We can definitely say that our heaters are getting a bit more work than they usually did. Even with a couple of heat waves, our winter so far has actually been, well, cold.
That said, if you have an older furnace or if you skipped maintenance, your furnace is at risk of failing on you. We’d like to help you avoid that as much as possible! The best way to prevent a sudden furnace breakdown is by giving us a call and scheduling maintenance—better late than never!
It would also behoove you to know the signs of furnace failure so you can give us a call right away and fend them off as best as possible. What are these signs? Read on!
Strange Noises from Your Ductwork and Elsewhere
This sign applies to you if you have a furnace or a heat pump system, actually. Both of these system types utilize ductwork, and odd sounds coming from your vents or ductwork can indicate you have damaged air ducts.
The good news is, this isn’t a detrimental problem—it’s not going to threaten your safety. But it is going to threaten your comfort and your quality of life. Damaged ductwork doesn’t allow your furnace and heat pumps to work as efficiently as possible, which wears down on them faster
Ductwork isn’t the only culprit of funny noises, either. Your furnace may make a clanging or banging noise if something is loose within it. This can be dangerous for the furnace itself and it’s not a repair you want to delay. Another sound you should be alert to is a clicking sound, as it might indicate a cracked heat exchanger.
This is an issue that homeowners too often ignore, especially if colder rooms are those that aren’t used very often. But when parts of your living space are getting warmer than others, or even too warm, it can indicate either a ductwork problem or something that’s wrong with the blower fan of your heating system.
Short-cycling is a process where the heater turns on and off in rapid succession. Most heaters run on a cycle of about 15 minutes to reach the desired temperature on your thermostat, before cycling off for a stretch of time. Therefore, you shouldn’t hear your heater kick on and off more than 4 times an hour.
If it’s cycling on more than that, it means your heater is never completing a full heating cycle. This is both the symptom of a problem with your heater and the cause of further problems with your heater, as it can cause your furnace to break down completely, and require replacement far sooner than it should have to.
Higher Than Average Energy Bills
Pay attention to how much you’re paying when it comes to your utility bills! If the numbers are much higher than they were this time last year, or higher than what your neighbors are paying, then it’s definitely a sign that something is causing your heater to behave inefficiently, which can lead to furnace failure.