Although no homeowner wants their furnace to fail, it's much better to know the warning signs of a failure than to wake up one day in a freezing home. Luckily, your furnace will tell you when it needs a repair!
THE AGE OF THE FURNACE
Looking at the age of your furnace is a good first step towards determining how well it is working. A furnace’s lifespan is around 15 to 20 years, according to the National Association of Home Builder's Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components. If your furnace is around that age or older, there's a good chance it will need repairs or a replacement soon.
Is your furnace blowing cold air? If you keep cranking up the thermostat but your home is still cold, it may be time to repair or replace your furnace. Cold air could mean a faulty pilot light, an electrical issue, or a leaking duct. If your furnace won’t turn on, you could have a faulty thermostat or dirty flame sensor, broken pilot light, or dying fan motor. Each of these need to be fixed by a professional. If you have a home warranty, make sure you get a heating tune-up so you can mitigate pilot light issues, duct work, and electrical problems.
YOU'RE SPENDING MORE ON HEATING BILLS
If you’ve noticed a dramatic uptick in heating costs or you’re spending more and more on repairs, your furnace is telling you that there is something wrong... and you're paying for it out of your pocket! High heating bills without any change in furnace use shows that your furnace is not heating your home efficiently. If you noticed expensive energy bills, you can use these tips to lessen the costs, but high costs without an increase in use usually means your furnace needs some repairs.
Dusty and dirty smells coming from your furnace can be fixed by cleaning dust out of the furnace and replacing the filters frequently. If you smell natural gas from your furnace, though, you should call a professional immediately.
PILOT LIGHT IS YELLOW
Your furnace's pilot light should be blue, not yellow. Make sure to call a professional if you see a yellow flame, because it could mean your furnace is producing carbon monoxide, a toxic gas.
If you hear rattling or popping in your furnace, it may be failing. Odd sounds like scraping metal could mean your blower wheel is broken. Banging or rattling could mean you have dirty burners or the blower wheel is out of balance. Call a professional if you’re hearing any odd noises coming from your furnace.
If you have a home warranty and your furnace fails, you can repair or replace it for a small service call fee, as long as it failed from normal wear and tear and as long as your furnace is covered under the home warranty contract. If you already have a home warranty and need to open a service request, log in to your account and open a claim. If you’re interested in learning more about what home warranties cover, go to www.landmarkhw.com/home-warranty-plans.