Do you sit around at home wondering if your furnace could break down at any moment? We certainly hope you don’t! Hopefully, you have your furnace professionally maintained each and every year in order to avoid an unpleasant surprise such as this. Hopefully, too, you know the signs of a furnace in disrepair so you can give us a call before it grows into a complete system breakdown.
Let’s say you don’t know those signs. Not to worry, we’re here to help!
First, we want to reiterate that the best way to defend against excessive repair needs is with professional maintenance. It doesn’t matter whether you have a gas-powered furnace or an electric one, you should schedule professional maintenance once a year (preferably in the fall). This can help you avoid up to 85% of the repair needs your furnace might ever need!
In the meantime, though, what are those signs we’re talking about? Read on!
Loud or Odd Noises
Oftentimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint heating system issues if they’re not directly getting in the way of your comfort. A strange noise from your furnace cabinet, for example, may be something that you at first brush off. If it’s not impacting how hot the air coming through your vents is, who cares, right?
Well, the problem with this mindset is that it could be indicative of something that could soon grow into a much bigger problem. For example, a bussing noise can be the sign of something going amiss with the electrical connections, leading to a potential fire hazard. While a screeching sound could signal a worn-out fan belt that could break at any moment. Popping, or banging, can be a sign of a problem with the burners, which could potentially become dangerous.
Higher Than Average Utility Bills
Hey, we get it, everyone probably thinks their heating bills could be lower. This is a pretty subjective concept, right? However, what we want you to be aware of is how your current utility bills compare to those of last year, or maybe even how they compare to what your neighbors are paying for similar use.
If your utility bills are higher than average, it’s a sign that something is working inefficiently, and it could very well be your furnace to blame. After all, your HVAC systems account for half of all your home’s energy use!
Short-cycling is when your heating system cycles on and off rapidly, never actually completing a full heating cycle. Not only is this the symptom of a problem–like some type of electrical short in your system–but it causes further problems.
Short-cycling exacerbates wear and tear on your system meaning you can accumulate repair needs faster than you otherwise would, and may even shorten the lifespan of your furnace. When a furnace is well-maintained and doesn’t have problems like short-cycling, it can last as long as 2 decades. If, however, you allow this problem to continue then that lifespan could be cut in half!