The winter months have arrived in full force! During the cold months, checking your gas furnace should be one of your top priorities on your home “to-do” list. Even in the most advanced models aren’t equipped with flashing lights or sirens that alert you when it needs to be replaced. Instead, it may show you subtle warning signs that it’s broken or failing. Here are a few things you can watch out for to determine whether your furnace needs to be repaired or replaced:
It’s rare for a furnace to be completely silent, especially when it gets older. If you notice that it starts to make loud noises out of nowhere, your furnace needs to be repaired. Any loud groans, bangs, or whistles are out of the norm and should be assessed by a professional. It’s highly likely that something may have loosened or detached within your furnace – this can cause further damage if left alone. If you have already paid for several repairs, then you should seriously consider replacement.
Take a look at your pilot light. If the gases in your furnace are balanced and working properly, the flame will be blue. If you ever notice that it turns yellow, you have an extremely dangerous situation on your hands. A yellow flame means that the gases are no longer balanced and that carbon monoxide is leaking into your home. This can cause serious injury or death and needs to be fixed immediately.
It’s not uncommon for your furnace to smell like oil or gas when you switch it on after a long period of inactivity. If, after several consecutive uses, you can still smell gas or oil, then something is wrong with your furnace. Contact a specialist right away to diagnose the problem – these smells can be more dangerous than you think. Oil and gas are flammable, and if they are leaking it’s a potential fire hazard.
Reach out and open up that electric bill! If your furnace isn’t working properly, it can cause your electric bills to skyrocket. A damaged furnace requires more electricity to function and can put a serious dent in your wallet. Rather than doing guesswork, or wishfully waiting for the problem to disappear, you should contact a specialist to locate the problem. If you have already had several repairs, you should consider replacing your furnace.