Having your furnace quit on you and suddenly finding that you need a new one (or expensive repairs) is never pleasant. It is better to detect furnace problems early than to wait for your furnace to quit entirely. That way, you have time to think about your options as far as replacement and repair go – and you don't have to freeze in the meantime! Here's a look at four early warning signs that your furnace isn't doing so well.
Your fuel bills keep going up.
Unless you know that the price of fuel is going up or there's another good explanation for the increase, a sudden increase in your energy bills should key you in to the fact that something's wrong with your furnace. Often, when parts are on the verge of failure, the furnace will still run and keep your home warm – but it will require more energy to do so. You'll save money in the long run by having your furnace replaced or repaired now, rather than waiting for it to break down, since the repairs will reduce your energy bills.
The burner flame is yellow or orange.
The flame in your furnace should be burning blue, possibly with some hints of white. A yellow or orange flame indicates that the furnace is not burning as hot as it should. This could be due to issues with the burner or gas supply, but it could also be due to a lack of ventilation around the furnace. Make sure your vent pipe (or chimney) is clear, and keep more items away from the furnace. If the flame is still yellow, it's time to call your HVAC tech.
The furnace is making noises.
Clicking or banging when the furnace turns on could mean some parts are starting to wear out and become loose. This is likely to be a problem with the blower unit, rather than the heating portion of the furnace. Thus, having just the blower replaced may be an option in this case.
Your carbon monoxide detector has been going off.
If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, the first thing you should worry about is finding your family somewhere else to stay, since it is not safe to remain in the home and breathe in this poisonous gas. The next thing you should do is call your HVAC technician. Carbon monoxide in your home is a sign that your furnace may be developing cracks in the heat exchanger. You'll need to have this replaced or repaired before the entire furnace gives out since it will keep spewing poisonous gas until you do. Contact a company like Laroc Refrigeration-Metal Division for more information.