A sudden furnace breakdown in the dead of winter in Hanahan, SC, can be a nightmare. To make sure that you avoid this unpleasant surprise, you need to stay vigilant and know when a furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan. Here are five signs that your furnace may be nearing a total breakdown:
Exploding Heating Bills
It’s normal for energy bills to somewhat increase during the winter since you use your furnace more intensively once it gets cold. However, this increase should roughly align with similar increases you saw during previous winters. Therefore, you should be concerned if your heating bills skyrocket without a commensurate increase in actual furnace use.
This is a reliable sign of deep problems with your furnace. Although scheduling repairs might temporarily eliminate this problem, chances are high that it’ll return with a vengeance before long.
The Need for Furnace Repairs Grows
Occasional repairs are necessary and expected to keep your furnace functioning well over the long haul and to get the longest use out of it. However, after a trained service technician has fixed your system, it should remain in good working order for some time.
If your furnace seems to need repairs again after you’ve just had it fixed, it might be on its last legs. If you’re facing constant or expensive furnace repairs, a service technician can help you decide whether to replace the system.
Every furnace will make at least some noise while operating normally, so not every sound is a reason for concern. For example, you may hear some banging and popping sounds after hot air fills your ducts and causes them to expand. This is especially likely to happen if you haven’t used your furnace for some time.
However, other noises are troublesome, such as persistent banging noises that might indicate a problem with the furnace’s burners. If the system makes whistling or squealing noises, it could have a faulty blower motor. Emphatic rumbling sounds might mean that your furnace has a loose panel door, and scraping noises might mean that you have a loose or broken blower wheel.
In themselves, all of these problems are fixable. They don’t necessarily mean your furnace is on the verge of breaking down. When combined with other issues, though, the case for replacement becomes stronger.
Pilot Light Problems
Your furnace’s pilot light should consistently burn blue. If the flame turns yellow, it could mean that the furnace is leaking carbon monoxide. Since carbon monoxide is toxic, you should leave your home as soon as you notice this problem and request professional help to solve it.
If the pilot light on your gas furnace often needs attention, it may be time to upgrade. Most newer models use an electronic ignition switch, which is safer and more reliable than a pilot light. It also uses less fuel.
Age of the Furnace
Finally, you must remain ever-mindful of your furnace’s age. There are three basic types of furnaces, and not all of them have the same average shelf life. Gas furnaces typically last for 15 to 20 years before you’ll need to replace them, while electric and oil-based furnaces can serve as many as 25 to 30 years.
Although it’s possible to push each furnace’s lifespan to the tail end of its respective range with prompt repairs and regular maintenance, you should not become overly reliant on these things. At some point, when a furnace is too old, it simply needs to make way for a new one.
If you’re careful and observant, your furnace will never break down without you being able to see it coming. If you see that your furnace is nearing its end, it’s advisable to get a new one before temperatures become truly cold. Call Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning and ask for our heating installation services near Hanahan, SC.
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