Modern furnaces are built to last, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never need HVAC repair. These systems experience a lot of wear and tear, especially in colder climates. Instead of waiting until the furnace breaks down completely, read on to find out about some of the early warning signs that the unit will need repairs.
- Constantly Running Fans
The thermostat is a furnace’s control center. It tells the unit when to turn on and off based on the temperature in the home. When it isn’t working properly, the furnace fan will run constantly at all heat settings, reducing the unit’s efficiency and leaving it prone to more serious issues.
Thermostat issues aren’t the only problems that can cause a furnace’s fan to blow constantly. Limit switch malfunctions can also lead to continual blowing whenever the furnace is turned on even if there’s no heat coming from the vents.
- Unexplained Drops in Efficiency
All furnaces have filters, and on most models, they’re remarkably easy to change. However, some homeowners fail to provide their systems with this basic maintenance, leading to performance deficits and reduced efficiency. Make sure the filter gets replaced at least once every three months when the furnace is in use.
- Pilot Light Issues
Homeowners with gas furnaces should pay close attention to their pilot lights. If the light starts flickering or changes from blue to yellow, that could be a sign of serious trouble. It may indicate that the unit is producing excessive carbon monoxide, which can create serious health and safety risks.
- Frequent Cycling
If the furnace is turning itself on and off more frequently than it should, it can lead to unnecessarily high-power bills. Frequent cycling can be caused by anything from a clogged filter to improper use of the system. An HVAC technician can easily diagnose and fix the underlying problem.
- No Air
If the furnace isn’t blowing out any air at all, let alone hot air, the most likely culprit is an issue with the blower. Make sure it’s clear of debris and check the flashing light. If it’s red, it’s time to call a technician for help.
- Unusual Noises
While few furnaces can be described as silent, most homeowners know the difference between the normal sounds produced by their units and unusual noises that could be a sign of trouble. Pinging, popping, rattling, and squealing noises are never normal.
Rattling is usually related to lose panels, while pinging and popping sounds typically come from the expansion and contraction of the ductwork. High-pitched squealing sounds are usually a sign that the furnace’s blower belt is starting to fray or break. All of these issues can be resolved by a trained HVAC tech.
Call a Professional
Homeowners who notice any of the preceding signs and symptoms of furnace troubles should call an HVAC expert right away. Most of these issues are relatively minor and can be fixed without breaking the family’s budget. However, they can all lead to more serious problems if they go unaddressed, so it’s never wise to put off necessary furnace repairs.