Replacing or repairing a furnace is not cheap. However, it is even more expensive when you need to do it immediately because your furnace has died in the middle of winter. Don't leave your heating to chance. If your furnace is displaying any of the following signs, it may not make it through the winter — and you should consider having it replaced or repaired before it leaves you without heat.
Banging When It Turns On
When your furnace turns on, does it make a loud booming noise? It may go on working as normal, but then make that same sound again the next time it kicks on. This banging is often a sign of a cracked heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a part of the furnace that transfers heat from the fire inside the furnace to the air that blows through it. If this part cracks, your furnace could start leaking carbon monoxide, which is very dangerous.
Some furnace companies will replace broken heat exchangers, but this is often not worth the expense if your furnace is older. So, most HVAC companies prefer to replace the entire furnace once the heat exchanger fails.
Yellow Pilot Light
Take a look at the pilot light. It should be blue, sometimes with a little white around it. If the flame is orange or yellow, then it is burning cooler than it should. This is sometimes due to a low gas supply or a stuck gas valve. However, it can also be due to problems with the furnace burner. Most of these problems can be repaired — for instance, stuck valves can simply be replaced — so don't assume you'll need a new furnace because the pilot light is faulty.
Short-cycling is when your furnace turns on, then off, then on again — over and over again. Sometimes this happens because your furnace is struggling to push air through a clogged air filter. But if you replace the air filter and your furnace still short-cycles, you likely have a bigger issue. It could be a cracked heat exchanger, a damaged burner, or even an overheating blower motor. A furnace contractor can take a look and let you know whether replacing or repairing your furnace is a better option. Often, breakage that leads to short-cycling warrants replacing the furnace.
Having to replace your furnace in the fall may not be fun, but it is so much better than having to replace your furnace in the middle of winter. Keep your eyes out for these signs that your furnace is failing.
Reach out to a company such as Steve Patrick Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. to find out more.