5 Signs That Your Furnace is About to Break Down
With a warmer winter climate, Dallas-Fort Worth homes often don’t run a furnace on full force for an entire heating season, so you may not be fully aware of its condition. But after the Texas freeze in 2021, ensure your furnace can last through another winter by checking for the signs of an impending breakdown and scheduling repair before it happens.
Age is the number one sign that your furnace is heading toward a breakdown. If your furnace is more than 12 years old, it’s nearing the end of its life span, and you should start planning for a replacement. However, there are other less-obvious signs that your furnace is failing as well, including:
A Yellow or Orange Pilot Light Flame
Yellowish or orange flames are a sign of poor combustion. The pilot light flame on your gas furnace should be completely blue with a roaring, steady burn. A strong blue flame indicates full combustion — meaning the proper amount of oxygen is mixed with the proper amount of gas, ensuring safety, efficiency, and maximum heat output.
However, if these proportions are thrown off by a dirty burner or other worn components, combustion becomes inefficient, unsafe, and can build up dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Scraping, screeching, popping, rattling — any loud and strange noise is a sign that your furnace needs prompt repair. Screeching sounds can come from a struggling blower fan or a damaged belt, popping sounds from poor combustion, scraping, and rattling from other fan issues, or any number of components that need repair.
A furnace, like any machine, will make some noise, but if the noises are louder than normal, new, or strange, they’re likely signs that your furnace is on the verge of a breakdown.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
During the winter, poor indoor air quality starts with extra dry air, and the air quality index in Dallas-Fort Worth is moderate and poses some risk to sensitive groups.
Dry air is not uncommon during the winter, but if it seems worse than previous years, your furnace may be contributing to the issue either by running too long and/or recycling excess dirt and dust particles.
Super dry air leads to more dust and leaves our noses and throats feeling dry and uncomfortable. Poor IAQ also makes your home stuffy and odorous from contaminants and smells getting trapped inside.
If you haven’t done so in over 90 days, you should replace your air filters. If the problem persists after that, have your furnace checked by a professional.
Rising Heating Bills
Another subtlety you can pay attention to is trends in your heating bills. If there’s a noticeable rise in your utility bills compared to past winters, this could mean your furnace isn’t running efficiently.
Dirty or worn components, poor combustion, or a furnace at the end of its life span means the unit has to work extra hard to run. Furthermore, a struggling furnace won’t put out as much heat even though it’s working extra hard, doing double damage to your efficiency and energy bills.
Short-cycling is when your furnace repeatedly turns on, runs for a short time, turns off for a short time, then kicks on again. It’s hard on your furnace and energy bills and indicates any number of problems.
Some diagnoses of furnace short-cycling are simple, such as a dirty filter, dirty flame sensors, dirty burners, or a malfunctioning ignitor. Other issues are more foundational, such as an improperly sized furnace.
Call AirCo To Repair Your Dallas-Fort Worth Furnace Before It Breaks Down
Flame color, strange noises, poor IAQ, high heating bills, and short-cycling are all indications that something in your furnace is breaking. These are complex, often interconnected issues that certified HVAC professionals need to inspect and repair to ensure your home is safe.
Call 817-591-1225 or contact us online before your furnace breaks and ensure your family stays warm this winter.