How to Know When You Need a New Furnace

When the winter hits in Hampstead, North Carolina, homeowners rely on their heaters to maintain a comfortable indoor atmosphere. The last thing you want to worry about is experiencing a furnace breakdown during the coldest season of the year. If you’ve noticed any of these concerning warning signs, you may need to start planning for a new furnace:

Unpleasant Odors

Strange smells can signal a furnace problem. The odor will give you a better idea of what might be going on within the unit. For example, a musty odor often indicates the presence of moisture within your furnace. If you smell a burning odor, the wiring could be to blame.

The smell of rotten eggs is always cause for concern as it usually indicates the presence of a gas leak, which could create a dangerous situation. When your furnace is giving off strange smells, contact a service technician to figure out what’s wrong and whether the issue can be repaired.

Loud Noises

Although a heating system will make some noise as it operates, you shouldn’t hear loud or jarring noises. After the furnace kicks on and starts moving heated air, the noises should also get much quieter. Some of the most worrisome sounds coming from a heating unit include banging, squealing, grinding and popping. These noises can mean that a component has come loose and is bumping against something else or that a part within the unit isn’t functioning as it should. No matter the case, it’s best to contact an HVAC professional to diagnose the problem.

Cold or Weak Airflow

When the air first starts moving through the vents after your heating system starts to operate, it’ll likely feel cool or even cold. However, it should warm up within a few seconds when the system is set to the warm function. If you feel cold air that remains chilly, your furnace may be nearing the end of its functional lifespan. A gas-powered furnace relies on natural gas to heat the air within a heating chamber. From there, the heated air moves through the ductwork and vents to warm each room of the home.

Cold air can indicate an issue with the fuel source or with the components that provide heat to the air. Another problem that can impact your home’s comfort is weak airflow, which usually means something is wrong with the blower motor or fan. If you place your hand in front of a vent when the system is running and the air flowing through it feels weak, it’s best to have the system checked by an HVAC professional.

Excess Dust in the Air

Your heating system contains a filter that prevents dust, dirt, dander, pollen, and other debris from moving into and settling in the system. If the filter has clogged, it can longer function properly, resulting in a buildup of debris in your heating unit.

In this situation, you may notice an increase in the dust within your home, which can impact your family’s health and the cleanliness of the space. Excess dust can also indicate that the furnace is wearing out. As a result, it’ll no longer be able to properly clean the air of contaminants.

Higher Utility or Repair Bills

The cost to operate your furnace shouldn’t fluctuate too drastically between seasons with similar temperatures. If you notice a sharp increase in heating bills year over year, your furnace may be losing efficiency, which will cost you a lot more in the long run. Another cost associated with a furnace that’s nearing the end of its life is higher bills for more frequent repairs.

If you’re constantly having to shell out money to get components repaired or replaced within your unit, it may make sense to simply replace the furnace instead of continuing to pay for costly repairs. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, it’s especially logical to replace it with a newer, more efficient unit.

Planning ahead for a new furnace can help you avoid the unpleasant surprise of needing an unexpected replacement. If your furnace is more than a decade old or showing any of these warning signs, contact Gideon Heating & Air Conditioning by calling (910) 447-2905.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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