furnace inspection

Signs It’s Time for a Furnace Inspection

The average lifespan of a household furnace is 16-20 years. Once you hit the 15-year mark, you can start to expect the need for regular maintenance. However, if you stay on top of any issues that come up, your aging furnace can continue to perform satisfactorily in its twilight years. 

Why Are Furnace Inspections Necessary?

When your furnace is running well, it’s a low-maintenance appliance. However, it’s best not to completely forget about it. If any of the following warning signs present themselves, it’s time to schedule a professional inspection. 

Your Furnace Is Making Unusual Noises

A furnace that’s running well doesn’t make much noise. A dull, quiet humming sound is normal, but you shouldn’t hear much else. 

Any clanking, banging, clicking, hissing, or other strange sound could indicate a serious concern. For example, a clicking sound may indicate an issue with the ignition system, while a whistling sound might mean that there’s a problem with the blower. 

If you notice any unusual noises coming from your furnace, call an HVAC professional immediately for an inspection. 

You Notice Strange Smells When the Furnace Is Running

If your furnace is emitting an odor, it can travel through your ductwork and out of your vents, spreading through the house. Sometimes the smell is harmless. For example, when you first start using your furnace again at the start of winter, you might smell some dust burning off during the first few uses. 

Other more pungent or unusual odors usually indicate that there’s something wrong with the appliance. Be on the lookout for any of these sorts of smells:

  • Moldy or mildewy
  • Chemical 
  • Smoky
  • Plasticky
  • Rotten eggs or sulfur

Any one of these odors could indicate a serious concern. A rotten egg smell, for example, could be a sign of a gas leak. 

If you notice any strange smell coming from your furnace or vents, shut off the appliance and contact a professional immediately for an inspection. 

Weak Airflow

When a furnace isn’t running well, it may be unable to project air through the vents with adequate force. This results in inefficient operation of the furnace. It needs to produce more heat to warm up your home to make up for the weak distribution of that heat. 

When the air from your vents is flowing weakly, schedule an inspection. A technician can figure out the root of the problem that’s causing your sub-optimal airflow. 

Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm Goes Off

Most furnaces contain a carbon monoxide detector installed within the appliance. Carbon monoxide is a normal byproduct of furnace operation, but it’s meant to be safely contained and vented out of the home. 

Any release of carbon monoxide indoors is a serious health hazard. Carbon monoxide is a deadly substance that’s extra dangerous because it’s odorless, tasteless, and colorless. So, we rely on detectors to inform us if carbon monoxide might be putting us in harm’s way. 

If your furnace’s carbon monoxide alarm goes off, shut off the furnace immediately. Then open all of your windows—the best way to remove carbon monoxide is through ventilation, allowing fresh air to replace the gas. Once you’ve quickly turned the furnace off and opened windows, get outdoors as soon as you can.  

After getting your family safely out of the home, call a professional who can examine the furnace and figure out what triggered the detector. 

Your Furnace Simply Isn’t Working

Does your furnace shut off prematurely? Or refuse to start at all? Whatever is keeping it from coming on or staying on, it’s likely a problem that won’t fix itself. 

Sometimes, the best explanation for your inspection request is just “it stopped working.” 

If your furnace ceased performing its general function, this is obviously a time to have it inspected. The failure to operate could indicate an electrical problem or the need to replace the unit entirely. 

Boise Homeowners: Schedule a Furnace Inspection

At Advanced Heating & Cooling, we inspect all furnace makes and models for residents in the Boise, Idaho metro area. This winter, we’re here for all your heating needs: maintenance, repairs, and installations. 

If you’re concerned about how your heating system is performing, contact us anytime to schedule an inspection with one of our experienced professional technicians. 


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