Does Your Furnace Need Attention?
Sometimes it is difficult to know when to replace your furnace. Ideally the furnace in your home should not be heard or thought about except for annual maintenance! Your residence should be comfortable with clean filtered air providing the feeling of trust and reliability. If any of the below situations sound familiar it may be time to consider a replacement, repair or maintenance of your existing heater.
There are many different types of noises a furnace can make, generally none of them are a good sign. A fully functioning heater should only produce air noise as it pushes conditioned air throughout your home. Some common noises described with malfunctioning furnaces are:
- Drumming or Rattling:
- These noises usually indicate an issue with the fan or blower assembly. There could be a loose bolt or something completely disconnected. There could also be something caught in the blower wheel causing this rattling. In a best case scenario you will simply need to have a technician tighten the assembly, the worst case scenario is that a component has broken and replacement of parts may be necessary.
- Many times a furnace will whistle if it is not getting enough air and is being met with resistance. This can be as simple as a dirty or clogged filter. A good practice is to pull the filter out and run the furnace, observe whether this whistling persists or goes away. Furthermore, there may be some dampers in your system which are closed (or vents blocked) this will cause the furnace to struggle to distribute the air.
- High pitched squeal:
- This can be coming from a motor such as the inducer motor or fan motor. It can also be an issue such as a blower wheel not turning correctly. It is best to have a technician evaluate the function of your furnace if the squeal persists.
- Some homeowners describe a hissing noise coming from near the furnace. Sometimes there can be very small leaks in the ductwork causing a slight hissing noise. More often than not it could be a refrigerant leak in your air conditioners line-set or even a gas leak. If you hear a hissing noise near your furnace and have a rotten egg like smell it is time to immediately call a gas fitter or your local gas supplier.
- A banging noise when the furnace is operating is very often the ductwork. This phenomenon is known as “tin canning”. When the ductwork is cold it can contract and when hot air warms the surface it can expand. This is common and can be inspected by a technician to determine a remedy.
- A booming sound generally comes from the burner compartment. Sometimes, depending on what type of ignition your furnace utilizes, gas can pool in the burner box. When this happens and ignition starts a boom can be heard as the excess gas is lit. This can be dangerous and if you suspect this is occurring, call a technician right away.
It is over 15 years old:
Most furnaces nowadays come with a ten year parts warranty. Our market research has shown that the majority of furnaces manufactured have a lifespan of 15-25 years. If your furnace is reaching this age it may be prudent to consider replacement. Not only does it give you peace of mind that you will avoid an unexpected breakdown but also ensures your families safety. Furthermore, the furnaces manufactured today are far superior in comparison to most 20 year old models. New furnaces have the ability to modulate gas valves, they come equipped with energy efficient fans that can vary in speeds. Not only will you see massive improvements in comfort but also savings in hydro and gas!
It has never had a maintenance:
If your furnace has never had a maintenance, regardless of age, it is time to give it some attention! Much like a car, there are many moving parts in a furnace and those can require maintenance. Things like changing filters and ensure vents aren’t blocked are standard maintenance items a home owner can take care of themselves. Things like confirming gas pressure, ensuring the furnace is producing combustion safely and confirm that electrical components aren’t worn out and overamping are things a technician does during a maintenance. These “routine furnace maintenance” items should be completed annually by a certified technician to ensure safety, reliability and function.
It is not heating the home the way it used to:
Many homeowners find that the furnace cannot heat the home like it used to. This can be caused by many things but if you notice your house is not as comfortable as it once was, it may be time to give your furnace some attention! A lot of times, dirty filters and ductwork are the cause of symptoms like this, but it may also be component failure. Dirty flame sensors, malfunctioning limit switches, compromised heat exchangers, faulty gas valves and many more items can cause heating issues. If you notice a change in your heater’s performance it may be time to call in a professional.
It seems to be turning on and off a lot or not start at all:
If the furnace is not coming on at all, that is a major problem and clearly your furnace needs some attention! Check things like the thermostat batteries, kill switch position, clogged filter or breaker to ensure that it is not a simple issue. Outside of that, if you find the furnace not functioning or repeatedly turning on and off, it may be time to call in a professional. Many times a furnace not turning on is simply a dirty flame sensor or pressure switch issue which can be diagnosed by an Airzone HVAC Services professional.
Physical signs of rust and age:
Sometimes the most obvious indicator that your furnace is in need of some love is the way it looks. Water leaks, gaps in ductwork, rust on gas pipe/furnace, are all indicators it is time to give your furnace some attention. Overtime water leaks cause deterioration and rust and you want to ensure the safety features of your furnace are not compromised! If you furnace looks like it needs some TLC than it probably does.
Ottawa’s Experts at Furnace Repair, Maintenance, and Replacement
If any of these items sound familiar it may be time to contact AirZone HVAC Services for a maintenance, service call or a free in-home estimate. We are Ottawa’s gas furnace experts and are hear to help out!