HVAC technician with furnace repair checklist

13 Signs It’s Time for a Furnace Repair or Replacement

AirXperts Heating & Cooling Home Checklists, Home Tips 2 Comments

As the fall temperatures get colder, you’ve probably already started using your heating system, and if you haven’t yet, you’ll be cranking up the heat soon. A well functioning and efficient heating system is essential for winters in West Virginia, and that’s why it’s important to know when there might be something wrong with your furnace or if you need a furnace repair or replacement.

To help you take care of your furnace before things get too costly or dangerous, here are 13 signs it’s time for a furnace repair or replacement:

Your Furnace Is Over 15-25 Years Old 

The average lifespan of a householder furnace is 15 to 25 years. While some furnaces that can last longer and still work, as your furnace gets older, it might be best to start looking into replacements. Old furnaces can be like old cars, requiring frequent, costly repairs that don’t last. When your furnace gets older, a replacement is often the more practical solution. 

Not only will older furnaces have more problems, but they are also significantly less efficient. Modern furnaces that can keep your home warm while using less energy, leading to lower energy bills. 

Your Home Temperature Isn’t Comfortable 

Do you experience hot and cold spots in your room? Are you constantly adjusting the thermostat so you can be comfortable at home?

If so, it’s time to have a certified technician take a look at your furnace. Temperature problems in your home can be caused by several issues like blown fuses, loose wiring, tripped circuit breakers, and more. An expert can let you know if the problem is with your furnace or your thermostat, and guide you on the best solution. 

Your Furnace Is Blowing Out Cold or Lukewarm Air 

There are many reasons your furnace may be blowing out cold or lukewarm air or no air at all. For example, cold air might be the result of a faulty pilot light or an electrical issue. Lukewarm air might be caused by duct problems. No air at all could be due to a faulty thermostat, pilot light issues, a failed fan motor, or a dirty flame sensor. 

A Spike in Heating Bills 

Both gradual increases in heating bills over time and sudden spikes in heating bills can be a sign that your furnace is failing. If your furnace is getting up there in age or has a problem that needs to be repaired, it can lead to higher heating bills.

If you notice changes in your heating bills, it’s best to have your furnace checked out by a professional. It’s always better to invest that extra monthly money into an effective repair or replacement than to send it to the utility company.

Frequent Repairs

How many times have you had your furnace repaired in the last two years? If you’ve experienced frequent repairs, especially more than in past years, it’s a good idea to figure out how much you’ve been spending on repairs, and determine if a replacement is more cost-effective. 

If you’ve had more than two furnace repairs in the last year, then it’s a good sign that it’s time to replace your furnace. At this point, repairs might not be worth it anymore. If your furnace has needed more frequent repairs than usual, and you need another one, you can also determine if the cost of the repair is more than half the cost of a replacement. If it is, then it’s better to opt for a replacement. 

Strange Sounds

Failing furnaces can make many different sounds, including the sounds of rattling, scraping metal, crackling, banging, and squealing. There are many reasons for strange noises like a broken blower wheel, an unbalanced blower motor, a cracked heat exchanger, dirty burners, worn down blower motor bearings, air leaks, and more. 

Have a professional HVAC technician inspect your furnace and determine what the cause of our strange sound are, and what the best solution is. 

Strange Smells

Along with strange sounds, you also don’t want a furnace with strange smells. A working furnace shouldn’t produce any smell at all. So if you start noticing the smell of burning, gas or fuel, smoke, or rotten eggs, something is wrong.

Smells coming from your furnace can be caused by smaller problems like dust caught in the unit which can easily be fixed with a cleaning and regular filter changes. But, strange smells can also come from more major issues like gas leaks. 

If you start noticing strange smells from your furnace, it’s essential to have your system inspected to keep your home safe. 

