When the temperature outside drops, like everyone else, you turn to your furnace. This keeps you warm while preventing potential winter disasters like frozen pipes and leaks. However, the problem is that you might not even notice the wear and tear that your furnace sustains during the half of the year that you don't use it. Still, many people put off using their furnaces until the last minute, which can lead to many problems. Not only that but putting off furnace maintenance can also damage your heating system and raise your utility costs. So, how do you know when it's time for furnace maintenance? If you are unsure whether your furnace is operating properly, we are here to discuss the five signs your furnace needs maintenance.
1 It's Been Years Since the Last Inspection If it's been more than a couple of years since you last had professionals look over your furnace, the best thing to do would be to schedule an inspection. Scheduling preventive maintenance visits for your system in advance might help get it ready for the colder months. Some of the things you should look into are:
2 Issues With Activating the Heater The most obvious sign that your furnace needs maintenance is if it doesn't start. A malfunctioning furnace could be due to several different factors. If you turn on your furnace and find it is not producing heat and the blower motor is silent, you may have a problem. However, if you don't find anything, the best course of action would be to call professionals to take a look for you.
It's important to take extra care around the various components of your furnace since they might pose a threat if you're not careful. And if you've just bought the place, one of the must-dos when moving into a new home is to inspect all the systems and check if the furnace has any apparent issues. It might slip your mind to do so because, for example, you've relocated during the warmer months. But not inspecting the furnace on time can result in you not having a heat source during the winter.
3 Odd Smells From the Furnace Although new furnaces often have an unpleasant odor, they should dissipate over time. On the other hand, if the smell persists or suddenly develops, it may be time to get the furnace checked out. If your exhaust has a particularly pungent odor, it may indicate improper combustion. While carbon monoxide has no odor, the byproducts of poor combustion, called aldehydes, do. An excessive buildup of these gases can cause severe damage to your central nervous system if you inhale it regularly.
In general, fumes from your furnace's exhaust should never be noticeable in your home. All the fumes the furnace produces should either be burned up entirely or be drawn outside through a proper venting system. If neither of these things is happening, you should have your HVAC technician look at it as soon as possible. This way, you'll be able to determine if there is a problem and what you can do about it.
4 Low Heat Production A furnace is there to heat your home. You need to fix it if it's not doing its job correctly. Your furnace may not produce enough heat for various reasons, including a filthy air filter, a clogged or malfunctioning blower motor, or a blocked air duct. You can check the furnace's air filter, which you will find between the return air duct and the blower motor chamber. From there, you can troubleshoot other issues. However, if the filter is blocked, a replacement may be necessary. Improperly functioning heating elements or thermostatic control are common problems leading to low heating output. You could fix some of these issues if you know where to look, but you shouldn't tinker too much with your furnace. But, if the issue still exists after trying this simple solution, it is time to get help from an expert.
5 Large Heating Bills If your heating cost keeps going up without you using more energy, your furnace may have an efficiency issue. If your furnace's efficiency drops, it will have to work more to create the same heat, driving up your energy costs. Many things might trigger this behavior, including a dirty or defective heat exchanger, incorrect air flow, or dirty burners. Any of these reasons could significantly impact your home's energy usage. Fortunately, an experienced technician can diagnose the issue and help you resolve the problem quickly and efficiently. Just make sure that you do this as soon as possible. Otherwise, the problem will only get worse over time. Furthermore, the longer you wait to address this issue, the more you will have to pay to fix it.
ConclusionThese are the five signs your furnace needs maintenance. That being said, these are just the five most common reasons you would need to do furnace maintenance. There are many more. So it's crucial to inspect and look after your furnace all year round. Don't just leave it sitting there all year long when you are not using it. In fact, you should take precautionary measures and have a professional technician do a tune-up on your furnace twice yearly. It's a good idea to do this even if there is nothing wrong with your furnace. If you regularly check your furnace, you will most likely be able to spot and prevent many of the problems mentioned here.
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