Is your furnace making funny sounds? Does the air smell a little strange? Are your power bills on the rise, or have you noticed cold spots in your home? These are all warning signs that your furnace might be on the fritz. If it hasn’t broken yet, you may want to call a technician to see if there’s a way to fix it (and avoid paying the $4,000 it costs on average to install a new furnace!). Be on the lookout for these warning signs:
The average life expectancy of a furnace is between 15 and 20 years, with electric furnaces lasting about 15 years and oil furnaces averaging around 20 years of life. Whether your furnace is on the high or the low end of that range depends on how well you maintain it. Just like a car, a furnace won’t last nearly as long if you don’t take care of it and clean it periodically. When was the last time you had your furnace cleaned? If you can’t remember, it’s been too long.
Rising Power Bills or Uneven Temperatures
Furnaces become less efficient over time. Older furnaces take longer and work harder to produce the same amount of heat. Take a look at your energy bill. Is it higher than it was last year at this time? If so, it may be worth considering a new furnace. Your older furnace might not be breaking, but you could be losing a lot of money on your energy bills!
Furnaces that are older or are breaking down often have trouble distributing heat evenly throughout your home. Cold spots or temperature fluctuations are another sign that your furnace might be tiring out.
Just like with a car, it’s time to buy a new furnace if it costs more to fix it than the furnace is worth. Over time, the small parts inside a furnace wear out. If you have to call professionals for repairs more frequently than once a year, it’s a sign that repair costs are going to keep rising. Rather than throwing more money at your old furnace, it’s probably time to replace it with a new one.
Odd sounds from machinery or electronics are usually a bad sign. Is your furnace rattling, popping, grinding, or squealing? It’s possible that there’s a simple repair. Schedule a maintenance check so that professionals can determine the cause of the noise. They’ll be able to fix it or let you know if your furnace has bigger problems. Either way, don’t just ignore it! Your furnace shouldn’t be making unusual sounds.
Poor Air Quality
If your furnace isn’t working properly, it might not be filtering your air well, either. Have you noticed that your home feels drier or dustier? If you or a family member has asthma or allergies, you might see an increase in breathing issues from additional pollen and allergens in the air.
Burning in the nose or eyes, nausea, disorientation, or flu-like symptoms could mean that the problem is much more serious. A cracked heat exchanger can lead to carbon monoxide leaks. These leaks are extremely dangerous to you and your family. If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms mentioned, take a look at the flame coming from your burner. It should be steady and blue in color. If it’s yellow and flickering, there may be a leak. In this case, stay someplace else until you can determine whether or not you are being exposed to carbon monoxide. Schedule an appointment immediately to determine the cause.
If you live in the Triangle or coastal North Carolina, Newcomb and Company is here to help. We’ve been serving our community for over 60 years, treating our customers like family and helping to redefine what it means to live in comfort in North Carolina. Contact us today.