In October and November Oklahomans typically get to start enjoying cooler temperatures, particularly at night. Many of us will kick our furnaces or heaters on for the first time during the fall. If your house is like mine, you will likely experience an odd smell the first couple of times it comes on. This is usually due to a build-up of dust and is not necessarily a big concern.
You can think of that dusty smell as a reminder to take care of fall preventative maintenance. However, there are some things you may notice this fall that indicate a need for a repair to your furnace, not just a maintenance visit.
If one of these signs is familiar to you, your furnace may need repair in the future, or even a replacement.
1. Your heating bill has increased significantly.
Gas rates do fluctuate. But if your electric bill is increasing more than you’re used to during the cooler months, there’s probably a reason for that. Assuming utility rates haven’t skyrocketed in your area, something in your heating system is losing its efficiency and working harder than normal. If it’s not corrected, this can lead to bigger problems.
2. Your thermostat setting doesn’t match the real temperature.
If you have your thermostat set for 73 degrees and it’s 68 degrees inside, there is a reason your furnace isn’t warming the property as desired. It usually isn’t the thermostat itself. This could mean your furnace is not able to properly distribute heat.
3. You have a yellow burner flame.
Just like with a gas stove, you want a blue flame in your burner, because that means it’s burning efficiently. A yellow flame, also called a “lazy flame,” means there is a restriction of oxygen.
This incomplete combustion results in hazardous carbon monoxide. Streaks of soot around your burner also indicate issues with the combustion. You may not be able to see the burner flame, but if you can see it and it’s yellow, it’s safest to get that checked out.
4. You have had frequent repairs in recent years.
Heaters will typically last 15-20 years if maintained well. There will certainly be the need for a few repairs along the way as some components have a lesser lifespan, but if it’s breaking down a couple times per year and is in this age range, it may make sense to consider replacing it. Much like a vehicle, a furnace can become a money pit at a certain point.
If you’re worried about any of these four symptoms, it’s a good idea to call a professional. Your family will be warmer, not to mention safer, if issues like these are handled quickly.
Routine maintenance is the best way to extend the life of your furnace. We charge $99 per furnace for this one-time service. If you’re concerned about your furnace or want to schedule a maintenance appointment, let’s have a conversation.