The last thing you want is for your heater to go out in the middle of winter. You rely on this unit to circulate warm air throughout the building. Before it breaks down entirely, you should be able to notice certain signs that it is on its last legs. For the most part, furnaces will last between 15 and 20 years, but yours could always break down prematurely. Here are the warning signs to keep an eye on.
1. Weak Air Flow
You should have a good idea of how hard air should blow out of the vents. If you notice a drastic drop in the air pressure, then it is likely a sign something is wrong with the unit. The issue could range in severity from a minor component failing to a huge issue with the system.
2. High Power Bill
After you have lived in your house for a few years, you should have a good idea of what your electric bills should be every month. Perhaps the bills become slightly higher in the middle of summer and winter because that is when you rely on your HVAC system the most. However, if there is a sharp uptick in one of your bills, you need to take notice. Your heater could be working harder and using more electricity to operate.
3. Odd Noises
From banging to scraping, there are all kinds of odd sounds you do not want to hear coming out of your furnace. Rattling sounds could be a result of the motor mount becoming loose. You may also hear squealing as a result of a broken belt. Either way, you need to bring a professional out to your home to effectively diagnose the issue.
4. Smell of Leaking Gas
A critical component of your heating reapir checklist needs to be the smell of gas. In the event you smell gas, you need to shut off power to your furnace immediately. It is also recommended to evacuate your home until a professional can handle the problem. You should contact a service right away to come out to your home. Someone should be able to come out quickly because a gas leak is definitely an emergency situation.
5. Water Leaks Out
Something else your furnace may leak is water. Water is not necessarily as dangerous as gas, but it can cause a lot of harm if it is not handled promptly. You need to be mindful if water inexplicably pools around the unit.
An effective furnace should be able to filter out air to provide you with perfect indoor air quality. You need to be mindful if you see dust emitting from the vents. This means the heating unit is unable to adequately filter out debris, and it is dangerous to breathe in excessive quantities of dust.
7. Yellow Pilot Light
You need to inspect your furnace’s pilot light from time to time. Ideally, the light will be blue in color. If you notice your pilot light is suddenly yellow, then swift action is necessary. A yellow light means that the furnace is probably leaking carbon monoxide. You may not be able to smell carbon monoxide, so it is paramount to contact a professional immediately when you notice a yellow pilot light.
It is important to hire a technician to conduct annual maintenance on your HVAC system. These yearly visits help ensure your heater and air conditioner are always operational, so you will not have to worry about them breaking down right when you need them. Ideally, you should conduct this maintenance right before the hot or cold seasons so that if your HVAC system does have to go down temporarily, you will not be inconvenienced as much.