As the temperature drops outside, you switch your thermostat from cooling to heating. Is your furnace prepared for another Utah winter, or is it already acting up? Learn what signs point to a broken heater and how routine maintenance can help you avoid the need for emergency repairs.
6 Signs to Watch Out For
When you turn on your furnace for the first time this winter, watch for anything that seems out of the ordinary. If you notice these top warning signs of a broken furnace, schedule a repair before the weather gets too cold:
- Comfort problems: Are some rooms too cold while others are too hot? Your furnace could have a circulation problem. Constant drafts indicate that your furnace can no longer heat your home effectively. Overly dry or humid air is another comfort problem you might experience. Watch for excessive static shock or condensation on the windows to pinpoint humidity problems.
- Strange noises: Popping, rattling, banging, or squealing sounds coming from your furnace indicate that the equipment is having trouble. The cause could be anything from a loose belt to an ignition problem to a failing part. Don’t wait until your furnace breaks down completely—call a technician to diagnose and repair the issue right away.
- Unusual odors: If you notice a rotten egg smell coming from your furnace, you probably have a gas leak. Open windows and doors to air out the interior, evacuate your home, and call for help. If the unusual furnace smell is more musty, electrical, or oily, you may need a furnace repair, but the issue is less urgent.
- Yellow burner flame: Peek inside the furnace while it’s running to check on the burner flame. It should be a steady blue color. If the flame flickers or appears yellow, this is a sign that your furnace is generating excess carbon monoxide, some of which may be leaking into your home and endangering your family. Carbon monoxide is odorless, so unlike a gas leak, you can’t smell it. For your family’s safety, schedule immediate furnace repair service, especially if one of your carbon monoxide detectors goes off.
- Unexplained health problems: Physical illness in response to a natural gas or carbon monoxide leak is a sure sign your furnace needs attention. Watch out for unexplained fatigue, headaches, nausea, disorientation, and flu-like symptoms that only appear when you’re at home. These could be signs of prolonged, low-level exposure to natural gas or carbon monoxide.
- High heating bills: Compare your utility bills from the past two years. While rising rates contribute to higher bills over time, your usage should remain about the same year over year. If your energy consumption is significantly higher this year with no explanation, your furnace could be struggling. To avoid overpaying any longer than necessary, schedule a furnace repair to diagnose and remedy the problem.
The Importance of Furnace Maintenance
Have you scheduled preventative furnace maintenance yet this year? HVAC professionals recommend tuning up your heating system every fall to prepare it for the winter. When you prioritize this service, you can avoid many of the problems associated with a broken furnace. Here’s what to expect:
- Improved indoor comfort: You can only expect your furnace to keep you warm if you give it the attention it deserves. A well-maintained furnace runs at its peak, minimizing hot and cold pockets. If you don’t already have a whole-house humidifier to control indoor humidity levels, now is a great time to install one.
- Cleaner indoor air: Regularly tuning up your furnace and replacing the air filter minimizes dust, mold, and other debris in the system so these pollutants don’t enter your indoor air.
- Increased safety: Gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning are real possibilities if you have a gas furnace. Annual visits ensure your equipment is running safely for your peace of mind.
- Lower energy bills: Just as a tuned-up car gets better gas mileage, a properly maintained furnace operates more efficiently for lower energy bills. After all, the system doesn’t have to run as long when it works at its peak, so your bills drop without negatively impacting home comfort.
- Chance to catch small problems early: You may think it’s more cost-effective to only call a professional if you notice the signs of a broken furnace. However, once the problem causes noticeable symptoms, it could be much more expensive to repair. Maintenance visits allow technicians to spot and fix issues before you notice them, saving you the hassle and cost of an emergency repair.
- Lower chance of total system failure: You can schedule furnace maintenance at your convenience, but breakdowns are never this accommodating. Chances are your furnace will act up when you need it the most, such as in the middle of a blizzard. A tuned-up system is less likely to fail, so you can be confident you’ll make it all winter without an inconvenient breakdown.
- Longer system life: No heater lasts forever, but you can get a few more winters from it if you maintain the unit annually. A longer lifespan means you’ll save money on furnace replacements as the years go by.
Contact Triple T for Emergency Furnace Repair
Whether your furnace is acting up or you want to prevent problems before they start, turn to Triple T Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We repair and maintain all types of furnaces, including electric and gas-fired models. Our team is also available for same-day emergency furnace services. Choose us to fulfill all your heating needs this winter, and we’ll put our nearly 50 years of experience to work for you!
Call us today at 801-798-7711 if you live in Utah County or 435-275-4011 if you’re a Washington County resident. You can also contact us online to ask questions or schedule HVAC services.