In your HVAC system, the furnace is the largest of all the parts. Since it requires the most space, you’ll usually find it in the basement or the garage. The furnace is the star in your HVAC – it heats the air that is then distributed to various rooms in your house through ductwork or piping. If the furnace has issues, the rest of the HVAC system will suffer. Being able to identify furnace problems before they become severe could save your whole system from breaking down. Here are some indicators:
Inadequate Heat An obvious sign that the furnace needs urgent attention is when it stops doing its work. If your furnace is blowing cold air or a low level of heat, first check the temperature settings. If the temperature settings are okay and there is no loose wiring or a tripped breaker, there could be a more severe problem with your furnace. The furnace could also be blowing cold air as a result of overheating. If the furnace blows hot air, then cold air, and after a while stops blowing any air, overheating is the likely cause.
The most common reason why a furnace overheats is because of dirty filters. Dirty filters block airflow causing a furnace to overheat. If not checked, the heat exchanger, which is more expensive to fix, will malfunction. How about replacing the air filters instead?
Strange Noises Different noises point to specific issues. A screeching noise could be signalling problems with the motor. Vibrating or whining noises signal a severe furnace issue like a loose mount. Loud booming sounds can be a sign of dirty furnace burners that need urgent servicing. Booming sounds could also come from air ducts expanding and contracting in very cold weather in spaces that are unheated. While it’s natural for the furnace to produce certain noises when it’s in operation, strange noises could also mean the furnace is nearing the end of its life and needs replacing. Only a professional heating technician can ascertain the right course of action.
Abnormal Furnace Smells Furnaces can smell like the fuel that they use, but this smell should dissipate as the unit runs. If you notice a certain strong odour that doesn’t go away with time, the furnace could be signalling that there is a problem within the system. The issue could be as simple as excess dust in the unit or as serious as a gas leak. If your furnace has a carbon-monoxide detector it’ll go off if there’s the presence of toxic gases. If you notice an unusual smell coming from the furnace or if the detector goes off, switch the system off. Then open the windows to ventilate the house and call an HVAC technician right away.
The Burner isn’t Igniting Clicking sounds in a furnace that has a spark ignition could indicate underlying issues like a faulty control board, blocked flue or improper limit control. Instead of waiting for the furnace to die, have it checked.
Lastly, increased heating bills could indicate issues with the furnace or other parts of the HVAC system. If you see any of the above indicators, call Classic Air Conditioning and Heating and have your furnace equipment fully checked by one of our HVAC repair professionals. Catching a problem early enough can save you the hefty cost of having to replace the whole system.