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A furnace that’s working correctly can make a big difference in comfort on a cold winter day. As most homeowners know, regular maintenance from HVAC professionals is a key part of keeping your home’s furnace in top condition. Unfortunately, even a well-maintained furnace can still break down occasionally. Even if your furnace hasn’t stopped working completely, there are some early warning signs to look for that can indicate that something’s wrong. Getting repairs sooner rather than later can save you the hassle of going without a working heater, as well as possibly reducing the cost of the repair job. Here are four major signs to look for that mean something’s amiss with your furnace, and that you may be in need of repair work.

  • Your heating bills are mysteriously rising. If something’s wrong with your furnace, you may suddenly find that your utility bills have increased, even though you’re using the same amount of energy you’ve always used. Older, poorly maintained, or malfunctioning furnaces lose energy efficiency, meaning it ends up costing more to heat your home effectively. In many cases, furnace repairs will fix the problem and help reduce your heating bill back to more manageable and reasonable levels.
  • Your furnace is making unusual noises. When something’s gone wrong with the inner workings of your furnace, strange sounds can often result. These can include creaking, groaning, squealing, or hissing sounds that aren’t normal. The type of sound emitted is often related to which components are malfunctioning. Motors, fans, and other parts can be repaired or replaced by a professional.
  • Your home is heating unevenly. If your furnace isn’t working correctly, you may find that some rooms are colder than others.
  • Your thermostat doesn’t appear to be working correctly. In some cases, what appears to be a problem with your furnace could actually be an issue with the thermostat. An HVAC specialist will be able to tell you for sure, but you may want to check the control panel and batteries in your thermostat before assuming you need furnace repairs.

Furnace Repairs Or Furnace Replacement?

In most cases, a problem with your household furnace can easily be repaired. However, the day might come when you need to replace your furnace entirely. Furnace replacement can be quite expensive, so it’s important to invest in proper maintenance to increase your furnace’s lifespan. Most furnaces last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, but even a high-quality furnace will eventually reach the end of its life and need to be replaced. We typically see a furnace last about 18 years. If your aging furnace has needed frequent repairs over the last couple of years, you may want to start thinking about replacing it. In most cases, however, all you need are some basic repairs to get your furnace working again and keep your house warm throughout the winter.

Furnaces today are not like furnaces from 30 to 40 years ago. Older furnaces were constructed with thicker metal housings, were more durable, and could be installed in rough environments where they worked reasonably well. Today’s furnaces are smaller, are far more energy-efficient, have far better safety mechanisms, and are more sensitive to the environment they live in. Rarely do furnaces fail because of the brand, the system, or the technology… it’s far more common for furnaces to fail because the environment it was designed for doesn’t match how it’s been utilized or installed. This is why it’s critical that you find an HVAC contractor that’s extremely experienced.

Garrett Cook

Garrett joined the family business in 2005. Garrett has completed training in ACCA Manual J8 Residential Load Calculation; ACCA Manual D Duct System Design; Mitsubishi “City-Multi” Diamond Design; York Affinity Furnace training and Introduction of Air Conditioning Theory & Design. Garrett is a member of ACCA “MIX-GROUP”. The group meets semi-annually to discuss issues concerning the HVAC industry.