10 Signs Your Furnace is Going Out – Part 1

Your furnace is an important part of your home’s infrastructure. It keeps you warm in the winter, and also helps to maintain good air quality indoors when your doors and windows are shut tightly against the outside cold. A high-quality furnace and well-sealed ducts can provide cozy heat all winter, but over time, furnaces need maintenance and eventually will need to be replaced.

How Do You Know if Your Furnace is Going Out?

There are usually a few clear signs that your furnace’s final days are coming.  If more than one of the following occurs or keeps occurring, it’s probably time for a new one. Maffei Services is here to share a few helpful tips.

1) Your Furnace Keeps Needing Repairs

The single biggest red-flag that your unit is going out is frequent repairs. If things just keep going wrong and every year leads to more replacements, repairs, and service visits – this means that your furnace’s interior parts are trying to wear out all at once. At some point, the cost of repeat repairs and the risk of your heat going out at the wrong moment will let you know when it’s time to schedule your furnace replacement.

Even before that, if your furnace needs two legitimate repairs in two years, it is probably on it’s way out.

2) The House Takes Too Long to Heat Up, Or is Never Quite Warm

A furnace that is failing to provide heat is not functioning, and may be going out. If your furnace isn’t creating any heat at all, you may need a quick repair. But if your furnace is producing weak heat and/or can never quite reach the demands of your thermostat, this can be a sign that the system is weakening and will not be able to meet your heating needs in the near future. If your furnace can’t keep up in early winter, it’s vital that you get it fixed before the deep winter freeze sets in.

But before you schedule furnace repairs, have your entire unit and ducts cleaned and inspected. Inefficient HVAC can sometimes be a matter of clogs and buildup instead of failing parts.

3) The Pilot Light is Yellow, Or Won’t Stay On

The quality of your pilot light matters. A gas furnace relies on the pilot light to help it generate heat at a steady pace. That little light never goes out because it burns a tiny trickle of gas. The flame should be bright blue, closer to white. If your pilot light goes yellow or starts to wave and flicker, this means the gas is not being completely burned away. It can be caused by buildup or a partially blocked system and can result in dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.

If your pilot light is yellow or will not stay on, call for furnace repairs immediately and you may need to open doors and windows at risk of a gas leak.

4) Frequent or Rapid Power Cycles

Does your furnace keep turning off and back on? Does the heat cycle rapidly when it used to gently alternate between heating and resting? This can indicate a problem with your thermostat signaling. However, it can also be a sign that your wiring or electrical system may be damaged. A furnace that shows electrical problems in addition to other signs of wear and age should be considered a red flag.

Electrical issues are often the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of replacement. When the electric components start to go, your furnace is probably going out.

>> Read More 10 Signs Your Furnace is Going Out – Part 2  >>

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