The 6 Signs Your Furnace Needs Repairs – and Why
When winter approaches and the temperature outside starts to drop, it’s time to fire up the old furnace. But as your furnace ages, the likelihood of a malfunction grows with every season. Knowing the warning signs of imminent furnace failure is crucial to staying toasty warm this winter … instead of hearing the chattering of your family’s teeth. Here we’ll discuss the top six warning signs your furnace might need repairs, and how your HVAC technician can help.
Sign #1: Strange Smells
What happens: Whenever you fire up your furnace for the first time each year, you’ll typically smell a strange odor. This smell usually dissipates as the unit runs, provided things are working smoothly. However, if a new odor pops up suddenly, if your unit reeks of fuel, or if the smell persists, then you’ve likely got a furnace repair in your future.
Possible repair: Odors can come from numerous issues, from a fuel leak or dirty ducts. An HVAC professional can diagnose the problem and determine what needs to be repaired.
Sign #2: Noises
What happens: Regardless of how new it is, no furnace is 100% quiet all the time. But if loud and constant noises persist, then you’ve likely got a problem.
Possible repair: Make sure to note the sounds and describe them to your HVAC technician. Squealing, whistling or whining might indicate a faulty belt or fan. Groaning or banging sounds might result from an internal component that has broken loose and needs to removal or replacement.
Sign #3: Yellow Pilot Light
What happens: Your pilot light should be blue when everything is working properly. If your pilot light turns a different color – especially yellow – this is an indication of a serious problem.
Possible repair: A yellow pilot light indicates that gasses, particularly carbon monoxide, are not being dissipated properly. This can be an imminent and serious health threat, and an HVAC technician needs to inspect your furnace immediately.
Sign #4: The Furnace Won’t Start
What happens: Does your furnace sound like the Millenium Falcon failing to jump to hyperspace when you try to heat your home every fall? If you must restart your unit multiple times per day, or if the furnace refuses to reliably start, there’s something wrong.
Possible repair: Most likely you have a faulty thermostat that needs replacing, or some wiring has come loose and needs to be reattached.
Sign #5: Your House Is Still Cold
What happens: If you’re still wearing hoodies around the house and your thermostat is cranked up to 85, it’s a sure thing that your unit is having some difficulties.
Possible repair: If your furnace is running but your home is not warming, you may have leaking ductwork, or a blower component that needs replacing. It could also be that your thermostat is not communicating properly with the furnace to adjust the temperature in your home.
Sign #6: Excess Dust
What happens: If you notice there is a lot of dust on or near your vents, or it seems like there is more dust in the air than normal, you may need to have your furnace checked.
Possible repair: The easy fix is to replace your furnace filter, as it has likely worn out. In extreme cases, it could be damaged ductwork that requires professional repairs.
Wrapping It All Up
No one likes furnace repairs. But knowing the warning signs is a surefire way to catch the problem early before it becomes an emergency. If you live in or around the Sioux Falls, SD area, we welcome you to contact the professionals at Prairie Sons to handle all your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. With 24/7 emergency services available, you don’t need to “wait until tomorrow” should your furnace decide to give up the ghost this winter!