit.
Other Small Issues You Might Notice
So far, this article has covered 12 major issues you should notice right away if they happen. There are other small issues that might be signs of something wrong with your furnace. Here are a few:
- Increasing illness in your family
- Dry air
- Needing frequent repairs
- Excess dust in vents
- Carbon monoxide alarm going off
- Poor air quality
- Moisture build-up
These additional issues are less obvious than the 12 mentioned throughout the rest of the article, but they’re still troublesome nonetheless.
If you notice any of these problems cropping up, notify your local HVAC company.
Benefits of Regular Furnace Maintenance
Having an HVAC company inspect and maintain your furnace on a regular basis has countless benefits. While it’s still important for you to keep an eye out for any of these problems yourself, a trained professional will be able to spot them easily when they’re in your home.
Getting your furnace cleaned and calibrated will help your furnace to run more smoothly and effectively, which is one thing that will help keep consistent temperatures and low energy bills.
Replacing a furnace can be expensive. One way to prolong and avoid replacements for as long as possible is by having regular check-ups. Systems that get routine tune-ups will undoubtedly last longer.
When your furnace breaks down and stops working for a period of time, this can really derail your life for a bit. Having the parts cleaned and checked on can help prevent this from happening.
Finally, regular maintenance can prevent harmful issues from occurring and help improve the quality of the air.
12 Signs Furnace Repair Is in Your Future
Furnace issues are no small problem and should be addressed right away. To be sure you know when a problem exists, this article walks you through 12 major signs that furnace repair is needed. It also briefly touches on some other minor signs you might notice as well.
If your furnace is creating any of these issues in your home, call a professional to check it out right away so you can prevent things from getting worse.
This article is packed full of helpful tips to keep you, your family, and your home safe and comfortable. If you’d like to read other articles full of useful information just like this, please check out the rest of our website for more!