When Is It Time for Gas Furnace Maintenance?
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Posted September 17, 2021
On average, it costs approximately $290 to get your furnace repaired, but this number can be more or less depending on what’s wrong with the appliance. However, the cost is nothing compared to having peace of mind knowing that your furnace will keep you and your family warm when the weather turns frigid. If you’re looking for a way to keep furnace repair costs low, you’ll need to call professionals for regular gas furnace maintenance.
Read on to find out what signs your gas furnace will give when it’s time for furnace maintenance or repairs.
Signs You Need Gas Furnace Maintenance or Repairs
Gas furnaces are built to be tough, and they can last for 15 to 30 years, as long as you take care of them and service them on a regular schedule. The better you take care of your gas furnace, the longer it will last.
Of course, over time and with use, the components in your gas furnace will wear out. When that happens, the appliance will give you some signs that you need to call in a professional. These include the following:
1. The Gas Furnace Isn’t Putting out Heat
Probably the most obvious sign that something is wrong with your heater is the fact that it is no longer putting out heat. This can be caused by a variety of issues, including problems with the thermostat or even leaks in the ductwork.
Before calling in a professional to have them help with the gas furnace maintenance, you’ll want to check what temperature the furnace is set at. Another person in the house may have turned it down and forgot to turn it back up.
Then, you’ll want to check the weather. If you are experiencing an incredibly cold spell, your furnace might be having a hard time keeping up.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs service or repairs, but you might consider adding some space heaters or wearing some extra layers of clothes to stay extra warm while in your house.
After checking all of these issues, if you still find that your furnace isn’t putting out as much hot air as it’s supposed to, then it’s time to call in the professionals.
With their skills and expertise, they’ll be able to look at your gas furnace and determine exactly what the problem is. They should also be able to fix it so that you and your family can be comfortable and warm throughout the rest of the winter.
2. Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off
If you are in your home and your carbon monoxide detector goes off, you need to call 911 immediately, shut off the heating system, and get everyone out of your house.
While the possibility exists that this could be a false alarm, it could also mean that this deadly gas is leaking into your home.
Gas leaks could be caused by cracks in the heat exchanger on your gas furnace. You can’t always smell or see this gas, which is why you put a carbon monoxide detector in your home in the first place.
If there is an issue with the heat exchanger on your furnace, leaving repairs or replacement to a professional is in your best interest. Not only do you want to keep your family warm when the weather gets cold, but you want to keep them safe and alive as well.
3. You Smell Gas
When you first turn your furnace on during the start of the cold season, it’s completely normal to smell a little bit of gas.
However, if you continue to smell this odor as your furnace runs or the scent gets stronger as you approach the appliance, this could be a sign that you have a gas leak.
It’s in your best interest to call the gas company as soon as possible to get this taken care of. If you don’t, there’s an increased risk of a fire or explosion in your home.
Gas leaks can occur at any time for a variety of different reasons, but if you call in a professional to do regular heating furnace maintenance, it’s possible to catch this issue before it turns into a major (or life-threatening) problem.
Having a professional inspect your gas furnace could mean that they’ll be able to notice any cracks or problems with the gas line and get it taken care of before it starts leaking into your home.
4. You Hear Strange Noises
Every furnace is going to make some noise while it’s running—that’s normal. But some sounds will indicate that you need to call in a professional, and these include rattling, popping, banging, or squealing.
If you hear banging, this could be a sign that there is a problem with your ignitor.
Squealing could be a sign that there is an issue with the motor or the fan, including belts going bad and getting ready to break.
When it comes to popping sounds, these could be coming from the ductwork. In general, this may not be a sign that something is wrong, especially if you have metal ducts. As the material heats and cools, it will expand and contract, making noises in the process.
However, if the popping is louder than usual, this could be a sign that there is something serious going on, especially if there is a whistling sound that accompanies the popping. Calling in a professional to have your ducts inspected is the best way to determine exactly what the issue is and get it fixed.
If you notice that your gas furnace is making sounds that you haven’t heard before, it’s in your best interest to call in a professional and find out why.
5. There Are Issues With Your Pilot Light
The pilot light on your gas furnace could be an indicator that your appliance needs repairs.
Your pilot light should appear blue and it should be on constantly. This lets you know that it’s getting enough oxygen.
If you notice that the flame is any other color besides blue, this could be a sign that something is wrong. This is especially true if the flame appears to be yellow or has some yellow mixed in with the blue.
