How to Tell If Your Furnace Is Failing
Photo by Ekaterina Astakhova
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There are a few key things you can look for to determine if your furnace is on its last legs. While some of these signs may be evident all year round, they might be especially noticeable during the colder months when your furnace is working harder than ever. Keep reading for eight ways to tell if your furnace is dying!
1. It Is Making Strange Noises
If your furnace starts making strange hissing, banging, or popping noises, it could be a sign that it is on its last legs. These noises are usually caused by metal components expanding or contracting as they heat up and cool down. Over time, this can cause the metal to weaken and break, which can lead to serious problems.
2. It Isn’t Heating Evenly
If you notice that your furnace isn’t heating your home evenly, it could be a sign of trouble. This can be caused by various issues, including a dirty filter or a clogged air duct. It can also be caused by a faulty blower motor or an overheated heat exchanger. If you notice that one room is significantly hotter or colder than the others, it’s best to have your furnace checked out by a professional.
3. It Is Cycling On and Off More Frequently
If your furnace cycles on and off more frequently than normal, it could indicate an issue with the limit switch. This switch is responsible for turning the furnace off when it gets too hot. If the limit switch is faulty, it can cause the furnace to cycle on and off more frequently than normal. It can be a serious problem, leading to the furnace overworking itself and breaking down prematurely.
4. It Is Taking Longer to Heat Up Than Usual
If your furnace takes longer to heat up than it used to, it could indicate that the burner is dirty or the air filter is clogged. It could also signify a more serious issue, such as a cracked heat exchanger. If you notice that your furnace is taking longer to heat up than usual, it’s best to have it checked out.
5. It Is Short-Cycling
Short-cycling is when the furnace turns on and off very quickly before the house can warm up. This can be caused by various issues, including a dirty air filter or a faulty thermostat. It can also be caused by a more serious issue, such as a cracked heat exchanger.
6. Pilot Light Is Going Out Frequently
If your pilot light goes out frequently, it could signify that your furnace is on its last legs. The pilot light is responsible for igniting the burner in the furnace. If the pilot light goes out frequently, it can cause the burner to shut off and on frequently, leading to the furnace overworking itself and breaking down prematurely.
7. It’s More Than 10 Years
If you’ve had the same furnace for more than ten years, it’s probably time to start considering replacing it. Most furnaces last between 15 and 20 years. If your furnace is older than ten years, it’s probably not as efficient as it was. It’s also more likely to break down or need furnace repairs. If you’ve had your furnace for more than ten years, it’s best to start considering replacing it.
8. Energy Bills Have Gone Up
If your energy bills have gone up, but your usage hasn’t changed, it could be a sign that your furnace is on its last legs. As furnaces age, they become less efficient. This means they use more energy to heat your home, which can lead to higher energy bills. If you’ve noticed your energy bills going up, but your usage hasn’t changed, it’s best to have your furnace checked out by a professional.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s best to have your furnace checked out. Ignoring these signs can lead to more serious problems, such as a broken furnace or a house fire. If you are uncertain as to whether your furnace requires repair or replacement, it is always prudent to err on the side of caution and call a professional.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.