Winter is coming.
It’s time to be vigilant and prepare for colder weather.
If you service your heating system before frosty weather arrives in Indianapolis you can avoid furnace problems.
No one wants to discover the furnace is blowing cold air in the middle of a winter night.
Keep reading to learn the signs that tell you it’s time to get your furnace checked.
How to Recognize a Furnace Problem
If you recognize the symptoms early, you can save money. If you ignore the signs, you could end up with a completely broken down furnace.
It’s less expensive to fix a single part than it is to replace an entire system.
1. Skyrocketing Energy Bill
Sometimes the first sign of trouble is an inflated energy bill.
If you didn’t increase your energy usage, but the bill is higher than normal it could mean your furnace is broken.
A malfunctioning furnace may run nonstop using extra energy. Another sign is a furnace that frequently kicks on and off. The cause could be a bad thermostat or dirty filters.
If you constantly adjust the thermostat or feel cold when it’s set to a usually comfortable temperature, your furnace isn’t working right.
An older furnace that doesn’t maintain it’s efficiency can increase heating costs. Most furnaces last 15-20 years. They often have breakdowns during the last couple of years they’re in use.
Regular maintenance (filter changes, tune-ups, and inspections) can extend the life of your furnace. But, if you find yourself wearing extra sweaters because it’s cold when the heat is on, you may need a new system.
Contact a licensed HVAC contractor to diagnose your furnace problems.
2. Blows Cold Air
Is the furnace blowing cold air?
If your thermostat is set to keep the house warm, but cold air comes out of the vents, it indicates furnace problems. The pilot light or thermocouple may be in trouble.
Most likely cold air indicates a broken thermostat. The furnace will struggle to turn on and off. It won’t be able to run on a set schedule to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
3. Weak, Dusty or Stale Airflow
Is the flow of warm air uneven or inconsistent?
A furnace that functions properly blows a significant amount of warm air through the vents. It should be enough air to heat your home fast.
Weak airflow is a sign that you have furnace problems. You may have a poor blower or a clogged filter. Maybe there’s an issue with the fans, belts, and motors.
If you notice that you dust more often or the air seems stagnant it could be a problem with the furnace.
Change the filters and see if the air improves. If the air doesn’t clear or gets worse, call in a professional for a consultation. In some cases, you may need to replace the furnace.
4. Noisy Furnace
A furnace should emit an even humming sound. A louder sound could mean there’s a problem.
If your heater shakes, rattles or bangs, call for service. These sounds mean your furnace needs attention. Arrange to have it inspected.
In certain situations, the noise may be remedied with a simple repair.
Don’t ignore less obvious noises, like a blower that turns on and off too often. Odd noises can be the first clue that your furnace is going to fail.
5. Yellow Flames
Your gas furnace should have a blue flame. You can check by looking through the safety viewing window.
If you see a yellow flame your furnace could be producing carbon monoxide.
Call the gas company and have the gas supply to your house turned off. Call Van Valer HVAC for emergency service.
Carbon monoxide leaks can happen on a newer furnace but are more commonly found on older models. A broken furnace that doesn’t burn gas correctly is a common source of carbon monoxide. It can be caused by a bad burner or a cracked heat exchanger.
Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas. If it’s inhaled, it can be fatal.
Because you can’t see or smell it, it’s hard to identify. There are warning signs. Carbon monoxide poisoning makes people feel ill, sleepy, forgetful, dizzy and lightheaded.
Rusty spots or soot on your furnace pipes indicate a carbon monoxide leak. If you have a carbon monoxide leak you may need to replace your furnace to keep your family safe.
Regular maintenance reduces or eliminates these furnace problems. Schedule professional inspections and tune-ups so your furnace is ready for winter. Install carbon monoxide detectors to further reduce your risk.
6. Water Near Your Furnace
If you spot water pooling around your furnace, you probably have a water leak.
Water leaks happen when the furnace has a clogged line. Normally condensation is funneled from the furnace to a floor drain via a tube. If the tube is clogged, or there is a break in the line, you’ll see a pool of water. If the line isn’t clogged, the water could come from a clogged floor drain.
Another possibility is a faulty secondary heat exchanger or the humidifier. If the problem is caused by the furnace humidifier, it could be leaking inside the furnace.
An annual service check will find these furnace problems early. If you skipped the tune-up, schedule one as soon as you see water. Don’t ignore the leak. It can cause major damage to your furnace.
Leaks can also damage nearby flooring and walls. They may even cause mold to grow.
Call the Experts
If you spot any of these signs that you have furnace problems, call Van Valer Inc. right away. Our professionals will provide preventative maintenance, or fix your broken furnace.
Don’t risk being without heat. Schedule an annual service inspection and tune-up.We want you and your family to stay warm and cozy this winter.