Seeing the Signs of Damage
In many cases, having your furnace professionally maintained on a yearly basis can catch minor problems before they turn into major and expensive repairs. However, in between tune-ups, problems can still occur that you should not ignore or wait until your next appointment to address. Your furnace will usually give you signs that there is a problem before a breakdown occurs.
New noises, including banging, screeching, whining or popping coming from your furnace are not a good sign. These sounds can be caused by a variety of problems ranging from a minor issue to a major problem.
It could be anything from a loose fan belt, an ignition problem, a small part needing adjustment or replacement, or a motor getting ready to fail. These noises will not go away on their own and if addressed early enough, may save you an expensive repair bill. As parts begin to malfunction, added wear and tear carries over to the rest of the furnace's components as the system tries to compensate until it finally breaks down.
Unexplained Increase in Utilities Bills
If your electric or natural gas bills have been steadily increasing for no apparent reason, it could be that your furnace is not working as efficient as it should. It could be as simple as an airflow problem from your furnace being excessively dirty or having clogged air filters. On the more serious side, it may be possible that your furnace is nearing its end of life. As your furnace struggles to keep up with producing heat, it will use more electricity and gas to operate.
Smoke or Air Quality Problems
An old malfunctioning furnace may give off dangerous carbon monoxide fumes. Signs of exposure to this gas include nausea, headaches and light-headedness. If you or your family begin to experience these sudden symptoms, it is important turn your furnace off immediately, get everyone out of the house, and call the fire department or gas company to turn off your gas.
Your furnace will need to be inspected and repairs made before turning it back on. It may be possible that your furnace needs to be replaced if there are cracks in it that are allowing carbon monoxide fumes to leak into your home.
If you suspect a faulty furnace, don't hesitate to schedule maintenance services. Call (208) 466-9447 and let Wickstrom Plumbing, Heating, and Air get your home back in order.