Few things are more inconvenient than having your furnace give out on an especially cold winter day. Fortunately, if you know the signs to watch out for, you can catch and fix small problems with your furnace before they turn into major problems requiring a costly repair, or worse, a full replacement. When it comes to your furnace, maintenance is the best prevention.
Here are 6 signs your furnace is in need of repair:
1. Higher than normal utility bills.
If your heating bill is suddenly much higher than it was at the same time last year, there may be a problem with your furnace. If your furnace is in need of maintenance or a repair, it may run inefficiently and cause your heat bills to skyrocket.
2. Loud noises
If you consistently hear loud noises such as banging, buzzing, or high-pitched squealing, it may be time to have your furnace checked.
3. Pilot light flame is yellow.
What many people don’t know is that your pilot light flame should always be blue. if it is burning a yellow color, there may be a problem such as a carbon monoxide leak.
4. Short cycling
“Short cycling” is when your furnace keeps switching on and off without reaching a set temperature. A heat cycle consists of your heating system turning on to heat the home to a set temperature, turning off once that temperature has been reached, and turning on again when the temp falls below a certain level.
This cycle is normal, except for when it happens frequently and without reaching the proper temperature. If this cycling occurs, every few minutes, this is called “short cycling.” Short cycling can be caused by restricted airflow from blocked exhaust pipes or clogged air filters.
5. Inadequate heat
If the furnace is running but your home isn’t heating up, one possible culprit could be a problem with the furnace.
6. The date of your last inspection or maintenance
If it has been a long time (a year or more) since your last furnace inspection or maintenance, it may be time for a professional to have a look. Small maintenance repairs like changing the filter, or a regular tune-up can extend the life of your furnace and keep it in proper working order. A furnace should last 15-20 years, so if you’ve had yours that long or longer, be sure to have it inspected for potential problems and see if it might be time for a replacement. Being proactive about the condition of your furnace can prevent expensive emergency repairs and save you thousands in energy costs in the long run.
The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more true when it comes to your home’s furnace.