Lesser Known Signs You May Need Furnace Repair and Maintenance

Furnace repair and maintenance are important to the overall lifespan, energy efficiency, and effectiveness of your heating unit. When your furnace isn’t producing enough heat or stops working altogether, it’s obvious something is wrong and repair is needed. But some more subtle, often overlooked signs can also indicate developing furnace issues that require professional attention from The Meridian Company before causing bigger problems.

Higher Energy Bills

If your gas or electric bills slowly creep up without changes in your home’s heating settings or usage, it likely means the furnace is operating inefficiently and wasting energy. Problems like worn-out blowers, leaky ducts, and faulty thermostats reduce efficiency. Contact HVAC technicians to diagnose and correct energy-draining issues.

Changes in Airflow

Listen and feel for changes in the airflow at vents when your furnace cycles on. Significantly weaker airflow, whistling noises, or blasts of cold air point to issues like stuck dampers, dirty air filters, and obstructed ductwork that reduce heating capacity. Don’t ignore airflow anomalies.

Gas Odor

The distinct rotten egg smell of natural gas around your furnace raises the alarm for a potentially dangerous leak in the gas line. However, subtle whiffs of gas that come and go can signal minor leaks in fittings or valves that will worsen over time if not properly sealed by a professional.

Delayed Startup

Does it take longer for heated air to start flowing when you turn up the thermostat? Extended lag times between flipping the switch and your furnace igniting and blowing hot air indicate a problem with the ignition system. It’s often an early sign of failure.

Short Cycling

If your furnace turns on and off frequently rather than running for longer, steady stretches, this short cycling signifies something is preventing the unit from staying lit. Dirty filters, a weak flame sensor, and a cracked heat exchanger could be culprits.

Burn Spots on Equipment

Small burn spots or cracks on furnace panels, venting, filters, or ducts reveal potentially dangerous combustion issues. Burn marks mean flames are escaping the chamber. Have a technician adjust the fuel mix before a fire occurs. Don’t ignore scorching.

Dust Around Vents

Excess dust and debris blowing out of heat registers or accumulating around vents hint at a problem inside the ducts or furnaces. Built-up dust will spread through your home and clog components. Routine maintenance cleaning helps address dusty duct issues.

Rising CO Levels

Although you should already have CO detectors near your furnace, take note if they are activating more frequently. Rising carbon monoxide levels indicate improper combustion and the potential existence of cracks in the heat exchanger, leaking deadly gas.

Noisy Operation

Unfamiliar rattling, grinding, whistling, or squealing sounds coming from your furnace signal wear and tear on internal components. Parts like blower motors, burners, and belts eventually degrade and make noise before failing. Identify and replace failing parts.

Soot Around Vents

Black soot and residue collecting around air vents and on walls can betray combustion issues that professional tuning and cleaning will remedy. Soot results from unburned fuel and clogged components. Don’t ignore sooty buildup.

By recognizing subtle warning signs of trouble, homeowners can arrange furnace repairs before small issues snowball into complete breakdowns and no-heat situations. Don’t delay acting on the early signs of needed maintenance. Call The Meridian Company today if you notice one or more of these signs, and let us inspect your unit and determine whether repairs are warranted.