[fa icon="calendar"] October 24, 2014 / by Home Services Expert
Everyone seems to know that it's time to call for heating repair service if the furnace doesn't turn on or no heat flows through the registers.
But what about the other signs of furnace trouble? They're worth calling for heating repair service right away, too – provided that you recognize the signs in the first place.
Some signs are clearer than others. Furnace neglect -- intentional or not -- is a very common reason furnaces break down and/or don't reach their expected 15-to 20-year lifespan.
It's time to call for heating repair service – sooner rather than later – if you notice:
- Your heating bills far exceeding the level of your regular consumption (higher utility rates notwithstanding)
- The furnace is cycling on and off almost incessantly
- Uneven temperatures throughout your home
- Humidity levels in your home have become uncomfortable or the air is particularly dry, stuffy, musty or stale
These four issues often can be remedied when you schedule a furnace “tune-up” – otherwise known as an annual maintenance check -- and perhaps an energy audit to determine where your house may be losing valuable energy.
More troubling are furnace noises.
Like most electrical devices, furnaces signal that something is internally wrong by making abnormal sounds. Many of them may be nearly imperceptible at first, which is why they're worth checking out, with your ear right next to the furnace.
The most common noises an ailing furnace can make include:
- Low-pitched rumbling noises, which could be a sign of an improperly adjusted pilot light or dirty gas burners
- High-pitched wailing or squealing noises, which might be caused by shaft bearings that need oil or a misaligned blower belt
- Louder, disturbing noises, such as banging, clanking or grinding – often the sign of a delayed ignition
A licensed heating reapir technician at Experts In Your Home can quickly trace the source of these noises and repair your furnace promptly, thereby ensuring that it runs smoothly and efficiently.
The most troubling furnace issues can be confirmed only by a cursory visual inspection, which should be done on a regular basis.
A potential warning sign that should always get you moving?
A distinctly dusty smell that kicks up when the furnace turns on. Now's the time to:
- Check the furnace filter and, if it's clogged with dust and dirt, replace it. During the winter, it's always smart to keep a spare filter on hand, even though you might have to replace it only once every few months.
- Ensure that the furnace flame is bright blue, not yellow. This is a sure sign of dirt in the burners, which must be professionally cleaned.
- Check for dirt, dust or soot spewing from the furnace or flakes of rust on the floor around the furnace – another sign that the burners must be cleaned.
In the worst case, the flakes could be a sign of a cracked heat exchanger. This part functions as the “engine” of your furnace, transferring heat from the burners into warm air. A cracked heat exchanger also puts you and your family at risk for elevated and unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless but toxic gas that can trigger flu-like symptoms.
At Experts In Your Home, we're big believers in the “better safe than sorry” rule. Better to catch small problems while they're still manageable than to face a major, expensive repair in the dead of winter. For your peace of mind – and to keep the heat flowing as it should in your home this winter – contact us at the first sign of trouble and seasonally for your Chico heating system check up.