As the weather gets colder, your furnace once again becomes your most important appliance. From one year to the next, you should never take for granted that your heating system will jump right into midseason form. Maintaining a well-running system can help ensure better indoor air quality during the colder months.
What to Watch for When You Turn On Your Furnace
Nobody wants to suffer through a heat outage in the dead of an Idaho winter. To help prevent an untimely loss of heat, pay close attention to your central heating system’s performance as you bring it back into use.
The first time you turn your furnace on, pay close attention. There might be some evidence that repairs are in order.
Let’s review the warning signs to look out for—contact an HVAC professional if you notice any of the following.
A bit of an odd burning smell is common when you turn the furnace on for the first time. However, the odor shouldn’t persist.
If the burning odor doesn’t dissipate, or if any strange odor suddenly appears after the furnace has been working normally, there might be a problem. If a metallic or rotten egg smell occurs, contact a professional immediately. These odors may indicate overheating of furnace components or a gas leak.
Furnace Isn’t Blowing Hot Air
If you’re only asking your central heating system to raise the temperature by a few degrees, then you might not quickly notice if it’s not working. So, as you bring your heating system back online, make sure that it’s actually generating heated air.
If the system doesn’t seem to be blowing hot air, check the thermostat to see if it shows an incorrect reading.
Furnace Isn’t Blowing Enough Air
Does the airflow from the furnace seem weak? This might be the result of a blockage or damage in the duct that’s preventing enough warm air from successfully traveling to the vent.
Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm Is Activated
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and highly dangerous gas. Your furnace’s operation involves carbon monoxide, but it’s safely contained and vented out of the home.
If your furnace is damaged, it can leak carbon monoxide. A carbon monoxide leak is an immediate emergency that requires urgent assistance from a professional.
If your carbon monoxide alarm is activated, don’t linger indoors. Get outside right away and contact a professional.
Your furnace should run often enough and long enough to achieve your desired level of heating. It shouldn’t need to run constantly, nor should it run too infrequently to maintain the correct temperature.
If the furnace is running cycles too frequently or not frequently enough, there could be an issue such as a thermostat malfunction or clogged filters. Or, the furnace might not be properly sized for your home.
Higher Heating Bills
HVAC inefficiencies are expensive. If your heating bills don’t seem to accurately portray your heat usage, schedule a system inspection. Have a technician examine your furnace to see if any repairs are needed.
Restoring your furnace to optimal performance will bring your heating expenses back down to earth.
Some clicking noises as a cycle starts and stops, as well as a dull humming during operation, are normal furnace sounds.
You shouldn’t be hearing repeated clicking during the cycle or other strange or excessive sounds. Odd noises are an indication of various malfunctions, ranging from mechanical errors to cracks in the furnace structure.
Your Furnace Is Old
The average lifespan of a furnace is about 20 years. Major problems often start to develop at around the 15-year mark. If your furnace is getting up there in years, it becomes more and more likely that repairs or replacement will be needed.
Preparing Your Central Heat System for Winter
Have you noticed any of the warning signs described above? Bring in an HVAC professional to inspect your central heat system.
If you’re in the Boise, Idaho region, get in touch with Advanced Heating and Cooling for all your heating needs. Our technicians can diagnose and resolve your heating issues, regardless of your furnace brand.
For central heating installation, repair, and maintenance, schedule an appointment today—let’s make sure your furnace is ready for winter.