Your furnace is a must during winter; it isn’t just responsible for keeping you warm and cozy, it’s also there to keep you safe whenever the temperatures drop too low. Like other appliances, it’s important the furnace gets regular maintenance to ensure that it’s in good working order in the cold season.
However, in spite of your precautions, it’s not impossible for your furnace to experience problems. In that case, it’s vital you take steps immediately to address the problem and get your furnace up and running again right away. Here’s a short list of warning signs you need a plumber to give your furnace a much-needed tune-up.
1.Starting and stopping on its own
As with other appliances, the furnace starting and stopping on its own is a clear indicator of a problem. In this case, something in the system is keeping the furnace from completing a full heating cycle. There can be several possible causes for the problem, from dirty filters to an improperly-calibrated thermostat to an issue with the fan motors.
Contact professional furnace repair immediately to get to the heart of the problem. The pros have the skills and tools to properly diagnose what’s wrong with the furnace and fix the issue at its source.
Furnaces aren’t exactly quiet, but excessive noise is often a warning sign, especially if it sounds like they’re increasing in volume or frequency. In the case of noisy operation, there are several potential causes behind the problem. Some of the issues include loose belts, clogged filters, or fan failure. Contact a professional repair service right away to get the problem taken care of.
When you do call a pro for help, describe them if possible as the plumber inspects the furnace. Descriptions of the noise can help narrow down the problem and make it easier to determine what’s wrong. For quick reference, whistling can be caused by issues with the belt or fan, while banging or groaning can be caused by problems with loose or broken internal components.
3.Inexplicably high heating bills
Sometimes, there are other indicators of a furnace problem beyond those that are easily perceptible. If you’ve ever experienced unexpectedly high utility bills during winter, the problem may come down to something wrong with the furnace. Excessively low temperatures can force the furnace to work harder to make up for the cold, but a furnace that struggles to warm the building even in moderate weather may have deeper problems.
What’s usually happening is that the furnace has to work harder and use more energy to keep you warm. Using more energy doesn’t always mean more productive heat. If there is a problem, much of the heat is being wasted instead of heating your home properly.
In many cases, the problem is due to clogged filters. Dirty filters force the furnace to work overtime to make even minute adjustments. However, poor furnace efficiency may also be a sign of old age, so give the plumber a call for furnace repairs right away. Getting your furnace serviced is one of the more effective methods of lowering your heating bills, so make it a priority to save on heating and make your home more energy-efficient.
4.Changes to the pilot light’s colour
One way of determining the health of a furnace is checking the pilot light. To make it easier, some models have peepholes to enable you to inspect the light without opening the service door. Ordinarily, the furnace should have a bright, vibrant blue flame. However, if the flame is yellow or orange, or if the flame looks weak or wavy, the furnace isn’t heating to its potential and burning the carbon monoxide fuel completely. The problem is usually caused by the system being dirty or blocked. To fix the problem, contact a plumber right away to have the burner cleaned.
5.Changes in air quality
Your heating and cooling system has a direct effect on air quality inside the house. Keep an eye out for excess dust; it may not be a matter of doing more dusting, but it may point to an issue with the furnace. Other signs to look for include frequent coughs, colds, and other respiratory problems, especially if people at home are prone to allergies. Stale and musty air is another sign of issues with the furnace, specifically blockage or cracks in the vents.
In many cases, resolving furnace-related air quality problems is as simple as replacing the filter. Dirt filters make it harder for the system to remove dust from the air, instead spreading it throughout the house. Give the filters a checkup to determine if they’re at fault. In more serious cases, the ductwork and unit may need a cleaning. Give your plumber a call to take a look and offer some advice on how to proceed.
It’s not unusual for furnaces to smell like the fuel they use, especially if it’s the first time they’ve been switched on that year. However, the smell usually dissipates as the unit runs. A strong, persistent odour or one that suddenly pops up may be indicative of a deeper problem.
Strange smells are typically a warning sign of a serious issue, especially if it smells like burning rubber, rotten eggs, or smoke. These smells in particular typically point to a major issue with the furnace. Call plumbing services in case of any foul smells to avoid serious complications and get peace of mind right away.
If you find yourself having to adjust the thermostat regularly to keep warm, or if you’re dealing with random cold spots around the house, there may be an issue. The thermostat is the core of your heating system, since its job is to regulate how much hot air the system produces. In case of any issues, call a technician immediately to address the problem and relieve the strain on the system.
Many modern thermostats come with a number of features to make controlling your home’s temperature easier, like programmable settings and remote control. Some studies have shown that thermostats can even be used to monitor people’s health. If you’re experiencing trouble with the thermostat, consider investing in a new one to make regulating the temperature all the more convenient.
Like other appliances, furnaces tend to become less efficient as time goes on. Furnaces typically top out after about 20 years, but as they get older, they tend to become more prone to failure. You may not know the exact age of your furnace, but you can usually get a sense of how old it is based on how often you need to call the plumber for repairs. However, you can check the label attached to your unit to get a more accurate number and see if it’s time to have a professional take a look at it.
One way to extend the lifespan of your furnace is to get regular checkups. Proper maintenance is always an effective method of looking after your machines and making sure they stay at peak efficiency for as long as possible. Get in the habit of scheduling furnace inspections twice a year to look after the furnace’s health and keep it efficient and functional when you need it most.
At The Pleasant Plumber Inc., we’re always ready to lend a helping hand whenever plumbing emergencies strike. Whether it’s your drains, pipes, or furnace acting up, we offer 24-hour emergency service to get the situation under control whenever you need it. Give us a call now at (204) 930-9630 for reliable furnace services near you.