In the winter months, when you depend on your furnace daily, a breakdown is one of the worst things that can happen. Fortunately, furnace failures rarely occur without any advance warning whatsoever. Avoid furnace breakdowns by learning to spot these three warning signs.
1. Sharply Rising Energy Bills
If a furnace is well-maintained, its energy efficiency should decline gradually over its lifetime. When you notice a sharp spike in your utility bill, you should question if your furnace is to blame. Mechanical failures can cause your furnace to work harder and draw more power to reach a comfortable temperature in your home. A spike in your energy bill could indicate that a major failure has taken place and your furnace is nearing a breakdown.
2. Frequent Short Cycling
Furnaces in central HVAC systems rely on signals from the thermostat to start up and shut off at the appropriate times. If your furnace is running in short intervals and struggling to keep your home warm, you're experiencing a problem known as short cycling. Short cycling may be caused by something as simple as a clogged air filter, but it can also be the precursor to a furnace breakdown.
Short cycling sometimes points to a problem with your furnace flame sensor. The flame sensor is a safety component that can shut off your furnace in the event of potentially dangerous overheating. When the flame sensor malfunctions, it can interfere with your furnace's cycle time. If the sensor fails, your furnace won't operate at all until the sensor is replaced.
3. Alarming Sounds or Smells
You're probably used to the sound of your furnace and AC running normally, so unusual noises should be easy to spot. The good news is that the type of noise you hear can be used to pinpoint certain issues. For example, a high-pitched screech or whine is characteristic of worn furnace belts and bearings.
A clicking sound usually points to a problem with the furnace ignitor. When the ignitor fails to initiate combustion, you may hear a click as the ignitor creates a spark. Similarly, you may hear a buzzing or humming sound if there is an electrical malfunction, such as a failing transformer. Take any unusual noises your furnace makes as warning signs of a breakdown and schedule preventive maintenance.
The symptoms described above don't always mean that a furnace breakdown is imminent, but they certainly warrant a professional inspection. Contact a local HVAC service to learn more about furnace repair.Share
13 October 2022
While sitting in my living room on a hot summer day, I could feel the heat coming through the ceiling out of my attic and making the house warm up more than it should. I crawled up into the attic one evening to find out that the roof vents weren't working any longer because they were clogged with all sorts of debris. Did you know that when this happens, your home's temperature can rise to very uncomfortable levels? Did you know that your home could actually be damaged if the attic isn't well vented? This blog will show you all about attic ventilation.