7 Signs You Need To Replace Or Repair Your Gas Furnace

Appliances are comprised of several small moving parts that need maintenance from time to time. Your gas furnace is important and expensive. You don't want it to break because you didn't take proper care of it. You should know which signs to watch out for that let you know your furnace needs maintenance or repairs. Here are 7 signs that you should call an HVAC technician.

1. Your furnace sounds like its haunted

If your furnace is making unusual noises, don't look the other way just because it's still working. You may hear your furnace banging, clanking, whining, and groaning. This could mean several different things. Call a technician immediately before your furnace breaks completely.

2. Your furnace stinks

Natural gas in its pure state is odorless. Mercaptan, a harmless chemical containing sulfur, is added to natural gas to make it emit a strong odor. The odor is used for safety so you can smell a gas leak. If you smell a strong smell, similar to rotten eggs, exit your home immediately. Your furnace is leaking and you should not try to inspect it yourself without a certification to do so. Call your gas company so they can shut off your gas. Next, call a technician to inspect your furnace to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced.

3. Your heat is set high, but your home is still cold

If your furnace isn't heating your house the way it should, your furnace may not be working properly. Before you call a technician, replace your thermostat batteries or your entire thermostat. If your thermostat isn't working sufficiently, your furnace won't know how to compensate. If your thermostat isn't the issue, you may need a repair or a tune up.

4. Your electric bill is higher than usual

If your electric bill seems to be rising at an alarming rate, your furnace may be the issue. If it's not running sufficiently, it could be sucking up quite a bit of electricity trying to heat your home.

5. The air quality in your home seems poor

When your furnace is running, the air runs through your air ducts and furnace filter. Your furnace should clean and moisturize the air in your home. If your furnace isn't running sufficiently, your family may experience breathing issues and allergies. Others signs of poor indoor air quality include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry throat
  • High dust accumulation
  • Wilted plants
  • Sore, dry eyes

6. Your pilot light is yellow

Your pilot light should burn blue all of the time. When it is burning blue, you have a proper balance between your gasses, making your furnace as energy efficient as it gets. If your pilot light is yellow, you have too much or not enough of one of your gasses. A yellow pilot light often indicates a problem with your carbon monoxide, and even a slow leak.

7. Your furnace is old

The average life of a well-maintained furnace is about 25 years. If you haven't kept up on your furnace's maintenance the way that you should have; the life expectancy can be closer to 15 years. If your furnace is coming up on its second decade, you may want to think about replacing your furnace. You can wait if it seems to be running okay, but it may start breaking down more often. At that point, it's time for a replacement.

Furnaces last a long time. If you take care of your furnace, you should only have to buy 2-3 in your adult life. If your furnace seems to be running differently than it should, you need to call a professional to come and take a look at it. This can include strange noises, insufficient heat, and a discolored pilot light. For more information, contact a company like Salem Heating & Sheet Metal, Inc.