What Are Signs That Your Furnace Is Going Out?

A furnace may fail for any number of reasons including age and sudden failure of a major component like a heat exchanger. Although some incidents occur without warning, there are often warnings that a furnace is going out. A broken furnace threatens the safety of your family. At Redman Services, we aim to protect your home before severe weather invades your home. Your Home Service Hero offers some advice on how to defend yourself from a broken furnace.

You don’t need superpowers to protect your furnace against unnecessary repair or replacement. Use your senses and follow these four rules: look, listen, smell and feel.

Look for Wear

You should check your air filter monthly and replace dirty filters regularly. Each month a quick visual inspection of your furnace may catch issues.

  • Clogged filters – Excessive buildup on your air filter restricts air flow and stresses parts to the point of breakage.
  • Dirty furnace housing – Excessive dust, soot streaks and other debris built on fans and heat exchangers is a common cause of expensive repair.
  • Pilot light – If you have an older furnace, it likely uses a pilot light. Changes in the pilot light are warnings of gas issues including a yellow pilot light and weak flame.
  • Carbon monoxide detector – Verify your carbon monoxide detector is functioning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable. A properly working detector protects your family against exhaust leaks.
  • Dusty air vents – If air ducts are neglected, dust and debris can create blockage and clogs. If your vents are always dusty or you see particles flowing out of air vents, call on our team to help clean up your system.

Listen for Sounds

From the first time your furnace starts each fall, pay attention to any changes in noises. Any strange noises may alert you to quickly stop weakened parts before disaster occurs.

  • Banging – Cracks in a heat exchanger, loose pulleys and damaged belts often cause loud noises inside the furnace housing. At the first sign, shutting down your heating system halts further damage.
  • Clattering – Your blower fan and fan blades perform at a very high velocity. When bearings fail, foreign objects are caught in the fan or a fin breaks off within the blower housing, loud clattering and vibrations usually follow.
  • Sudden starts and stops – A common furnace problem is actually part of the safety system. Modern furnaces have features like flame sensors and condensate drain switches to prevent severe damage. If your furnace suddenly starts then shuts down, your furnace may be warning you to call your Home Service Hero to deploy certified technicians.

Smell for Odors

A furnace should never emit strange odors. If you smell rotten or burning odors, shut the system off immediately. These warning signs may be minor or extremely dangerous.

  • Burning rubber – Seized pulleys and broken seals may strain belts. Under duress and friction, a belt will burn and smell.
  • Burnt parts – Wiring, blower motors and other electrical parts can also smell like burning plastic.
  • Rotten smells – Due to an additive, natural gas and propane stink like rotten eggs. Clogged exhaust, broken heat exchangers and damaged gas lines are very dangerous situations. Like all changes in smell when your furnace is running, immediately turn off the heating system and contact professional services.

Feel Changes in Performance

Your furnace should wrap your home in comfort. As older furnaces wear down, your home may warn you. Noticing these changes helps you plan for repairs or replacement with a new high-efficiency system.

  • Increased energy use – Heating costs may change, but the energy your furnace requires does not. Monitor your heating bill and compare it to the prior year. A damaged and failing furnace will use far more energy to warm your home.
  • Uneven heating – Cold air blowing from your furnace and inconsistent pockets of air should alert you to issues within the furnace.
  • Cold Spots – One of the most obvious symptoms of a furnace at the end of its lifespan is cold spots in your house. A furnace that can no longer heat your home should be replaced. Furnaces do not simply provide comfort; your furnace guards against the perils of extreme cold air entering your home. Frozen pipes and shivering family members falling ill can be avoided with vigilance.

Calling on Your Home Service Hero

Heating repairs and installation of new furnaces and heating systems is easier with Redman Services. Once you know the signs your furnace is failing, contact our team. When you call on Redman Services, our highly trained staff quickly responds. Our certified service technicians will diagnose your furnace and provide prompt answers. Whether to repair or replace a furnace often depends on age, overall condition of the furnace and which parts have failed. We help guide you through every detail and answer any questions you may have.

At Redman Services, we help defend homeowners against the scourge of extreme cold. Along with new furnaces and repairs, our comprehensive maintenance shields your furnace against the coldest winter temperatures. We stand ready to respond whether you need maintenance, repairs or installation. Your Home Service Hero will always respond to your call to Redman Services.