Living in Florida, it is easy to take our warm and sunny weather for granted. We get that. For the most part, your heating system is really the last thing on your mind.
Until you need it, that is. And especially until you need it and it’s not functioning properly!
While we may not have the dangerously cold temperatures and heavy snowfall that they get up north, we certainly have enough chilly weather in the winter season to need our furnaces to operate reliably.
And, since there is no such thing as a 100% reliable furnace, we definitely need to know what signs of furnace trouble to be aware of. Keep the following tips in mind, and let us know if you suspect the need for repairs.
One of the first warning signs of trouble with a furnace is excessive or strange noise during operation. Now, a furnace is not going to operate in complete silence. It has moving parts, and it’s a forced-air system. Depending on where the air handler is located, you may hear some fan noise. You may hear the furnace kick on. And you may even hear air moving through the ductwork.
What you definitely should not hear is screeching. Or clanging. Or banging. Or, really, any brand new sounds that you’ve never heard before. If you do, you almost certainly have a problem of some sort on your hands. And, when it comes to furnace problems, professional repairs are your best and only option.
We’re not talking about the awful smell of something that got trapped in the walls or ductwork (though that’s obviously a problem you’ll want resolved ASAP!). We’re talking about the smell of burning plastic, of burning in general, and certainly of natural gas.
If you smell any such odors, then you need to let us know right away. If you smell natural gas, you need to get out of your home and call the utility company. This is a matter of safety, not just comfort. Modern furnaces are very safe when properly installed and serviced. But there is always a chance of gas leaks, electrical malfunctions, and other issues to be aware of.
This one is usually a pretty good motivator for homeowners. Nobody really wants to pay to run their heating systems, but our bills aren’t typically too bad in this area. That doesn’t mean you should get too comfortable overpaying for your heating, though. Even if you’re not running your heater for a huge chunk of the year, you don’t want to dismiss inefficiency.
A drop in overall energy efficiency from a furnace is actually a great warning sign to look for. While there are a lot of different problems that may develop with a furnace, almost any of them will cause energy usage to go up. If you notice your bills seem unreasonably high, let us know. We’ll figure out what the cause is.