When we buy a new home appliance, such as a coffee maker or a toaster, we generally expect that they are going to last for quite some time, but we don’t expect them to last forever. However, when it comes to larger home appliances such as your water heater, AC unit, or furnace, we tend to think of them more as pieces of the house than we do as appliances. And we think that’s understandable, especially given that most of those items are probably the same ones that were in the house when you moved in.
The problem with this way of thinking, however, is that just like all of your other appliances, your furnace has a life expectancy, and it isn’t forever. When your heater, furnace, or boiler is on its way out and has one foot in the mechanical grave, there are a few ways you can tell. Paying attention to these red flags are important. Failing to do so can mean that your furnace dies at a time that is most inconvenient, leaving you in the literal cold and paying extra for emergency installation.
In today’s blog from the furnace service team at JDL HVAC Services of Odenton, we’ll provide 6 examples of the most common red flags you can expect to see when your home’s furnace is on its way out. If you have a furnace you’re concerned about, or you simply want to schedule an inspection, get in touch with our experienced HVAC services team today for honest, reliable service.
Your Furnace Is a Teenager
As we said before, your furnace has a life expectancy, and for most furnaces on the market, that is somewhere around the 13 to 15 year mark. Sure, we’ve worked on furnaces that are clocking their 19th or 20th trip around the sun, but these machines require more repairs and servicing than is probably worth it, and they could fail any day.
Once your furnace officially becomes a teenager — that’s 13 years old — you need to start paying very close attention to its performance. Chances are good that you only have a couple of years left.
Your Furnace Has Needed a Lot of Service Recently
Regardless of the age of your furnace, once it starts requiring more service than is regularly needed, you should start preparing and planning for a replacement. In most cases, a well cared for furnace should only require annual inspections and cleaning maintenance. Over the years, you may have a more significant repair or two, but if that is becoming an annual — or more frequent — occurrence, then it’s time to start looking ahead. It won’t take long before the money you have spent on repairs will be close to paying for a brand new furnace installation.
Your Furnace Has Become Noisy
Furnaces, by their nature, tend to make a little bit of noise — even the “quiet” ones. However, there is a big difference between the sound of your draft inducer firing up or the sound of your vent ducts expanding and contracting as they heat and cool and the sound of a furnace that has a knock, a shudder, or a grinding sound.
When your furnace starts sounding like your first car in high school, it’s time to have a professional come out and take a look. You may need a new part. You may need a new furnace.
Heating Bills Are Increasing
There are a lot of reasons that your home’s heating bill could be on the rise, and your furnace is one of them. If your gas utility is increasing, but you don’t have a draft, you’ve checked your insulation in the attic, and the days and nights haven’t been unusually cold, the culprit very well could be your aging furnace.
Keeping a close eye on your utilities is one of the best ways to catch these kinds of problems and address them before they get too out of hand, or maybe we should say out of pocket.
Your House Has Noticeable Hot and Cold Spots
While it may be natural to feel slightly cooler on a couch in front of the massive window in your living room than it does in your tiny bathroom a mere 10 feet from your furnace, you shouldn’t have true warm or cold zones in your home. Your heating and cooling system was designed by a professional who intended your home’s temperature to be mostly consistent when your AC or your furnace are working properly.
If certain rooms or areas in larger rooms are warmer or colder than the rest of the house, make sure to check and see that you don’t have vents closed that should be open. If there is nothing wrong in that regard, your furnace may just be struggling to get the job done — another sign that a new furnace is in your future soon, whether you like it or not.
Your Burner Flame Is Discolored
When running properly, your furnace’s flame should be burning with a hot, bluish-colored flame. If you are noticing that your flame is much more yellow and orange than it is blue, it may not be burning hot enough, and you might be at an increased risk for carbon monoxide exposure and buildup. If you notice a discolored flame, call JDL HVAC Services right away.
New Furnace Installations From Your Experts
Whether you need an inspection, a tune-up, or a brand new furnace installation, the friendly, honest technicians at JDL have you covered. Get in touch today to schedule an appointment. We provide service throughout Odenton, Laurel, Severna Park and the surrounding area.