The heat and air that come out of a furnace are the lifeblood of your home.
If you’ve been living in the same house for a while, your furnace is likely old and inefficient. It could be a 10-year-old unit or something from the 1980s that must be tired of pumping hot air through the vents to keep your home warm. Even if it’s new, the unit can become damaged from staying off for half the year.
With winter just around the corner, your top priority should be to repair your furnace before things worsen and your entire family suffers.
Below, we’ve rounded up the top five signs your furnace needs repair.
- Making Odd Noises
Does something inside your furnace rattle around loudly, like an egg in a carton? Does the unit let out a high-pitched squeal whenever you turn it on?
A squeal or a grinding sound indicates issues with the fan belt or motor, whereas a low-pitched whine may indicate that something has come loose inside your furnace or air handler unit.
When your furnace makes unusual noises, it’s usually time for a tune-up or replacement. Check if the blower motor is working properly and is getting enough air through the fan. If there’s an issue with the fan itself, it could be causing the noise.
Weird noises are the no.1 sign you need to contact a professional to check your furnace. Searching for furnace repair in my area makes the most sense, as a local professional can be at your doorstep within a few hours to make the necessary repairs.
- Not Turning On When It Should
When you turn on your furnace, it should begin warming up and pumping heat. But if it doesn’t, there’s a good chance your furnace requires repair. You may find that it takes multiple attempts to start your furnace, or you have to restart it several times a day. Often, it’s because of the change in temperature outside or issues stemming from dirt accumulation in the filters, flame sensor, indoor AC coils, or secondary heat exchangers.
A couple of other reasons for a furnace not turning on include:
- The thermostat is broken or stuck. As a result, it won’t be able to tell your furnace what temperature it should run at or how long it should stay on. This can cause the unit to shut off before it’s up, so you’ll have to call a technician right away.
- The circuit board on the furnace has been damaged by water or fire damage. When this happens, it’ll no longer be able to communicate with the rest of the system—including its own fan motor control board—which means you can’t use your air conditioner or heater until repairs are made.
If you notice that your compressor has stopped working but only after running for a certain amount of time (like overnight), something may be wrong with the compressor and must be fixed before moving forward with repairs.
- Nasty Smell Coming from the Vents
If you notice a strong, lingering smell coming from your vents for no apparent reason, you may be dealing with a clogged filter, or there could be something wrong with the air handler.
If you’re unsure of a clogged filter, you can open up your filter cabinet and see if there are any lint balls in there—if so, you know for sure that you need to get your furnace serviced.
Sometimes, a nasty odor comes from the exhaust, too. You may smell Aldehydes, which is a by-product of poor combustion. You may even notice black dust coming from vents in your house or basement during cold weather months due to carbon monoxide poisoning from improper ventilation.
- Unusually High Electric Bills
If you notice that your energy bills are getting higher, it may be time to investigate the status of your furnace. High electric bills can be alarming, especially when accompanied by heat loss or an inability to cool the house. In this case, you should immediately call a technician who can inspect your furnace and tell you what needs to be done to ensure everything runs smoothly again.
- Poor Heating
If you notice spots on your floor or walls where the temperature doesn’t match up with other areas, this could be a sign that something isn’t right with your furnace. If this happens regularly, or if only certain rooms get hotter than others, it might be time for a professional inspection.
Uneven heating is usually caused by an issue with the furnace’s internal components or the coils themselves. Call an expert to inspect the ducts for any obstructions or other problems if you suspect this problem.
Your furnace is a critical component of your home. It keeps you warm and safe during the coldest months of the year and helps when working efficiently can keep the energy bill down.
It’s easy to take the unit for granted when it’s humming like a well-oiled machine. But when you notice signs of impending failure, it’s time to get serious about repairing your furnace.
You must keep an eye out for the signs your furnace needs repair. If the issue isn’t fixed quickly, it could lead to bigger problems down the road, like a broken pipe or malfunctioning control panel. To avoid this, find a reputable expert in your area as soon as you suspect your furnace needs servicing.