As the weather gets colder, heating our homes becomes very important. Cozy and a cup of hot cocoa are nice, but are not going to do the trick, unfortunately, when it comes to staying warm this winter.
If you’re a homeowner, you likely rely on a furnace to keep your home cozy and warm during the winter months.
That said, with the heat turned off for half the year, the furnace can become damaged without you even knowing it.
Furnace repair Calgary experts encourage homeowners to get a tune-up each year, to prevent any issues from becoming big problems.
How a Furnace Works
The most common type of furnace is a gas-powered central air system. When the thermostat tells the heating system that the room has dropped below a certain temperature, it kicks into gear.
When the thermostat sends its signal to the furnace, the gas-valve opens and delivers natural gas to the burners, and the blowers turn on.
The furnaces pilot light ignites the burner, creating heat in the furnaces heat exchanger. Then, it sends warmed air out to the rooms through ductwork and vents.
If any of the components of the furnace are not working, your heat will be compromised.
Signs Your Furnace Needs Repairs
Below are some warning signs that require the attention of a professional furnace technician.
1. Your Furnace Makes Strange Noises
Furnaces aren’t 100% silent, but if you notice that your heating system is making noises that are out of the ordinary, that’s something you want to pay attention to.
Listen for squealing or whistling noises, which may be coming from a belt or fan issue, while banging or groaning noises can be caused by broken or loose internal parts.
Rattling, popping, or banging noises can also be a sign of an old furnace at the end of its life.
2. Cranking up the Thermostat Isn’t Working
An obvious sign that your furnace needs repair is inadequate heat.
If you’re constantly cranking up the heat but not warming up, or notice that some rooms are much colder than others, that’s a sure sign to call a technician.
A professional will be able to tell if it’s a thermostat issue or a furnace issue.
3. Your Electric Bill Has Increased
While a number of things can cause an increase in your energy bills, a faulty furnace can be one of them. As internal parts of the heating system wear out, your bill may climb.
If you notice a sharp spike in your electric bill or a steady climb over the years, it’s certainly wise to get your furnace checked out.
Investing in a professional could save you a lot of money in energy bills in the long run.
4. The Burner Flame is Yellow Instead of Blue
The pilot light may not catch your attention often, but it really should. A pilot light that is blue is a good thing; it indicates an ideal balance of gases.
If your pilot light is yellow, however, it could potentially be a serious problem such as leaking gas or carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is produced when fuel is burned. Exposure poses a serious health risk, and can even be deadly.
Aside from a yellow pilot light, other signs your furnace is producing carbon monoxide includes:
- Heavy moisture and condensation on the windows, walls, and other cold surfaces
- Soot around the furnace
- An odor in the house that smells like burning or overheating
- A lack of an upward draft in the chimney
If you notice any of these signs, get out of the house and contact your utility company. A new furnace may be in order.
5. You Have Poor Air Quality in the Home
The air quality of your home is directly impacted by the furnace. A poorly functioning system may move dirt, mold, and other bacteria into the air along with the heat.
If you notice more floating dust in the air or family members are having more breathing related issues or allergies than normal, it might be a sign of poor air quality.
The solution may be as simple as replacing the furnace filter. Other times, it may require more in-depth work, such as professional duct cleaning.
Benefits of an Annual Tune-Up
To keep issues at bay, it’s worth getting an annual heating system tune-up. Here are some benefits of calling in the professionals:
- Improved heating and system efficiency
- Early detection (and possibly an easier fix) of any potential problems
- Reduced risk of major repair
While you still want to be on the lookout for any potential problems, getting a yearly tune-up can prevent big problems and keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently.
Stay Warm This Winter
A furnace is a very important feature in your house. After all, it keeps your family warm and cozy during the cold winter months. That said, it’s important to keep it well-maintained and functioning well.
To avoid big problems, it’s wise to get an annual check-up on your furnace. Along with that, it’s important to understand how your furnace works, and what potential issues to look out for.
If you notice any weird noises, inadequate heat, skyrocketing electric bills, or a change in the color of your pilot light, it’s time to call the pros.