Your Pilot Light Is the Wrong Color 

You probably don’t give much thought to your furnace’s pilot light, but it’s a good idea to take a look at it now and then. Your furnace’s pilot light should be blue, with an orange or yellow tip. If instead, your pilot light is yellow or flickering, it’s a warning sign fuel isn’t burning as cleanly and efficiently as it should be. 

More importantly, a yellow or flickering pilot light can mean that your furnace is producing poisonous carbon monoxide. So you should immediately call a professional HVAC technician if you notice that your pilot light isn’t blue. 

Your Furnace Is Leaking (Water or Gas)

There are two things your furnace can leak; water and gas. Of course, a gas leak is the more dangerous of the two. If you smell gas (or your carbon monoxide monitor is beeping), you should act immediately.  Shut off your furnace, turn off the gas supply valve, open windows, avoid lighting any matches or using lighters in your home, and call an HVAC professional. 

While water leaks are significantly less dangerous than gas leaks, they still require attention. If you notice water pooling under and around your furnace, it’s best to contact a licensed HVAC technician to take care of the problem so your home can stay warm. 

Your Furnace Turns On and Off Frequently 

If you continuously hear your furnace cycling on and off, then it can mean your heating system is running more often than it should be. Overcylcing leads to significant energy inefficiency. Over cycling can be caused by clogged air filters, air circulation problems, thermostat issues, and more. 

Your Home Is Extra Dusty or Dry

No matter how often you clean your home, some dust still accumulates. But if you notice that there is an unusual amount of dust in your home, or you see dust coming out of your heat registers, this may be a sign that you have a furnace problem. 

Your furnace works by taking in outdoor air, filtering it, and then circulating it throughout your home. But over time, because of aging or because of other problems like dirty or clogged filters, blow fan issues, or faulty ductwork, your furnace becomes less effective at filtering, leading to more dust and other particles in your home. 

Other signs that your furnace might have a filtration problem are increased allergies, asthma symptoms, or sensitivities to dust, mold, pollen, or dander, a stuffy or stale feeling home, dry nose, throat, or skin. Drooping plants, furniture cracking, and out of tune musical instruments can also point to this problem. 

You’ve Skipped Out on Maintenance 

Annual HVAC maintenance is necessary to keep your system running effectively and efficiently, and it has many benefits. If you’ve skipped out on an HVAC maintenance or two, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a furnace repair or replacement. But it does mean you should schedule your annual HVAC maintenance sooner than later. 

HVAC maintenance catches problems before they turn into headaches, keeps your system running optimally, saves you time and money in the long run, and more. 

You or Family Members Have Been Feeling Under the Weather 

This sign that it’s time for a furnace repair or replacement is less common than others on this list, but it still happens. Over time as furnaces age, cracks may develop in the heat exchanger. These cracks could lead to undetected carbon monoxide leaks. 

Even if these leaks are small, they may be noticed by frequent headaches, burning nose or eyes, disorientation, nausea, or flu-like symptoms. If you or members of your family haven’t been feeling well lately and can’t determine any other causes it could be related to your furnace. If so, turn off your furnace, air out your home, and immediately call a professional. 

For added safety, always ensure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working and that batteries are replaced regularly. 

AirXperts Is Here for all Your Furnace Fixes 

If one or more of the signs on this list sounds familiar, then it’s time to have your furnace inspected by a trusted professional. At Airxperts, we’re here to find the problem and help you choose the best solution. 

If you need a furnace repair, it won’t do you any good if it’s not done right. If you need a furnace replacement, it won’t be worth it if you choose the wrong system or it isn’t installed correctly. So contact AirXperts today, and we’ll help you every step of the way. 

Comments 2

  1. I’ve been cleaning more frequently these past few days and this article gave me an idea that it might be because of my furnace. It also reminded me that I have smelled something strange last week, but I just shrugged it off. I never took into account that the furnace might be the reason for all of these, and I’m afraid that we might have to have a new one installed because of this. Still, I would like to consult experts to see what they have to say about my situation.

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