Your furnace works hard during the winter months and wear and tear can take a toll. Damage can also occur during the months you don’t use it. Scheduling furnace repair as soon as possible can prevent a breakdown. These are 10 signs the unit should be inspected and fixed by a qualified professional.
When Do I Need A Furnace Repair?
1. A Lack of Heat
The primary job of your furnace is to provide heat. If there’s little or no heat or temperatures vary from room-to-room, no matter how many times you reset the thermostat, it’s time for a repair. Potential causes include faulty thermostats, leaking ductwork, a damaged motor, clogged burner, or dirty filter.
2. The Furnace Won’t Start
The older your furnace gets, the more difficult it may be to turn it on. You might try several times to get it started, or the unit may not run for as long as you’d expect. The system may also have to be restarted multiple times a day. There may be damage to the thermostat, disconnected wiring, or a damaged heat exchanger. Minor issues like dirty filters, A/C coils, or flame sensors can also cause starting issues.
3. Strong Fuel Odors
You may smell some fuel the first time you turn the furnace on for the season. This odor should dissipate. But if a fuel odor appears suddenly and doesn’t go away, there may be dust or dirt inside the unit, but you must suspect a gas leak. Gas is so flammable the slightest spark can ignite an explosion. Combustion issues can also cause strong smells and release carbon monoxide into your home.
4. Pilot Light Is the Wrong Color
The pilot light should always be blue. A yellow color can signal a ventilation problem. Flame color changes when carbon monoxide and other gases don’t dissipate normally. Carbon monoxide can cause various health problems and even death, so it’s important to leave your home and call immediately for furnace repair.
5. The Furnace Is Noisy
While no furnace runs silently, a loud, persistent squealing or whistling noise can signal a problem with the belt or fan. If the furnace is banging or groaning, something inside it is likely broken. Ignitor problems can trigger noise when gas builds up and there’s a delay in ignition. This isn’t initially dangerous, but can increase the amount of wear on the unit.
6. Your Furnace Turns On and Off More Frequently
Frequent cycling typically means there’s a problem with your heating system, which can be caused by a clogged filter, malfunctioning thermostat, or issue with air circulation. It’s also possible the furnace is too large for your home. This will cause it to start and stop, which means it will waste energy and experience more wear and tear over time.
7. Air Quality Issues
If your furnace is poorly maintained, it may circulate particulates, bacteria, and other contributors to poor air quality in your home. There might be more dust floating in the air. Members of your household may experience more frequent colds, coughs, and respiratory issues, while allergy symptoms may increase as well.
8. Higher Utility Bills
When in need of furnace repair, the unit often uses more gas or electricity. That’s because it’s trying to meet the load demand based on the thermostat setting, but can’t due to some underlying problem. If changes in your bill occur suddenly or gradually, outside normal seasonal fluctuations, your furnace may need to be inspected, repaired, or tuned up professionally.
9. Water Is Leaking
A water leak, condensation, or clogged condensation drain may cause water to pool up under your furnace. Internal drains can become clogged as well. If a humidifier is connected, it can develop problems and cause water to collect nearby. Our furnace repair professionals can identify the cause and fix it fast.
10. The Carbon Monoxide Alarm Goes Off
If you hear the sound of your carbon monoxide alarm, leave your home at once; call emergency services, and your HVAC contractor. This deadly gas can build up due to combustion or ventilation issues, or your furnace’s heat exchanger may be cracked. In any case, the problem needs to be addressed right away as it poses an immediate risk to your family’s health.
Contact Village Plumbing and Air
In Houston, you may use your furnace less than the A/C, but problems can arise due to wear and tear and other factors. Village Plumbing and Air specializes in furnace repair and maintenance to improve your comfort and safety. When there’s an issue, our licensed technicians will inspect your furnace to troubleshoot the problem, find the cause, and provide the appropriate repair. We also offer regular annual maintenance at lower costs for members of our Village Partner Plan. If you experience any of the warning signs above, feel free to request service online or call 713-526-1491.