Don’t Ignore These Red Flags of Furnace Maintenance
It's been a long winter. And even if you live in a warmer climate,
your furnace has probably been working pretty hard. As HVAC systems age
and undergo seasonal stress, their behavior can change - new noises present
themselves, they run longer or at different intervals, and so on. Not
all changes are bad, but some can mean serious trouble.
Pay attention to your system; watch and listen for these telltale signs,
and don't hesitate to have them inspected if they are detected.
Loud, Abrupt Noises
Every furnace emits noise during operation. Whizzing, humming, and whirring
are all normal noises, and they aren't any cause for concern. However,
if you start hearing louder, more abrupt noises, you should start to worry.
Any noise that is out of the ordinary should warrant an inspection. For
example, thumping, clanking, or another abrupt noise heard at unpredictable
intervals should be checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
Pilot Light Color Change
If you own a gas powered furnace, your pilot light should maintain a blue
color at all times. A blue flame indicates that a pure, steady stream
of gas is flowing through the system. When the flame weakens or turns
yellow, there could be something wrong with the gas line or the purity
of the gas itself. It's best to never take chances when it comes to
the pilot light. If you notice a change, schedule an appointment immediately.
Unpredictable Starting and Stopping
There is a whole host of causes for this problem. From thermostat failures
to degraded system wiring and electronics, it's practically impossible
to diagnose the cause without the help of a certified HVAC technician.
Not only will this problem cause the energy efficiency of your system
to decline; it will also gradually get worse over time, resulting in unnecessary
system wear and irreversible damage.
Do you feel like you're constantly adjusting the thermostat just to
stay warm? If so, you're experiencing a major sign that your system
needs some care and maintenance. This problem usually manifests itself
in older systems, so if your home has a system exceeding 10 years in age,
you should be on the lookout for a decline in system efficiency and thermostat accuracy.
Sudden Energy Cost Spike
Any time you notice a sudden elevation in your monthly energy costs, your
home appliances should be the first place you investigate to find the
source of the problem. Your water heater, HVAC system, or washer/dryer
could all possibly be to blame, although HVAC units are quite often the culprit.
These four warning signs are just a general list of things to look for
when considering the possibility of a system malfunction. As a rule, you
should contact your local certified HVAC technician to investigate any
time you hear or see something out of the ordinary happening with your system.