With winter finally here, the time to check on the health and safety of your home’s furnace is now if you haven’t already done so. It is important to make sure that your home’s furnace has what it needs to see you and your family safely through the long winter months. Emergency furnace repairs and replacements can be costly and time consuming, both of which are extremely inconvenient during the holiday season. Making sure your furnace is in good working order is a much better alternative that having to pay extra in your monthly heating bills or having to sit in the cold for hours and hours while you wait for your furnace replacement to be installed if your system just stops working entirely. When you suspect that your furnace might not be performing like it should be, there are several signs you can be on the lookout for to let you know if your system is in danger of breaking down, and needs maintenance.
A properly installed furnace will last you between 10 and 15 years depending on how well it has been maintained over that time frame. Any older than that, and you might start to notice that it doesn’t run as efficiently as it used to and that it needs more frequent repairs. When either of these signs start popping up, it’s time to start looking around for a new furnace. Having the time to do your research and carefully decide on your replacement now as opposed to going with what’s fast or available in the event of an emergency can potentially save you a great deal of money and headache.
Increasing Heating Bills
While gas and electric rates can fluctuate slightly, if you notice your heating bills are increasing faster than they usually do, it is probably an indicator that something is wrong in your system. Furnaces tend to lose efficiency as they get older or if they are experiencing problems, so it is important that you have your system checked out by a professional to determine whether you need repairs or if a replacement might be the better option.
Needing Frequent Furnace Repairs
Every furnace is going to need repairs at some point during its lifetime, but if you find yourself constantly having to shell out for repairs to your furnace just to keep it running, your best bet is going to be to start looking for replacement options. Most furnace repairs are going to happen during the last two years or so of a system’s life, so increasing need for repairs is a good indicator that your system doesn’t have much time left.
Strange Noises Coming From Your Furnace
If you have heard any banging, popping, rattling, or squealing noises coming from your furnace, it is a clear warning that something is wrong with the system. If it sounds like the blower is running constantly or constantly turning on and off, your system might be nearing the end of its life.
You Or Your Family Feeling Sick
If you and your family suddenly start experiencing flu-like symptoms, even though you haven’t been exposed to anyone sick, you need to open as many doors and windows as possible, get outside, and call in a professional heating technician to inspect your furnace. Low level carbon monoxide exposure can have these same symptoms, and if your furnace has cracks, it could be leaking this toxic gas into your home.