No homeowner wants to find that their furnace goes down in the middle of winter, but most don’t know how to predict issues with their heating equipment. If you can identify signs that your furnace is about to fail, you can have it repaired without ever losing heat or doing damage to the system. Below, we’ll discuss the risks of neglecting your furnace and seven signs that it might fail soon.
Risk of Neglecting Your Furnace
Your heating equipment works tirelessly throughout the winter, but it’s easy to take it for granted and forget to complete routine maintenance regularly. Unfortunately, your equipment slowly gets damage when you neglect it, as it’s forced to work harder to produce the desired indoor temperature.
Furnace replacement is more common in homes where ongoing maintenance has been neglected, and about one in 30 homeowners will need a replacement this winter. The cost incurred for this service averages around $5,500, which can be a significant burden if you need to pay it in an emergency.
Below are seven signs your furnace is failing, all of which can help predict when you should consider furnace repair or replacement.
1 Rapid Cycling
Your furnace naturally cycles on and off to regulate the temperature in your house, but rapid cycling is a sign that something is wrong. The solution might be as simple as cleaning the heat sensor, but more likely, it has something to do with a fan not working as intended.
2 Rust In the Flue
All boilers produce carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas, but they vent it outside via the flue. If your flue rusts for any reason, the CO could enter your home, not only putting you and your family at risk but choking your boiler and making it run less efficiently.
3 High Heating Bills
A clear indication of a furnace issue is an unusually high heating bill when nothing else has changed. This usually indicates that the boiler isn’t running efficiently, which will eventually lead to failure and permanent damage.
Your boiler should be a closed system, so any leaking from the exterior or water puddling around the furnace could indicate a problem. The issue could be simple – like a loose-fitting – or complicated – like an interior crack.
5 Old Age
Your furnace is the powerhouse of your home, and it takes a lot of abuse year after year. Most furnaces last 15-20 years, so if yours is older, you should consider upping the frequency of maintenance or replacing altogether.
6 Uncomfortable Indoor Air
Your furnace should hold the indoor temperature within a few degrees of where you set the thermostat. If you find that the air is uncomfortable given the setting, or you have to change the thermostat setting regularly, your boiler might be underperforming and at risk of failing.
Furnaces make minimal noise as they work. If you start to hear banging, ticking, or other strange noises, it’s a good sign your furnace is damaged or at risk of failing.
If you notice any of these symptoms, your furnace might be telling you it’s about to fail, and getting maintenance done should be your next step.