Your Furnace is Haunted!

It’s the coldest night of the winter. You’re cozy in your warm living room watching your favorite TV show. Slowly you and your family begin to notice the temperature dropping as your heater kicks the bucket. You shake your fist and tell your significant other to get it fixed. Knowing the signs and how to prevent sudden furnace failure will help you avoid such an issue.

Signs of an Aging Furnace

Higher Utility Bills

As furnaces age, they use more energy to provide the same heat. Increased consumption over time is a good indicator that your furnace is reaching its end of life.

A furnace on its way out will bang, rattle, squeal and otherwise protest its demise. As soon as you notice it, call a professional HVAC company.

A Cold House
Air blowing through the vents feel cool if the burner or heat exchanger are malfunctioning. If the airflow is warm but too low, the fan is the problem.

Burner Flame Color
Your flame color should be blue in natural gas furnaces. If it’s yellow, that indicates incomplete combustion, which creates more carbon monoxide. Your burner needs to be checked and cleaned or replaced immediately.

Health Issues
If your furnace is producing more carbon monoxide, your family’s health will be worse than usual. Similarly, if there’s an increase in respiratory illnesses, your furnace could be circulating dust, mold and other allergens.

How do you prevent the breakdown?

Regular maintenance is key, especially as winter approaches.

  • Check the burner to make sure the flame is the right color and is burning steadily.
  • Check fan operation to ensure the air is being blown and distributed. The fan blades must be cleaned and the motor inspected by a professional.
  • Clean or replace the filter. If your filter becomes too caked with dust, there’s a domino effect in your furnace as the airflow drops, wreaking havoc with other components.
  • Make sure your combustion air intake is clear. If the furnace does not get enough air, incomplete combustion will take place, creating carbon monoxide.
  • Have a professional look at your heat exchanger for cracks that can leak gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide into your home.
  • Also, have a professional look at the control system to make sure it keeps the furnace running.

Analyze whether you should repair or replace
A typical furnace life cycle is 15-20 years. With proper care, you can prolong its life, but the higher fuel and maintenance could potentially pay for a new furnace.

If you are concerned about your furnace, give Freedom Heating and Cooling a call today at (205) 444-4444 and we’ll make sure you stay toasty warm for the season.