Your furnace is one of the most important pieces of equipment inside your home. If your dishwasher breaks down, you just need to wash your dishes by hand for a few days. If your furnace breaks down on the other hand, you could be without heat. And should this happen in the middle of Winter, you could find yourself in some serious discomfort or even danger.
To prevent this, it's a good idea to always be on the lookout for signs that there's a problem with your furnace. By noticing these signs early, you can get your furnace fixed before it fails completely, and hopefully never have to go without heat. Here are 4 signs that you should keep an eye out for:
First, use your nose to see if you detect any odd odors coming from your HVAC vents. If something is going on inside your furnace, it could cause some bad odors to get distributed throughout the house.
Just like you wouldn't let an odd smell go unattended in your car, the same principle should go for your furnace. Of course, a bad odor doesn't necessarily mean that there's something wrong with your furnace, so you'll want to see if it comes with any of the other signs.
Next, turn to your ears to see if you hear anything odd coming from the furnace. When running correctly, you should barely even notice your furnace is on. You may hear the initial hum when the furnace kicks on, but after that it quickly fades to white noise.
If you're noticing the sound of your furnace, chances are there's something wrong. Here is some more information on the types of noises that should give you pause for concern.
Your Home Takes Longer to Heat
Sometimes the sign that there's something wrong with your furnace is a little less obvious. Maybe there are no strange noises coming from it, and everything smells fine. The next sign to look for is if it takes your home longer to heat up than normal. If you turn on the heat, and an hour later your home is at the same temperature, there's something wrong.
One possibility is that you're simply out of fuel for your furnace. Check your oil or gas levels and make sure this isn't the issue first. Another possibility is that your home isn't properly insulated. However, since this doesn't happen all at once, it's unlikely the cause of your furnace no longer heating your home. But if the problem has been gradual over time, this is something you'll want to look into.
When you've ruled out the other possibilities, what's left is a problem with your furnace. Make sure it's turning on, and if it is, you'll want to call in a service team. If your lucky your furnace will just need a good cleaning before going back to it's usual self.
Higher Energy Bills
Finally, take a look at your energy bills. Sometimes our furnaces take longer to heat our homes, but we don't even notice it because it's so gradual. But then one day you compare your energy bill to the same bill from a year ago and notice it's much higher.
If this is the case, it's likely that your furnace isn't running at full efficiency. You may need to clean it out or change the air filter in order to fix the issue.
Keeping an Eye on Your Furnace
Your furnace won't operate perfectly forever. If you're lucky, the change will be gradual rather than all of a sudden. That way you can notice the signs and get it fixed before you lose heat altogether.
To find out more about how to properly take care of your furnace, especially when it comes to replacing your air filters, please contact us.