Home heating systems are a necessity, especially during the cold seasons. If your furnace stops working, it can be costly to repair it. This is one reason we at James Plumbing & Heating always tell clients in Santa Fe to invest in annual maintenance to avoid any surprises.
Here, we’ll talk about 10 of the ways you can tell it’s time to call for repairs. This is what to watch for.
1. Water on the Floor
Water near a heater is never a good sign. It’s less dangerous than gas or oil leaking onto the floor, but it still causes concern.
Water appears because of condensation. Normally, the condensate lines in your furnace drain and trap condensation safely, keeping it away from the electrical components of your furnace and off the floor. If the water is pooling on the floor, there’s a big issue inside the furnace.
If you notice water pooling, call a professional. Left unchecked, this could pose dangers in the home. The condensate line is also not something for a quick DIY fix. It may mean replacing the line, which is a job for the experts.
2. Strange Furnace Noises
Clanks and bangs from the furnace are almost never normal. You might hear a sound like a soft bang when it comes off or on, especially if it’s old. If you hear a loud bang or a scraping sound, be sure to call an expert! Something definitely needs to be repaired.
3. It’s Been a While Since Servicing
Regular furnace maintenance is a must. If you know it’s been more than a year, it might need a repair. Have a professional come in to clean the furnace and check it for potential problems. The longer your HVAC system goes without regular maintenance, the more likely it will unexpectedly stop working when you need it most.
4. The Smell of Gas
If you smell gas, call for help. Turn off the furnace or gas supply to be safe, take your family out of the home, and call a repair technician. Never light candles or turn on any type of flame in the home if you smell gas or oil.
5. Vents Blow Cold
If the air coming from your vents isn’t hot, there’s a furnace problem. There are a few reasons it could be blowing cold. Before calling a professional, check to make sure the furnace is switched on.
On older furnaces, you can check for the pilot light inside the sliding door on the side of the furnace. If the light is out, it needs to be relit by an expert.
6. The Furnace is Blowing, but Barely
Weak airflow could be a sign that components inside the furnace have stopped or slowed. Motors, belts, and other working parts make your furnace come to life and heat your home. If something has jammed or stopped, air may blow weakly. Call for repair to handle this issue.
7. Higher Than Normal Heating Bill
Is your heating bill running high? It might be a sign that your furnace needs maintenance. In many cases, a good cleaning will fix this problem.
Something as simple as a dirty filter can cause your furnace to go into overtime, burning harder in an effort to heat your home when the filter clogs. A blocked filter stops air from flowing freely, which forces the furnace to work harder. The harder it works, the higher the bill.
8. Thermostat is Reading Wrong
The thermostat helps you control the heat in your home. If it stops working and you find yourself constantly turning it up to heat the house, there’s probably a disconnect somewhere between the furnace and the thermostat. This is likely a wiring issue. It’s important to call someone as soon as possible to fix this.
Faulty wiring and electrical issues are dangerous, especially when you throw an oil or gas-burning furnace into the mix.
9. Furnace Keeps Cycling
When your furnace turns on, it should heat your home as per the thermostat guide. Once heated, the furnace clicks off, and the temperature is maintained.
If your furnace is turning on and off, on and off, to heat your home, there’s a problem. Constant cycling is another sign that the furnace needs a good cleaning. Don’t panic, but do call a professional.
Like any appliance in your home, your furnace has a shelf life. Most last about 15 years. The more regularly you service and clean your furnace, the longer it will last. At one point, the furnace will absolutely need to be replaced. Until then, a repair might do the trick and add a few years back to the lifespan of the device.
Call an Expert
If you live in Santa Fe and are having trouble with your furnace, we can help. Call us at James Plumbing & Heating today to learn more