In most cases, if you notice something strange with your furnace, it’s best to have an expert inspect it for needed repairs. Avoiding a problem could lead to severe damage down the road or even the need for premature heater replacement.
Ace Air Conditioning & Plumbing is here to walk you through the most common issues homeowners experience with heaters to help you determine whether professional assistance is required. Read on to learn more about your heating system and ways to troubleshoot before scheduling an appointment.
Warning Signs You Need Heater Repair
Possibly the most obvious sign of something wrong with your furnace is if it’s not providing adequate heating or any heat at all. However, there are a few troubleshooting tips you can first follow before contacting an expert to verify it’s an issue with your system.
When transitioning to the cooler seasons, homeowners often forget to adjust their thermostat fan settings. If your thermostat is “On,” the fan will continuously blow air even when your furnace isn’t running, resulting in cold airflow. Make sure your system is set to “Auto” and “Heat” to ensure the correct settings for heating.
If your thermostat is set correctly, check if you have a tripped circuit breaker. Locate your electrical panel and inspect the breaker handle. A tripped breaker will either be in the “Off” position, in between “On” and “Off” or glow red. To reset, flip the switch to the “Off” position before switching back to “On.” If it trips after resetting, do not reset it again. Contact a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.
Short cycling is when your system repeatedly turns on and shuts off without completing a heating cycle. If your furnace is short cycling, it could be a sign of overheating.
Prevent your unit from overheating by avoiding restrictions to airflow commonly caused by the following:
- Dirty Air Filters. Dirt and debris buildup block airflow, forcing your unit to work harder. Ideally, homeowners should replace furnace filters once every 1-3 months.
- Damaged Blower Motor. Your system’s blower motor is responsible for pulling in cool air and pumping warm air back into your home. If the motor malfunctions, it won’t draw in enough cool air to prevent overheating. A professional will have to assess the damage for repair.
- Closed Or Blocked Vents. To ensure enough airflow to your furnace, air vents should remain open and unobstructed. Simply remove any furniture or items that may be blocking your vents.
Increase In Energy Bills
Recent spikes in your electricity costs are often a clear indicator of faulty furnace parts. When components of your unit malfunction, your system overworks itself, resulting in higher energy usage and monthly costs.
Although heating uses more energy than any other system in your home, disproportionate scores signify a potential need for repair. Contact a professional to help locate the problem with your furnace. If high utility costs are a constant concern for you, ask your technician about energy-efficient heat pumps as an alternative heating solution.
Strange Noises & Smells
A burning odor from your furnace often results from dust buildup or dirty air filters. If the smell lingers after cleaning your unit and replacing its filters, it could be a warning sign of overheating or some loose debris stuck inside your system. Have a professional inspect your unit and air ducts to ensure all parts are intact and clear of dirt and debris.
Strange noises from your heater often suggest components of your unit are dirty, broken or need oiling. A heating expert can identify the cause of noise, whether a repair is required or if it’s time to start looking for a replacement unit.
You can help prepare for your technician’s visit by pinpointing the type of sound you’re experiencing. When calling to set up an appointment, use specific language to help give your tech an idea of what’s happening. Determine which of the following sounds your furnace is making:
Yellow Furnace Flames
Your system’s pilot light should produce a blue flame to indicate clean and complete combustion. Verify your furnace flame is not yellow instead, which could be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 170 people die yearly from CO poisoning caused by non-automotive consumer products, which include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances like furnaces. Therefore, it’s imperative that you have CO detectors on every floor and check your pilot light regularly.
Unfortunately, CO detectors can sometimes malfunction themselves, so if you notice yellow flames in your furnace — especially when accompanied by a gas odor — contact a professional immediately. An expert can test your indoor air quality to detect the presence of a CO leak and perform the necessary repairs and part replacements to remedy the issue if so.
The Dangers Of Avoiding Furnace Repairs
Furnace repair services help extend the life of your system as they work to boost efficiency and lower your electricity bills. If you neglect recommended furnace care, complications can manifest into severe health and safety issues such as:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Polluted indoor air quality
- Minor issues becoming major problems
- Full system breakdown
Local Furnace Repair Lake Charles
Ace Air Conditioning & Plumbing has been the premier choice for heater repair in Lake Charles for the last 60 years! We care about the heating needs of our community and want to ensure your family enjoys a safe and warm holiday season. If you experience any of the warning signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to reach out!