When is the last time you sat around and thought about your home’s furnace? If you’re like most people, the answer to that question is never, until something goes wrong. If your furnace is still under 10 years old and has been properly maintained and serviced, you most likely would not want to invest in a replacement already. With the proper maintenance, a furnace can last up to 20 years! So, what are the four major signs that it’s time to repair your furnace?
1. Your Home’s Temperature Has Dropped
The first sign that your furnace may need some TLC is the most obvious – your house is cold. The whole purpose of a furnace is to provide heat for your home, so if you’ve got one that’s blowing cool air, you have a problem. There could be a variety of reasons why your furnace is not heating appropriately. Fortunately, the solution for this can be as simple as having your pilot light out. So take a peek.
Other quick ways to troubleshoot a cool furnace: check your thermostat, and make sure the air filter is clean.
2. You Smell Gas
The second sign that it’s time to repair your furnace is the smell of gas. This could be a matter of life and death, so immediate action is required on your part. If you have a gas-run furnace, this is probably the most dangerous issue you can encounter.
A gas leak is very serious business and should be addressed by you accordingly. If the aroma of gas can be easily detected then there is no question what is happening, you could be in immediate danger. Before any repair services are called, you should:
- open all windows in your house
- turn off the furnace immediately
- switch off the gas lines to stop the gas flow wherever it may be
- evacuate the premises until you can no longer smell the fumes
Gas can ignite with even the subtlest of sparks, which would make for a much larger problem than just your furnace.
With all of this being said, you will want to make absolutely sure that there is in fact a gas leak coming from the furnace. Most of the time there will be a hissing noise emanating from the furnace or one of the gas pipes if this is the case. There are a few different smells that resemble the odor of gas, and it may also be coming from another appliance in the house which you will want to pinpoint.
Fortunately, almost all gas leaks in a home furnace come from the unit’s heat exchanger. This essential part of the furnace may be cracked or broken, but they can be easily replaced.
3. Pooling Liquid
Visible liquid can be a very indicative sign of a struggling furnace. There are essentially 2 types of liquid that would most likely be pooling around your furnace, water and gasoline. Either liquid left unattended is bad news. Water leads to rust, corrosion, and mold. It can damage the area that holds your furnace and could be costly to clean and resurface. Gasoline is even more dangerous; if left unattended it can be a huge threat to your entire house. With any ignition in the area, the gas could catch and you would be left scrambling to save your home. A gas fire is not an easy threat to extinguish immediately either.
Regardless, be sure that you have the tools necessary in your house to combat this threat if it were to ever occur. A fire extinguisher and a phone close by are essential. With the visibility of either liquid, your best bet would be to shut off your furnace and immediately call your trusted contractor to schedule a repair
4. Unusual Noises
Your furnace should not be making any noise besides the familiar hum of a happy, working furnace. If any scrapes, thumps, or bangs happen consistently, the noise is most likely indicative of a loose or rogue part within the furnace. The longer this is left to move around or stay broken, the more broken it is likely to become. This means more expensive costs to repair, or replace if the damage is too much.
Whether it’s no heat, the smell of gas, pooling liquid, or strange noises – it’s important to take any irregularities in your furnace’s performance seriously. Regular furnace maintenance and repairs not only lower your utility bills but in the case of leaking gas, can save your life.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore it. An improperly working furnace is not only a drain on your utility bill, but it can also evolve into a much more expensive repair, or possibly even require a total unit replacement. Keep the signs that it’s time to repair your furnace in mind and if you need furnace repair or replacement, be sure to contact Master PHC today! Be sure to check out our amazing reviews!