How to know if your furnace needs a tuneup

How to know if your furnace needs a tuneup

It’s that time of year again. If you haven’t already, then it’s likely you will need to turn on your home’s furnace pretty soon in the coming weeks. But before you reach for the thermostat, you may want to check to see if your furnace is in need of a tuneup.

See, while it’s always a good idea to have your furnace looked at annually, problems can still arise. There are often signs that appear before these problems become major issues for homeowners, though.

Let’s take a look at what to look for when deciding whether your home’s furnace and heating system need a tuneup.

Check the utility bill

Higher heating bill than normal? That could mean you should get your furnace looked at. Use last year’s bills from the same month or two as a reference point to see if anything seems amiss.

It could be that temperatures are simply lower than they were last year, but it could also mean your furnace is working that much harder to heat your space.

Look for visible signs of problems

Start off with a visual inspection of your furnace. Signs of issues likely will point to a tuneup in your future.

 If you have a gas furnace, then check that the venting pipe is angled and fastened tightly.

Drainage tubes must also be checked. This would include drainage tubes that could also redirect drainage from the air conditioning system. These should be securely fastened, too.

If the drainage tube is obstructed, which could appear as a filmy buildup, then that should be cleared out, either by blowing compressed air through the tube and drain pipe or by pouring a cup of white vinegar through the tube.

And finally, though something you might not see, rather smell, check for any smells that could indicate a possible gas leak or problem with the system’s gas line. This usually is a flexible tube of some type.

Check for dirt, dust and other debris buildup

After you have had a chance to look it over, it’s time to decide if a professional needs to come in. If the furnace is dirty, call an experienced, trusted technician who can open up the unit and clear out any dust, dirt or other debris that may have gathered on the inside.

Another problem could be dust coming from the furnace. Look for heavier dust build ups throughout the house. This could be a sign of a unit or ducts that need to be cleaned by a pro.

A professional can also help clean the flame sensor on your unit. A dirty sensor could keep the furnace from working, so it’s important to keep it clean.

You hear odd noises when the furnace is running

Noisey furnaces could be signs of serious problems that should be taken care of as soon as possible.

Sometimes, the odd noises can sound like scraping, which could mean there’s a loose or broken blower wheel or mount. This could lead to further damage.

Vibrating sounds, also described as thumping, could also point to problems with the blower wheel or the motor inside the furnace.

Humming while the furnace is on could mean there is a transformer issue, while squealing may mean a loose fan belt needs oiled or tightened.

If you hear a rumble, then you may have a problem with the burner. Banging, on the other hand, especially when the furnace is starting or stopping, could be a sign that there’s a size issue with a duct, you have a closed vent or your air filter is clogged.

No matter what type of sound you hear, if it sounds abnormal, then it’s best to bring in a HVAC expert to get the issue resolved.

Flame color is a sign of how a furnace is operating

What color is your furnace’s flame? The color is actually a sign of how well a unit is operating.

A furnace that is running as it should is going to have a deep blue flame. If the flame from your furnace is any other color, then it is likely time for a service appointment.

Take special care if the flame in your furnace is yellow. That could mean there is a carbon monoxide leak, which is incredibly dangerous for everyone in the home.

Needless to say, if you see a yellow flame, or truly any other color of flame, then it’s time to shut down your furnace and call in an experienced technician to come have a look.

A dirty air filter can cause problems if left unchecked

One of the simplest DIY steps anyone can take to make sure their home’s heating system is kept in working order is to regularly change out dirty furnace filters. This will not only help keep your furnace operating to its full lifespan, but it will also improve overall performance.

In addition, a dirty furnace filter can hit your wallet hard. A clean filter can save homeowners anywhere from 5% to 15% on their home energy bills.

It’s important to keep air filters clean because a dirty filter can restrict the flow of air, making the fan motor work even harder and possibly burn out over time. A fan that runs too hard will increase monthly utility bills.

A dirty air filter will also reduce the quality of the air inside your home, creating worse conditions for people who may suffer from allergies, asthma and respiratory illnesses.

Ductwork can also become clogged with debris if the filter is not changed often enough.

Have Comfortec service your furnace

At Comfortec, we operate under a pledge to always provide our customers “quality service for your home comfort needs.” Our experienced, trained and licensed technicians can help with any furnace or home heating issue, whether it’s simply a loud, strange noise coming from your furnace or no heat at all.

Call us today toll free at 888-362-2106 to discuss any issues or schedule a service call to get your furnace tuned up so you and your family can be comfortable this fall and winter. Contact us today and we will get to your home fast – and get the job done right.

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