Whether you’ve owned your home for years or you just moved in recently, you should always keep tabs on your various appliances. No matter what part of the country you live in, you need to check your furnace from time to time. One that goes unattended for an extended amount of time is more likely to need repairs or replacement down the road. Failure can be especially problematic during the winter month when you need it the most. As your furnace ages, frequent repairs can become costly. Replacing your system before it fails completely will give you peace of mind knowing that your heat is reliable and consistent. Here are 10 signs that your furnace may need replacement:
No old furnace is completely silent – a small hum of machinery is nothing to be too concerned about. If you notice that it starts to make louder, more aggressive sounds, you should call a professional. Groans, moans, and loud banging noises should all be checked immediately. If you’ve already dumped money into repairs, it may be in your best interest to consider replacement.
When a chill sets in, your natural reaction is to turn up the thermostat until you reach your desired temperature. If you find that this simply doesn’t work the way that it used to, you may have a problem with your furnace. It’s also possible that you have a leak somewhere in your ducts, or that your thermostat itself may be broken. A specialist will be able to locate and fix the problem.
Increased in Utilities
As a homeowner, you probably keep a close eye on all your bills. If you notice that your electric bill skyrockets, your furnace may be suffering. When a furnace is broken or running inefficiently, it requires more electricity to function. This increase in stress can take a toll on your furnace, as well as your wallet!
Yellow Pilot Light
It’s important that you keep a watchful eye on the pilot light in your furnace. The light always needs to be blue. A blue flame is a visual confirmation that the gases working inside are perfectly balanced, and that your home is safe. If the flame of your pilot light ever turns yellow, the balance has shifted, and dangerous carbon monoxide is leaking into your home. Exposure can lead to serious injury or death. Any change in color should be treated as an emergency.
Start-up problems are a sure sign that you need repair or replacement. Your furnace should turn on when you need it to, and it should stay on without any problems. Issues can be caused by faulty wiring to a broken fan motor, but a professional should check it as soon as possible to get it working properly.
An old furnace that isn’t working properly can cause dust, mold, and other pathogens to flow into your home. This can worsen asthma and cause other chest related illnesses to pop up. The air quality in your home is extremely important, so speak up if you notice an increase in these symptoms.
Hot and Cold Spots
Your furnace should be able to heat your entire house. If you notice some spots feel especially drafty or some rooms are much colder than others, this means that it’s no longer capable of heating your home. this could also signal that you’re losing heat from somewhere in your home, like your attic or uninsulated crawlspaces. Getting your furnace tuned-up will provide greater efficiency, and let you know if the problem lies in your heating system.
Air condensation isn’t always a major issue, but if it’s consistent it may create the need for repairs in the future. This can increase the likelihood that you will need replacement down the line, as it’s best to only allow two minor furnace issues before you call for maintenance.
The average lifespan of a furnace is 10-20 years. Even though your furnace may have worked well in the past, all good things must come to an end. If you know your furnace is 15 years or older, you should begin looking for a new one. This will save you the trouble of scrambling desperately if your current furnace suddenly fails.
The first time you turn your furnace on for the season, it’s normal to be able to smell a faint hint of gas or oil. This is simply your furnace warming up for the first time in a while. If after several consecutive uses you can still smell it, you should call a professional immediately. This means that something isn’t working right and that gas or oil may be leaking. Leaks can be a fire hazard, so it’s best to figure out the problem right away.