Getting an annual tune-up on your furnace is important; however, it's understandable that you may not be able to afford it regularly. If you find yourself skipping your annual tune-up, be sure to watch for signs that you need a tune-up immediately. Here are 6 signs that your furnace needs immediate maintenance.
1. Your carbon monoxide detector goes off
If you have a gas furnace, your carbon monoxide detector will go off if your carbon monoxide is leaking. There are many reasons this can happen, such as a broken line or incomplete combustion. If your alarm goes off, you need to shut down your gas furnace immediately. If you have any other gas appliances in the house, such as a gas stove, turn those off as well. Open a few windows if you have time, and then get outside as quickly as possible. Once you're outside, call your gas company. The gas company may want you to call your local fire department as well. Finally, call a local HVAC technician to come test your appliances to see if they can be repaired.
2. An unusual increase in your heating bill
If your heating bill increases more than it should, that's an indication that your furnace needs some maintenance. If it's not as efficient, it has to work harder to heat your home, making your bills skyrocket.
3. Your furnace is noisy
Your furnace should be pretty much silent. You might hear a gentle hum, but it should never be loud. If your furnace is making a loud banging noise, or any other loud noise, you have a serious problem. Don't just ignore the noise and hope it goes away. These noises can indicate a dangerous issue, such as a delayed ignition. Turn off your furnace if you hear a strange noise coming from your furnace, and call an HVAC technician immediately.
4. No heat
Obviously, if you have no heat, you need to call a technician. The problem is, most people don't realize that their furnace produces no heat until they turn it on during their first cold day. You don't want to wait until it's cold to have your furnace repaired. Your furnace can break while sitting in the middle of the summertime, and you don't realize it until it's too late. Toward the end of summer, turn your furnace on for a few minutes to make sure it's working properly. As soon as you feel heat coming out of the vent, turn it off and know you're good to go. If nothing but cold air blows out, or even no air at all, you have time to get it fixed before you actually need it.
5. You have a yellow pilot light
You probably just realized that you have never even looked at the color of your pilot light. It's an important thing to do. At the beginning and end of every winter season, take a peek and your pilot light to ensure it's glowing blue. The balance of gasses in your furnace will change the color, and blue is the color of a perfect balance. If your light is yellow, there is a problem, and you need to call an HVAC technician to come check it out.
6. Your furnace won't stay on
If you turn on your furnace and then you hear it kick back off and on a few times, it needs to be repaired. It could be something as easy as having a new thermostat, wire, or pilot light installed. A seemingly large issue isn't always a difficult or expensive one.
It's important to have your furnace maintained. With proper maintenance, you're less likely to have components break, leaving your shivering in the middle of winter. If you missed your maintenance, or even if you didn't, call a furnace repair company immediately if you experience any of these issues.