Did you know that installing a furnace is more important than the furnace itself? If it's wrongly installed, it may have serious consequences.
A faulty furnace doesn't just compromise the comfort of your home. It may lead to carbon monoxide build up. With the health hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning apparent, it's important that you look out for indicators of furnace problems and fix them immediately.
But what are the warning signs a faulty furnace?
Here are the most rampant furnace issues and their solutions.
1. Heating Problems
One of the most obvious indicators of a malfunctioning furnace is the lack of enough heat. If your furnace starts producing low levels of heat or no heat at all regardless of thermostat adjustments, schedule heater system repairs.
In most cases, inadequate heat is caused by leaking ductwork, which allows heated air to escape. Faulty thermostats are also usual culprits, especially when they fail to communicate with your furnace.
If leaking ductwork is causing your furnace to produce less heat than it should, have it replaced by a technician. The same goes for faulty thermostats.
2. Higher Electricity Bill
Has your utility bill skyrocketed recently? This could be a sign of a faulty furnace.
Sometimes there are no obvious signs that your furnace is malfunctioning, and you need to pay attention to tiny details such as its power consumption. A faulty furnace will consume more electricity because it's working extra hard to compensate for clogged air vents and dirty filters.
So make an effort to clean your furnace's filters and air vents so your unit doesn't consume more power than it's supposed to.
3. Gas Odors
It's normal for your furnace to emit a gaseous smell when you turn it on for the first time after a long period of inactivity. If the smell doesn't go away after a while, your furnace could be faulty.
Furnace odors can be caused by several issues, but gas leakage and dust accumulation in the unit are the most common culprits. So if you notice a strong smell that lingers for a while in your home, try clearing excess dust and see if it goes away.
If it doesn't, contact an HVAC professional and schedule a gas furnace repair.
4. Malfunctioning Pilot Light
If you use an older furnace, you'll notice that it has a blue pilot light that stays on when the unit is running. If this light fails to illuminate or becomes discolored, your furnace's thermocouple could be faulty or loose. This problem can also be caused by a pilot flame that's been set too low, a clogged pilot orifice, or a defective safety cutoff valve.
If your pilot light won't stay on, have a professional adjust or replace it. Don't try to DIY, because you might end up hurting yourself or causing further damage to your furnace.
5. Strange Noises
Has your furnace been producing rattling, banging, squealing, or popping noises? Does the furnace blower turn on and off frequently? If so, your furnace could be nearing its useful life.
But before you think of replacing it, get a professional to check it and establish the cause of the noise. Ensure that you describe the kind of sounds it's been making so they can make an accurate diagnosis. If it's breaking down because it's too old, it may be time to replace it.
6. Water Pooling Around The Furnace
If you notice small pools of water under your furnace, the unit could be faulty. While a water leak is less dangerous than a gas leak, you still need to address it if you want to keep your home warm during winter.
The most common cause of water leaks in a furnace is a clogged condensate line. While this is easy to identify, fixing requires plumbing and HVAC expertise. Thus, it's best to leave the job to a professional.
7. Malfunctioning Oil Burner
If your furnace is faulty, the oil burner will either switch on and off or stop working altogether. If it's going on and off rapidly, clean the filter or replace it.
If the oil burner isn't working at all, check the power connection for faulty cables. If it's receiving power and still malfunctioning, find out whether the thermostat is faulty or turned off.
In case checking these two issues or changing the filter doesn't solve your problem, contact a furnace repair professional so they can investigate other possible problems.
8. Carbon Monoxide Accumulation
Furnaces usually come equipped with carbon monoxide detectors to help you detect the presence of this toxic gas. If the detector is tripped, turn off your furnace immediately and ventilate your home by opening all the windows.
Afterwards, consult with an HVAC professional and your gas company so they can help you find out what's producing the gas. If it's your furnace, schedule a repair as soon as possible before it gives out.
9. The Furnace Cycles on and Off
In combustion furnaces, this problem is often caused by a poorly adjusted thermostat.
If you take a closer look at your thermostat, you'll notice a small lever marked as the heat anticipator. It's housed inside a calibrated scale that includes a "longer" setting. Adjusting this lever within one mark of the "longer" setting can help solve the problem of your furnace going off and on frequently.
If your furnace lets temperatures go to extremes before turning on or shutting down, adjust the heat anticipator to one calibration away from the "longer" setting. And if adjusting your thermostat doesn't work, consider replacing it.
In electric-resistance furnaces, this problem can be caused by overheating. Overheating occurs when your blower malfunctions or the filter gets clogged. To resolve the issue, clean the filter and check if your blower is fully operational. If it is and cleaning doesn't work, replace the filter.
10. Problematic Starting
If you have to start your furnace several times in one day, it needs repair. This issue often stems from a faulty thermostat or damaged wiring.
So have a technician determine the cause of this functionality problem and replace any parts they instruct you to.
Expert Repair and Maintenance to Solve Furnace Problems
You don't have to brave the cold days of winter without adequate heating.
If you're experiencing any of the above furnace problems, contact us for repair and maintenance.