Another sign that something is wrong with your pilot light is that it flickers or keeps going out and has to be re-lit.
Some of the reasons your pilot light might be changing colors or flickering could be because of ventilation issues. If there is a clog in the air intake valve, the furnace won’t be getting the oxygen it needs to run optimally.
There could also be an issue with how well the system is dissipating carbon dioxide. If the flame is too weak, it won’t be able to burn off this gas like it’s supposed to. When that happens, it could get into your home where it can cause a variety of health problems and potentially death.
6. Decreased Air Quality in Your Home
If you’ve noticed an increase in the amount of dust in your home or it seems like you or your family member’s allergies are getting worse, this could be a sign that there is an issue with your furnace.
Since your home is closed up during the winter months, the furnace is supposed to filter out harmful pollutants and particles to not only keep your home warm but also keep everyone inside healthy.
An increase in the amount of dust in your home could be a sign that your gas furnace isn’t filtering the air the way it’s supposed to. Your furnace could also be blowing bacteria and other debris through the vents, which could increase the chances of you and your family getting sick.
By calling in a professional, you’ll be able to find out exactly why the air quality in your home has decreased. If it is caused by an issue with your furnace, they should be able to fix it so that everyone in the house can breathe easier.
7. Higher Utility Bills
Another sign that your gas furnace isn’t running the way it should is that your utility bills will increase.
Should this jump occur unexpectedly or you notice that the bill steadily increases over time, and it can’t be attributed to normal heating increases, this could mean that there is something wrong with your gas furnace.
As your furnace ages, it will become less efficient, which means it will have to work harder to keep your house warm, and this will have an impact on how much you pay every month. Having a professional do regular heating furnace maintenance could ensure that your appliance runs correctly and gets your bill down to normal levels.
If you notice a huge spike in your heating bill that can’t be attributed to a cold snap, this could be a sign that there is something wrong inside the furnace that needs to be repaired.
Should something go wrong with one of the components, this will force your gas furnace to work harder to heat your home, increasing fuel demands, which then increases your utility bill.
Your furnace was created to last for a long time, but if you want to ensure it’s running optimally, there are some things you’ll need to do to maintain it. Doing furnace maintenance regularly can reduce the chances of an emergency arising and keep your furnace running for as long as possible.
Tip #1: Have Your Gas Furnace Maintained Regularly
One of the best ways to ensure that your furnace is running properly is to have it serviced by a professional regularly. This usually means having them come out in the fall before the weather gets super cold and you turn your furnace on.
This gives them a chance to inspect your appliance and check for any wear and tear on the components and ensure that the pilot light is lit. If they find any issues, they’ll be able to correct them before they turn into major problems.
Not only will this keep your furnace running properly, but it can also save you some money in the long run.
Tip #2: Replace Your Filter When Necessary
One of the easiest things you can do to ensure that your furnace is running correctly is to change the filter. This step probably takes less than 10 minutes, but it can have a huge impact on how well your furnace runs.
Depending on the type of filter you have, this step needs to be done every 2 to 3 months. To stay on top of changing your filter, you might consider marking the date on the calendar or putting a reminder on your phone.
Buying some extra filters and having them next to your furnace will make this home gas furnace maintenance step quick and easy to complete.
Tip #3: Make Sure Your Exhaust Flue Is Clear
Your gas furnace has an exhaust flue that pumps harmful gases out of your home, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. If this vent isn’t clear, you are at an increased risk of having these gases circulate throughout your space.
When you have a professional come out to service your gas furnace, they should check that the flue is clear. However, you might undertake this task through the year as well just to keep everyone in the dwelling safe.
Tip #4: Have Your Ductwork Cleaned
Your furnace is an interconnected system, and all components need to be properly serviced and maintained to ensure it’s working optimally. Getting your ductwork cleaned will ensure that the air flows freely from the furnace to every room in your home to keep everyone toasty warm.
Finding the Right Professionals for Home Furnace Maintenance
When it comes to finding the right professionals to help with gas furnace maintenance or repair, you don’t need to spend a lot of time on this task. At Hiller, we have the skills and experience to help with a wide range of furnace issues that might arise.
Whether you have noticed any of the signs listed above that let you know your furnace needs repairs, or you are looking for scheduled maintenance, we can help. Contact us today for all of your furnace needs.