There is never a good time for your furnace to go out. No matter what the temperature is outside, you and your family will quickly feel the chill of cold air inside the house. Thankfully, there are a few ways to avoid the emergency situation that unfolds when your home’s furnace stops working. Read on for warning signs to look for that can help you determine if it’s time to replace your furnace.
Regular monitoring of your furnace is all that is needed. By checking the furnace on a monthly basis, you’ll become accustomed to its normal operation, including the way it looks, the way sounds, and the way it smells. Any changes in these normal operations can be a signal that your furnace needs to be replaced. Here are a few items to look for:
1. Increased Dust – As your furnace ages, the air quality in your home can deteriorate thanks to an increase in bacteria and dirt floating through the ducts. Duct cleaning and a new filter can resolve these issues temporarily, but the reality is that older furnaces eventually lose the ability to clean the air properly. If your allergies flare up or the air in your home feels stale, these are signals that an old furnace may need to be replaced.
2. New Noises – As you drive your car daily, you become familiar its noises. Just like your car, a furnace also makes noises, and with regular monitoring, you will become accustomed to the ‘normal’ noises your furnace makes. Anything new, like squealing, whistling, or banging, could be a sign that your furnace is in need of service or is getting near the end of its life.
3. Odd Odors – The type of fuel used for your furnace will determine the odor that is emitted. You will always notice an odor when you turn on your unit for the first time each season, but this will disappear as the unit runs. Any odors that appear stronger than normal or appear abruptly can signal an issue.
4. Change in Pilot Light Color – A furnace in good condition will have a blue pilot light. A change in color can indicate an issue, and a yellow pilot light means you may have a ventilation problem and signals that is there is carbon monoxide in the air. A flickering pilot light, or excessive moisture on the windows or walls, can also be signs of carbon monoxide.
5. Your Utility Bill Increases – Are you feeling chilled more often and find yourself increasing the temperature a few degrees each day? If this has become a normal occurrence, and your utility bill has been on the rise, your furnace may be failing because it ca no longer distribute the air properly throughout your home. If the temperature throughout the rooms in your home becomes inconsistent, this is a red flag.
If your furnace is exhibiting a number of the signs above or if you have been spending money to keep your furnace running by making frequent repairs, it’s time to step back and evaluate its current state. Nowadays, the average furnace life expectancy ranges from 16 to 20 years. If your furnace is anywhere close to this age range, you need to begin shopping. It’s always better to have a replacement plan in place instead of making a quick decision during an emergency. Don’t ignore the warning signs your furnace is giving you and avoid the headache of finding a contractor, getting multiple bids, and paying a huge repair bill by protecting yourself with a home repair plan from HomeServe.