The cold temperatures that winter brings can place an enormous amount of strain on your central heating unit, especially if it is an older unit that has seen multiple winters. A heater that has experienced a number of mechanical problems and wear—and is thus unable to handle the heating requirements that you demand of it—will exhibit a number of symptoms. Understanding what these sympotoms are can make it easier for you to determine when you should talk to a professional heating contractor about necessary repairs.
One of the most easy to notice signs that your furnace is not operating properly is if there are strange sounds coming out of the vents while it is turned on. Keep in mind that the normal sound of blowing air and a whirring associated with the fan are normal; what you want to watch out for is any type of clanking, grinding, rattling or anything else that sounds like things hitting or rubbing together. This usually points to some sort of mechanical issue, oftentimes with the fan, that can quickly grow worse if left unchecked.
Another warning sign that there is something wrong with your furnace is if you find that it is constantly turning on and off throughout the day. This can be caused by a few different issues, including damaged wiring within the thermostat, clogged ductwork, and a clogged air filter. All of these issues are extremely different problems that have varying levels of complexity. A professional inspection is the best way to determine what the underlying cause is and the best path forward.
When turning your furnace on for the first time after a long summer of nonuse, it's normal to get a faint burning smell for a few minutes. This is caused by a thin layer of dust which has built up on the heating element being burned away. However, if the smell persists, you may want to turn the heat off and have a heating repair service look at the system to ensure nothing else is burning. If a musty smell is coming out of the vents, you may be suffering from mold growth in the ductwork. Mold can grow over the summer due to condensation accumulation and will require professional duct cleaning. Finally, if you have a gas furnace and you notice the smell of rotten eggs, you need to turn the furnace off straight away and contact both the fire department and a professional, as you have a gas leak that needs to be addressed.Share