Will Your Furnace Make it Through Another Winter?

Will Your Furnace Make it Through Another Winter?

Like all things mechanical, your heating system has a limited lifespan. A furnace should last between 15 and 20 years with routine maintenance. If you push it beyond its life expectancy, your furnace will struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature, and your energy bills will skyrocket. Plus, you run the risk of frequent repairs if it doesn’t completely break down first.

If you’re wondering whether your aging furnace will make it through another winter, pay close attention to the following signs.

Red Flags Your Furnace Is On the Way Out

It’s not heating like it used to: You keep cranking up the heat, and you’re still not comfortable. It’s providing some warm air, just not enough. Before you jump to conclusions, try some troubleshooting to see if there’s a simple fix.

Check the filter: A clogged filter restricts airflow, which would account for the lack of warmth. You should replace the filter every 30 to 90 days. If it’s been a while since you last swapped it out, you may have found your culprit.

Check the thermostat: It could be that your thermostat needs to be calibrated. Tape a thermometer to the wall next to the thermostat. Wait 15 minutes and compare the temperature reading on both. If there is more than a 3-degree difference between the two, your thermostat needs to be serviced.

If you can rule out the filter and thermostat, then your furnace may have a gas supply problem, the ducts could be leaking, or the thermocouple or flame sensor may be faulty. Have your furnace professionally inspected.

It’s making strange noises: Squealing, grinding, banging, and popping sounds are cause for concern. Noises like these could indicate an issue with the blower wheel or the motor that runs it. They’re not going to get better on their own, so be sure to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician.

The furnace flame is yellow: A gas furnace should have a steady blue flame. A blue flame means there’s the right mix of gas and oxygen in the combustion process. Too much gas or too little air produces a yellow or orange flame. This should be investigated immediately because the furnace could be emitting harmful contaminants into the air.

The heat exchanger is cracked: The heat exchanger is a barrier between the fuel-burning process and your breathing air. This metal chamber expands and contracts with temperature changes, which eventually form stress cracks. Watch for these signs that your heat exchanger is cracked:

Soot: A cracked heat exchanger draws in outside air. As a result, the unit doesn’t burn cleanly, leading to soot buildup within the furnace interior.

Corroded components: Internal components will rust when exposed to fumes.

Strange odors: A cracked heat exchanger can produce a pungent chemical odor.

If it’s Time to Replace Your Furnace, Turn to Universe Home Services

Universe Home Services is Long Island’s heating installation experts. You can trust that your installation will be handled correctly so that your new gas furnace, boiler, or other heating system will work at peak efficiency. To schedule your appointment, call (516) 473-0202.

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