When you live in a climate like ours, there’s no denying that air conditioners are pretty important. In fact, you might not even think about your heater very much at all, until a chilly night when it breaks down.
Of course, a furnace breakdown is a lot less likely if you invest in routine furnace maintenance, and schedule repairs as soon as you know you need them. But how do you know you need them? True, we’ll tell you during your maintenance appointment. But also, there may be times between tune-ups that you need a small repair or two. Knowing the signs will help you avoid bigger, emergency repairs. Read on as we uncover what these signs are!
Your Energy Bills are Higher Than Average
Take a look at your utility bills. Are they a lot higher than they were this same time last year? How about in comparison to what your neighbors are paying? If you look at yours and they are a lot higher than you think they should be, it could very well be a sign that something in your home is working inefficiently, and there’s a very good chance your furnace is to blame.
Your HVAC systems actually make up half of all your home’s energy use, so it makes sense that you want your furnace to work as efficiently as possible. So what can cause the efficiency drop? A few things! You might have damaged ductwork, a dirty furnace, or you might even have components that need adjusting, re-lubricating, or repair.
This is all checked during your professional maintenance session, of course, so if you haven’t scheduled that yet, now is the time!
The System Is Short-Cycling
Short-cycling is the process where your furnace turns on and off rapidly, never actually completing a full heating cycle. This is very inefficient for your furnace, and not only is it the symptom of a problem already occurring, but it can cause more problems in the long run.
Short-cycling is often a signal of some kind of electrical short or problem in the system (yes, even in a gas furnace) and needs to be repaired sooner rather than later if you want to prevent a full furnace breakdown.
The System Isn’t Heating As It Should
So maybe the airflow is okay, but your home isn’t heating as you think it should. This can be due to many reasons. On the relatively “minor” side, it can be that you have ductwork damage that isn’t allowing all the hot air to reach all the rooms in your home. You might notice that the rooms the furthest away from your indoor unit are the ones not getting heat.
Alternatively, it could be that you have a cracked heat exchanger that is allowing the combustion gases to escape and therefore not bringing the heat into your home. This is not only inefficient, it’s harmful. Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is a very real problem that has awful consequences.
The best way to avoid this is to invest in annual maintenance for your furnace! This helps ensure the unit operates as effectively, efficiently, and safely as possible.