Nothing lasts forever. Everything good must end. All we are is dust in the wind. The same sentiment has been expressed over and over again in songs, literature, and television. Eventually things come to a close. The same is true for your furnace. No matter how well you take care of it, no matter how clean you keep it, eventually it will break down. The important thing is to recognize when this breakdown is about to happen so you are not left in the cold this winter. By being able to identify the breakdown before it happens you can call your local HVAC company to come out and replace the furnace with a newer model.
Three Red Flags
- Ancient Furnace: A furnace has an expected lifespan. Granted no one knows EXACTLY how long any given furnace will live but you can estimate. A furnace that has been cleaned every seasons and well maintained throughout its life can live up to around 25 years. However, if the furnace has never been cleaned, with poor maintenance and simply left in the basement to be turned on in November, it will probably only live around ten years. How old is your furnace? When was the last time it was cleaned?
- Strange Noises: Furnaces often tell you something is wrong before the problem escalates to a breakdown. Stay vigilant! Listen to your furnace every one and a while and see if everything is running smoothly. Any rattling, hissing, or popping noise is sure to be a problem. If you hear anything of the sort it is important that you schedule a maintenance check with a NATE certified professional so your furnace can be diagnosed.
- Crack Heat Exchanger: You can tell that your heat exchanger is cracked by several different ways. The easiest of which to to take a look at the flames come from the burner. The furnace flames should be blue and steady. When the heat exchanger cracks it releases impurities which distort the flames. They will burn with flecks of yellow and dance about.
- NOTE: This is a serious problem that must be addressed IMMEDIATELY! Turn off your furnace and your gas because a crack in the heat exchanger will leak carbon dioxide into the air and could prove deadly for your family.
Call In a Professional
If you notice any of these signs, it is time to call in a professional to take a look at your furnace. It is possible that your furnace needs a simple repair, or it may be time to say goodbye to your beloved friend. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While a new furnace is a bit of an investment, every year new furnaces are designed to be more and more energy efficient. This will cut huge chunks out of your heating costs. The money you save could be put to paying off the new furnace. Before you know it, the furnace will be paid off and you’ll be reaping savings every month.