In the cool-weather months, when the furnace gives out, it’s a major inconvenience and one that comes with real hazards for you and your home. Avoid the pitfalls by learning to tune into the signs your furnace is giving you that it may be time for a replacement.
- You’re seeing a spike in your energy bills.
Pay attention to your monthly energy bills. In modern homes the furnace is a significant consumer of energy, and your bill is only as good as your furnace’s energy efficiency. If you’re noticing a big year over year increase for the same heating months, don’t deny the furnace as your first place to look. Granted, utility companies are known to nudge rates up, but not in dramatic increases. Regularly maintained, newer appliances such as furnaces should be able to perform at optimal efficiency levels, but older ones: not so much. Repairing a furnace does have the potential to restore some of its original efficiency, but if high costs continue it may merit installing a newer furnace that won’t hurt with every monthly bill.
- You have a furnace exceeding 15 years old.
Everything has an expiration date, and that includes your furnace. No appliance lives forever, and that’s a painful truth. Typical quality units can last up to 20 years, but some make it as far as 15 before they go on the fritz. To stay vigilant about aging appliances, it’s a great idea to keep your manuals filed and use as a reference to the date of manufacture. Another option is to locate a serial number on the unit and look up the manufacturer online, or if you cannot find it, snap a photo and email the manufacturer for help. If you’re fortunate enough to have a furnace that is fully functioning in its advanced years, consider yourself fortunate and be sure to maintain it. Just be aware of your furnace’s maturity if function shifts.
- You can’t seem to adequately warm your home.
If, despite your best efforts, you’re home feels cold even though the heat is on, this should prompt you to look at your furnace’s operation. There can certainly be other causes that a heating professional could readily determine, such as newly formed air leaks, a thermostat that is acting erratically, even outside pests making a new winter home. When you can’t root out other explanations for this loss of heat, however, the last thing you want to do is overtax your furnace if you know something is not right. Look for temperature variations from room to room. Older, single-speed blower furnaces, for example can cause such problems that are worth a professional’s inspection.
- New smells, sounds or more dust is popping up.
No matter the home, there will inevitably be dust. Some household dust is normal, but if you notice a pile-up of dust no matter how much you clean, the furnace could be a potential culprit. The furnace may not be properly removing the airborne particles in the warmed air. Do inspect the furnace filter and clean or replace it if needed; the filter works best when it’s changed every few months (internal components can be permanently damaged otherwise). Also check your furnace for cracks or corrosion, and listen for screeching or grinding sounds. Also take note of how your home smells. A few aromatic days at the start of the heating season are normal, but if it lasts beyond a few days, it’s time to call for service.
- Your furnace is over-cycling
The on-and-off cycle of a furnace is completely normal, especially when you’ve set your ideal ambient home temperature in the cool season. At that target temperature, the furnace turns off and the cycle begins. But if you notice it more frequently cycling or it just seems to be cycling nonstop, these indicate a sign that the furnace is not working as it was designed. This is a job for a skilled technician to pay a visit and determine if the behavior warrants a repair or even a replacement.
Are you seeing the signs of a failing furnace? The professionals at BelRed Energy Solutions can help you with repair or the replacement of a furnace. Modern furnaces—despite being an investment at the outset– offer the biggest energy cost-saving benefits that can be realized over time. Correct installation from trained professionals is critical to ensure the integrity of your furnace, and we’re ready to help.
BelRed is currently offering a one-year warranty on all system installations, and half off air purifiers with any new furnace system (which kills up to 99% of viruses in air and on surfaces), plus zero-percent interest for 60-month financing with payments as low as $83/month on new furnaces. Additionally, many of our furnaces offer attractive rebates that make purchasing this new appliance even more appealing. Ready to explore your furnace options? Contact us at BelRed today.