We’re not quite done with winter yet. If you’re still using your furnace on a pretty regular basis to keep warm, then your system is still at an increased risk of developing issues. If you want to make sure that your furnace is as protected as possible from the ravages of various problems, it’s a good idea to know the warning signs those problems create. The faster you can react, the more damage you might be able to prevent.
If you’ve had your furnace for any length of time, then you probably know what it’s supposed to sound like while it’s running. If you start to notice any weird sounds coming from your furnace while it’s operating, that would be a good time to call for repairs. Odd noises of various kinds tend to indicate that something in the furnace isn’t working the way it should be. Some common noises that should indicate a need for professional attention include:
- Booming: A loud booming sound when the furnace first starts is probably the result of delayed ignition. This means that the gas burners are clogged, and in need of cleaning.
- Grinding: If your furnace is making a grinding sound, it could mean that the air handler in your system needs to have its bearings replaced. If that doesn’t happen quickly enough, the air handler motor will burn out. So, make sure you call for repairs quickly.
- Clicking: This sound is usually due to the furnace failing to ignite. Either the pilot light is malfunctioning, or some other part of the ignition system isn’t catching the way it should.
If your furnace is turning itself on and off every few minutes, then it’s probably short cycling. Short cycling is a serious issue, caused either by an electrical malfunction or by heat becoming trapped in the furnace. This prevents the furnace from heating the home as well as it should, but it also increases the amount of wear and tear the system accumulates. You need to make sure that you have a technician examine your furnace as soon as you notice it doing this. The longer the furnace is allowed to short cycle, the shorter its overall lifespan is going to be.
Falling Heat Output
A furnace that can’t heat properly isn’t much good for anything. That’s why you should probably have a professional take a look at yours if it isn’t generating as much heat as it normally does. There could be a few different reasons why your furnace isn’t heating well, some of which we’ve actually already covered above. Another one that you need to watch out for, though, is the clogged air filter. This commonly happens because homeowners don’t know to change their filters at least once a quarter, and as a result the filter becomes clogged and prevents air from circulating through the furnace.