As the weather gets colder, you use your furnace more. This is the optimal time to check your furnace for signs of trouble. You definitely want to address any potential issues before winter has arrived and you need heat throughout the day and night. The last thing you would want is a surprise issue that prevents from heating your home when it’s coldest outside.
While heating and cooling system professionals are the only ones qualified to diagnose problems with your furnace, as a homeowner, you don’t need formal training to be able to spot the signs when something is wrong.
Here are some signs that it’s time to call a professional for a furnace repair:
Your Furnace Hasn’t Been Checked On for a Year or More
If it’s been a year or more since you’ve had an HVAC expert check on your heating system, it’s time for some annual maintenance. If you follow our guide 5 Tips to Prepare Your Furnace for Winter, you’ll see that you need to at least change your furnace filter. Make it a habit to schedule an annual checkup of your system around this time of year.
You Notice a Water Leak
Check for water pooling near or under the furnace. This is typically caused by an obstructed condensate line. You’ll need a professional’s help to address this issue because it requires both plumbing and HVAC expertise.
You Smell a Gas Leak
This is a more serious leak because it can cause a deadly build-up of carbon monoxide in your home if it goes unaddressed. If you smell gas leaking, shut down the furnace immediately, open up the furnace, and shut off the gas supply valve. Do not use any gas or electrical appliances, do not light any matches or lighters, and do not turn on any lights in your home. Evacuate the area and call HVAC professionals immediately.
You Hear the Furnace Making Weird Sounds
If you hear a scraping sound, a dull thumping sound, or hollow banging sound, it’s a clear sign something is wrong with your furnace. Don’t ignore the sounds– you cannot ignore them away because they need professional attention.
You Notice Weak Airflow
Noticing that the air is barely coming out of the vents means that your furnace could have fan issues or issues with the belts and motors. No matter the cause, this is a symptom of something that needs professional diagnosis and treatment.
You Notice Cold Air
You’re really in a pickle when your furnace starts blowing cold air. This is not a furnace issue you can handle on your own as it typically relates to the thermocouple, pilot light, or both which require specialized expertise to analyze.
The Thermostat Isn’t Working
If you find yourself cranking the heat higher and higher to compensate for the lack of heat in your home, this is a problem. You shouldn’t have your thermostat set to 80 degrees and still feel like the home isn’t heating up. This problem can be a symptom of electrical issues that are dangerous to fix on your own.
Your Energy Bill Skyrockets Unexpectedly
Your heating bill should get higher in the colder months, but if you receive a bill that’s particularly high and doesn’t seem to correlate to use of your heating system, you have a problem. This could be due to any number of causes and can be quite tricky to diagnose. A trained technician has the tools and the know-how to find and fix the problem behind your high energy bill.
You Notice the Heat Frequently Kicking On & Off
This is typically referred to as over-cycling which means the furnace is running too often. The cause of this issue can be an obstructed filter, poor air circulation, or trouble with the thermostat. Again, this is a tricky cause to diagnose, so you will need help.
Your Furnace is Old
The average life span of a furnace is about 15 years. You can extend the life of your furnace with regular maintenance and quickly addressing repair issues as they come up. As stated before, annual check-ups in the fall are considered best practice.
Be aware of the issues we have described and keep an eye out for them arising in your system. If your heating system needs attention, call a local trusted HVAC company to give you advice.
Live in the Denver area? Contact Day & Night Mechanical Solutions to schedule a check-up on your furnace!