Time for a Furnace Tune-Up?
With the winter season approaching, it’s natural to start thinking about cranking up the heat again. But before you do, it’s important to make sure your furnace is in good working order. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about scheduling a furnace tune-up, but there are a few signs you can watch out for to know when it’s time to give your furnace some attention.
By being proactive and taking care of your furnace, you can ensure that your home stays warm and cozy all winter long. The following signs can all be indicators that your furnace may need a tune-up.
Inconsistent Heat Distribution or Cold Spots
If your home’s temperature is inconsistent or never warm enough, it could mean your furnace needs maintenance or repair. Check for a malfunctioning thermostat, clogged filter, or a dirty blower to ensure your home’s comfort and safety.
If you’re having trouble with your thermostat, there are a few things you can try depending on what type you have. First, make sure it’s set to the right temperature and, if it’s a digital one, that it has the correct date and time. You should also check that there isn’t any dust or dirt inside it. To do this, take it off its base and clean it with a dry cloth or vacuum. For mechanical thermostats, you’ll also want to check that it’s level and adjust the heat anticipator if needed.
Level it: by removing the thermostat from the base, loosening the base screws, and using a bubble level on the built-in levelling posts or the flat area at the top or bottom to adjust the base until it is level. Once you have done this, be sure to tighten the base screws and replace the thermostat to ensure it is functioning properly.
Adjust the heat anticipator: by moving the small metal tab along the metal plate. If the temperature is too cold or warm for extended periods, you will want to move the metal tab closer to the longer side. If your furnace is turning on and off often, you will want to move it to the shorter side.
Clogged Air Filters
It’s important to keep your blower clean and free from debris, and the air filter is your first line of defence. You should check and change it monthly to keep your blower clean and free from debris. Replace the filter if it is too dirty or if you notice a dirty smell coming from the vents. Turn off the furnace before changing the filter and install the new filter in the same direction as the old one.
Dirty Blower Motor
When the blower gets dirty, it doesn’t distribute warm air evenly. To fix this, you can clean it with a brush and vacuum after removing it from its housing. However, it’s important to note that due to the ease with which it can be thrown out of balance, it may be best to leave this task to a professional.
Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair
Know when it’s necessary to call a professional for service. Don’t wait until your furnace is completely out of commission to take action. Address any of the following issues at once to keep your furnace running safely and efficiently.
Blower Doesn’t Stop Running
If your furnace is not turning off when it reaches the correct temperature, the limit switch may not be working properly. This can cause the blower to continue running even when it should shut off. The purpose of the limit switch is to prevent the furnace from overheating, so it’s important to address any issues with the switch as soon as possible. If the furnace overheats four times or more, it will go into hard shutdown mode and stop working altogether.
Noisy or Vibrating Furnace
There can be several reasons why your furnace is making noise. Sometimes, the blower can vibrate due to a build-up of dust, causing an unbalanced situation. Loose connections in the ductwork can also cause vibration noise. On older furnaces, access panels and fan motors may become loose and rattle over time. You can try fixing these issues by:
- Cleaning the blower
- Tightening any loose bolts and screws
- Locating & tightening any vibrating ductwork seams
If you are not sure or unable to solve the problem on your own, it is best to contact a professional for help. They will help you resolve the issue effectively and safely.
Unusual Odors Coming from Furnace
If you smell something unusual from your furnace, it’s best to call a professional right away. A rotten egg or sewage smell could mean your heat exchanger is on its last legs, while the smell of burning plastic could indicate an electrical malfunction. If you notice a musty smell when you turn on your furnace that doesn’t go away, it could be a sign of mold buildup in your furnace or ducts, which can be harmful to you and your family’s health. Be safe and call a professional if you notice any odors that are out of the ordinary.
Pilot Light Is Yellow
If you ever notice a yellow pilot light on your furnace, your furnace needs immediate attention. This can be caused by dust buildup around the ignitor, which can lead to ignition or pilot light problems. It’s important to have this addressed by a professional as soon as possible, as neglecting this issue can result in carbon monoxide leaks from your furnace not burning fuel effectively. For your safety, it’s strongly recommended that you turn your furnace off until it can be repaired.
The Danger of Carbon Monoxide Leaks
It’s important to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide leaks in your home. If your furnace is not functioning properly, there is a risk of this gas leaking into your living space. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, making it difficult to detect without a CO detector. Unfortunately, if the leak is small or your detector is not in the right location, you may not be alerted to its presence. Here are the warning signs that you may be suffering from an undetected carbon monoxide leak:
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
If you experience any of these symptoms, turn off your furnace, leave your home, and seek medical attention right away. Your safety should always come first.
Time to Replace or Just a Furnace Tune-Up?
If your furnace is broken beyond repair, unfortunately, you’ll have to buy a new one. However, in other cases, you may want to consider whether it’s worth repairing or if it’s time for a replacement. To help you make this decision, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is your furnace well-maintained and less than 25 years old?
- Is the cost of repairing it less than 20% of the original cost of the furnace?
- Is the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) less than 70%?
These are important factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace.
Need a Furnace Tune-Up or Repair?
Trust our professionals at BRs Plumbing and Heating to restore your furnace to its optimal working condition. With our unrivalled 30 years of expertise, prompt service, and commitment to customer satisfaction, we are the preferred choice for furnace repairs in Tillsonburg and the surrounding areas.
Contact us today by calling (519) 688-5999 to schedule a home comfort appointment or learn more about our comprehensive furnace repair services.