Think of the following noises: a squeal, a clicking sound, a boom, a rattling, a chirping. What do all these sounds have in common? They may be signs you need a new furnace.
What is a furnace? Many houses have one. In common language, it a large metal container that heats materials inside the container. For smelting purposes, the furnace is filled with metal. For heating purposes, the furnace is full of air.
A furnace has many properties, including a safety system. The safety system ensures the furnace works properly. Many are powered by natural gas. If gas leaks in to the home or malfunctions somehow, there could be an explosion.
Furnaces typically last between 15 and 18 years. They range from 80% to 98% efficiency. The most common furnace is the natural gas furnace.
However, you’ve heard a squeal, a clicking sound, or one of the other sounds. A person may think: I can ignore this. It’ll resolve itself. Or better yet: It’s not serious. That person would be incorrect. Here are five common problems with furnaces that need immediate attention.
Blowing Cold Air
You’ve turned your thermostat up and are expecting a rush of hot air. Except, it doesn’t come. It’s cold air instead of hot air. You may wonder why. The answer may be simpler than you think: It’s the ignition.
A failed ignition fails to trigger the natural gas portion of the furnace. The furnace doesn’t heat up, the air doesn’t heat up, and cold air instead of hot air comes through the vents. An HVAC mechanic skilled in furnace hair will likely be able to fix this.
Old and Clogged Filters
Furnace maintenance is not on the minds of most homeowners. There are other, more pressing responsibilities to think about. But old and clogged filters can have damaging effects on the furnace.
A clogged filter cannot let hot air out of the filter, leading to an overheating to the furnace interior. This causes damage to the heat exchanger, which is the heart of the furnace. This can lead to holes in the furnace, a potentially dangerous situation.
The Furnace Won’t Turn Off
Some furnaces won’t turn off, continually pumping hot air into the house even when the thermostat has been moved down. This is a serious issue. The quickest way to deal with this is to turn of the furnace off altogether or cut off the gas to the furnace.
When you look at the furnace, first check if there is an electrical cord running to the bottom of the furnace. You may be able to turn off the power to the furnace. In some cases, there are colored handles on the furnace. You can turn these to cut off the gas power.
The Cycling Furnace
You may find that your furnace is cycling on and off two often, which is possibly a sign that the thermostat is malfunctioning or some other system related issue that is not necessarily the furnace itself.
HVAC service, possibly by a general contractor, can look into the system and find the root cause. Modern systems are often too complex for a layperson to deal with themselves.
The Loud Furnace
You’re trying to sleep at night and hear loud banging sounds coming from the basement. You go to inspect and the furnace is the culprit. You may wonder what’s causing the banging. It is a sign of serious issues. But, truly, there will likely be more than one cause.
Some common banging sound causes are:
- Burners are over-firing, leaving the gas pressure too high
- Dirty blower wheels, worn burners, and leaky gas valves
- A heat pump split system
Malfunctioning furnaces are loud, annoying, and dangerous at times. Finding the right HVAC technician provides easier sleep at night knowing the problem is taken care of.