Yes, your furnace is aging and will ultimately require replacement, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ensure it lasts as long as possible. Four signs there could be issues with your furnace include:
- Irregular monthly energy bills: if you compare your bills form year to year, and the energy cost is not explained by a seasonal/temperature change, it could be a sign your system isn’t working as efficiently as it used to.
- Rattling or rocking noises: in some cases, if the heat exchanger is cracked, your system could be a vibrating or rattling noise
- Yellow pilot light: if you try to adjust your burner light, and you still can’t get your pilot light to blue, then it could be an issue or even a sign of excess carbon dioxide.
- Trouble with your thermostat: assuming you’ve checked your batteries, if you have excessive issues with your thermostat it could be a sign there is actually something wrong with your furnace.
Other irregular noises such as a “squealing” noise could signal an ignition issue, airflow issue or mechanical problem that needs to be looked into.
Furnace Issues You Might Not Have Considered
Whether or not furnace distress means you may be due for furnace replacement, as least know more about what it means to make the investment in regular tune-ups for your system.
One of the components we look at is the stack pipe, also called the flue vent connector or simply the flue pipe. In a normal situation, we’d see a coating of soot appearing on the interior of the pipe. Problems occur when there is too much soot—and it also means we’re spending more to heat our home or building.
With gas-fired and oil furnaces, soot can become a problem, and what’s more is that if you have a complete lack of coating, it can also be a signal of an issue such as debris causing blockage within your flue pipe.
When soot layers are too thick, it can cause heat to go up into the chimney instead of throughout the home. If a home has excessive soot, it can even become a fire hazard. A bit of oil burner soot can be normal and will build-up during service intervals. Also consider when a heating bolder is almost completely blocked with soot, it gets hotter and hotter—and with temperatures extremely high, materials or things need your system can catch fire (1).
If you see excessive soot, debris or even rust flakes in the flue vent connector or on the top of the equipment, make note: this could be a sign that you need your regular cleaning and/or service. Anytime you see soot that is coming from a gas fired heater, just be aware that you could also be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to call a professional!
But Don’t Forget What You Can Do For Your Furnace
You now recognize the value of a qualified expert to help you inspect and maintain your system, but also remember what you can do to support your furnace’s longevity. Here are three steps to take to make sure you are also doing your best to maintain your furnace:
- Change your air filters regularly: unless you have an annual filter, that can be anywhere from 1-3 months. Ask us for more information specific to your home.
- Schedule your regular furnace maintenance: keep energy costs low as you heat and cool and ensure you are not at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, among other health and safety risks.
- Check the status of your pipes outside your home: make sure you remove any build-up such as ice or snow, insects, leaves or even bird nests. Again, ask us if you have more questions.
Think you may need a furnace installation, mechanical repair or tune-up? Give us a call today at 859-491-4915.