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10 Warning Signs That Your Furnace May Be Failing

10 Warning Signs That Your Furnace May Be Failing

  • Heating
10 warning signs

10 warning signs

Whether you’ve owned your home for years or you just moved in recently, you should always keep tabs on the various appliances working inside. No matter what part of the country you live in, chances are that you will need to check your furnace from time to time. A furnace that goes unnoticed for an extended amount of time is more likely to need repairs or replacement down the line. Furnace failure can be especially problematic during the winter month when you need it the most. As your furnace ages, frequent repairs can become costly. Replacing your furnace before it fails completely will give you peace of mind knowing that your heat is reliable and consistent. Here are 10 signs that your furnace may need to be replaced:

Strange Noises

No old furnace is completely silent – a small hum of machinery is nothing to be too concerned about. If you notice that it starts to make louder, more aggressive sounds, you will need to call a professional. Groans, whines, and loud banging noises should all be checked on. If you’ve already dumped money into repairs, it may be in your best interest to consider replacement.

Thermostat Problems

When it gets chilly in your home, your natural reaction is to turn up the thermostat until you feel comfortable again. If you find that this simply doesn’t work the way that it used to, you may have a problem with your furnace. It’s also possible that you have a leak somewhere in your ducts, or that your thermostat itself may be broken. A specialist will be able to locate and fix the problem.

Increased Electric Bill

As a homeowner, you probably keep a close eye on all your bills. If you notice that your electric bill skyrockets, your furnace may be suffering. When a furnace is broken or running inefficiently, it requires more electricity to function. This increase in stress can take a toll on your furnace, as well as your wallet!

Yellow Pilot Light

It’s important that you keep a watchful eye on the pilot light in your furnace. The light always needs to be blue. A blue flame is a visual confirmation that the gases working inside of your furnace are balanced perfectly, keeping you and your home safe. If the flame of your pilot light ever turns yellow, this means that the balance has shifted and dangerous carbon monoxide is leaking into your home. Exposure can lead to serious injury or death.

Start-Up Problems

This is a telltale sign that you need furnace repair or replacement. Your furnace should turn on when you need it to, and it should stay on. Issues can be caused by anything from faulty wiring to a broken fan motor, but a professional should check it as soon as possible to get it working properly.

Respiratory Problems

An old furnace that isn’t working properly can cause dust, mold, and other pathogens to be released into your home. This can cause asthma symptoms to worsen, and other chest related illnesses to pop up. The air quality in your home is extremely important, so speak up if you notice an increase in these symptoms.

Hot and Cold Spots

Your furnace should be able to heat your entire house. If you notice some spots feel especially drafty or some rooms are much colder than others, your furnace is no longer capable of heating your home. this could also signal that you’re losing heat from somewhere in your home, like your attic or uninsulated crawlspaces. Getting your furnace tuned-up will provide greater efficiency, and let you know if the problem lies within your heating system.

Air Condensation

Air condensation doesn’t always require immediate repair, but if it keeps up you may be making frequent calls for check-ups. This can increase the likelihood that you will need replacement down the line, as it’s best to only allow two minor furnace issues before you call for maintenance.


The average lifespan of a furnace is 10-20 years. Even though your furnace may have served you well for years in the past, all good things must come to an end. If you know your furnace is 15 years or older, you should begin looking for a replacement. This will save you the trouble of searching for the right model if your current furnace suddenly fails.

Strange Odors

The first time you turn your furnace on for the season, it’s common to smell gas or oil. This means that your furnace is just warming up for the first time in a while. If after several consecutive uses you can still smell gas or oil, you should call a professional immediately. This means that something isn’t working right in your furnace and that these substances may be leaking. Excess oil or gas can be a fire hazard, so it’s best to figure out a solution right away.



By McHales

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