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Signs Your Furnace Is Going Out

Posted on December 16, 2022 by oozle
Proserv furnace blog header december 2022

It’s that time of year again: the cold weather is settling in, and with it comes the risk of a furnace breakdown. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch any problems before they turn into a full-blown nightmare. Not only can a failing furnace be a major inconvenience, but it can also be a safety hazard. Plus, if you don’t catch the problem early on, you could be facing some costly repairs.

So, how can you tell if your furnace is going out? Here are a few telltale signs to watch out for and frequently asked questions.

What are the Common Reasons Furnaces Fail?

Furnaces are built with multiple redundant safety systems and are designed to last for years with proper maintenance. But, like all mechanical systems, they can fail due to age or neglect. Common reasons a furnace could fail include:

  • Dirty air filters that restrict airflow
  • Faulty gas valves that don’t open properly
  • Poorly adjusted burners
  • Ignition problems
  • Loose or worn-out electrical connections

However, just because your furnace is acting up doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ready to be replaced. If you detect any of the signs below, it could signal an impending breakdown that should be addressed by a professional HVAC technician right away. And, by addressing small issues before they become bigger problems, you may be able to avoid a complete furnace replacement.

Signs Your Furnace is Failing

  1. Strange noises. If your furnace is starting to make strange noises, such as banging, clanging, or squealing, it could be a sign that something is wrong. These noises can be caused by a variety of issues, such as a broken fan belt, a loose blower wheel, or a failing blower motor.
  2. Cycling on and off. If your furnace is turning on and off more frequently than usual, it could be a sign that it’s struggling to keep up with your heating needs. This issue is often caused by a faulty thermostat, a clogged air filter, or a failing blower motor.
  3. Blowing cold air. If you’re feeling a blast of cold air instead of warm air when your furnace kicks on, it’s a sign that something is wrong. This issue is often caused by a faulty ignition control, a clogged burner assembly, or a failing heat exchanger.
  4. Producing a yellow flame. If you notice that your furnace is producing a yellow flame instead of a blue flame, it’s a sign that your furnace is burning inefficiently. This issue is often caused by a clogged air filter, a faulty gas valve, or a failing burner assembly.
  5. Emitting strange smells. If you notice a strange smell coming from your furnace, it’s a sign that something is wrong. This could be a sign of a gas leak, which can be dangerous. If you notice a rotten egg smell, it could be a sign of a natural gas leak. If you notice a musty or moldy smell, it could be a sign of a blocked or leaking flue.
  6. Your energy bills are on the rise. If you notice that your energy bills are getting higher and higher, it could be a sign that your furnace is becoming less efficient. This could be caused by a variety of issues, such as a faulty ignition control, a clogged air filter, or a failing heat exchanger.
  7. Weak airflow. If you notice that your furnace is producing weak airflow, it could be a sign of an issue with the blower motor. This issue is often caused by a worn-out blower belt or a failing motor.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to call a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem. Ignoring these signs could lead to more serious issues, such as a furnace breakdown or a gas leak.

What to do if Your Furnace Fails in Winter

The most important thing to do is not panic. Most furnace breakdowns can be repaired quickly and easily. Here are a few things to check before calling a professional HVAC technician:

  • Check the thermostat. Make sure it is set to “heat” and that the temperature setting is higher than the current room temperature.
  • Check if the thermostat is programmed. If your furnace is turning on/off unexpectedly, it might be that thermostat was improperly programmed to turn on/off at the incorrect time.
  • Check for power. Make sure the furnace has electricity and that all circuit breakers, switches, and fuses are in working order.
  • Inspect the air filter. Remove the air filter and check it for dirt or debris. If it’s dirty, replace it with a new one.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, then it’s time to call a professional HVAC technician. They will be able to diagnose and fix the problem quickly and efficiently. And, by getting it fixed right away, you’ll be able to get your heating system back up and running in no time.

FAQs & Tips for Efficient Furnace Operation

A little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to keeping your furnace running efficiently. Here are some tips and FAQs to help you get the most out of your furnace:

How Often Should I Replace My Furnace Filter?

It’s recommended to replace your furnace filter every one to three months, depending on the type of filter you have and the amount of use your furnace gets. A dirty filter can reduce your furnace’s efficiency and potentially cause damage to the system.

How do I Know if My Furnace Needs Repair or Replacement?

If your furnace is more than 15 years old and experiencing frequent problems, it may be more cost-effective to replace it rather than continue to repair it. However, every situation is different, so it’s best to consult a professional HVAC technician for advice.

How Can I Extend the Life of My Furnace?

To extend the life of your furnace, make sure to regularly replace the filter, schedule annual maintenance with a professional HVAC technician, and address any issues promptly. As a general rule of thumb, the better you maintain your furnace, the longer it will last.

What Should I Do if I Smell Gas Near My Furnace?

If you smell gas near your furnace, it’s important to evacuate the area immediately and call your gas company to report the issue. Do not try to fix the problem yourself, as it can be dangerous.

ProServ Las Vegas – Your Trusted Heating and Air Conditioning Experts

At ProServ Las Vegas, we provide comprehensive heating and air conditioning services, including repair, installation, maintenance, and more. Our team of experienced technicians is here to help you keep your furnace running smoothly all year long. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

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