Don't Be Left In The Cold: Watch For The Warning Signs Of A Failing Furnace

Posted on: 9 February 2015

Waiting until your furnace stops working before having it serviced is not an ideal situation.  Pay attention to the warning signs your furnace may be giving off in order to prevent a cold and stressful emergency.  A professional can help you determine whether or not your furnace needs repair or if you should start looking at making a new purchase.

Your Furnace is not Running Efficiently

If your furnace is not doing its job efficiently, there is likely a problem.  You may notice that you are constantly cranking your heat up to no avail, or that some rooms are colder than others.  Your furnace may not stay on, or you may find it running longer than normal.  Another sign of an inefficient furnace is if your bill shows a significant increase that does not align with your usage. 

Your Furnace is Making Strange Noises

While it may not be realistic to expect your furnace to be as quiet as a mouse, loud noises can indicate a problem.  If you hear whining, clanging, banging, popping, or any other loud noise coming from your furnace, get it checked out.  This could be a sign of many problems, some that can be easily fixed.  If ignored, however, you could be left in the cold.

Your Furnace is Getting Old

A furnace does not typically have a lifespan of over 20 years.  If your furnace is a teenager, it may be time to look into a new one.  If you have made several repairs in recent years you may consider calling it a day and replacing the furnace before it betrays you in the dead of winter.  Routine maintenance and a good service professional can go a long way in prolonging the life of your furnace and guiding you in the purchase of a new one.

You Notice Certain Illnesses Occurring

A sick furnace can lead to a sick family.  If your furnace is not working correctly, you may notice a flare up of asthma and allergy related problems due to the dust, mold, and dander in the air.  You may also notice dry throats, noses, and skin. 

On a more serious note, a broken furnace can lead to carbon monoxide in your home, which can lead to severe illness or even death.  If your family experiences flu-like symptoms, constant headaches, nausea, and burning eyes, your furnace could be leaking carbon monoxide.  This requires immediate attention.

Other Signs of Carbon Monoxide

Check the burner on your furnace.  The flame should be blue.  If it is yellow, you have a problem with carbon monoxide.  Other signs of this are soot around your furnace, rust on pipes (including the vent pipe outside), and condensation on the inside of windows and walls. 

Being proactive and catching problems with your furnace early can prevent an emergency situation where you are left without heat. Contact a heat installation specialist for assistance.