5 Signs Your Furnace is Due for a Tune-Up

Happy New YearEverybody at Comfort Plus ClimateCare wishes you a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2018.

Winter’s in full effect here in Hamilton, Brantford, and Cambridge. Your furnace is working hard to keep your family warm and comfortable.

The last thing you want is for your home heating system to break down on the coldest day of the year.

With that in mind, here are some telltale signs your furnace needs a tune-up.

1. There’s intermittent (or no) heat

The most obvious sign, if your furnace struggles to generate and circulate heat on a regular basis, it’s time for a maintenance visit.

No matter how low the temperature drops outside, that shouldn’t impact the reliability and performance of your furnace.

Common reasons this could happen include:

  • Thermostat is at ON setting: When the fan is ON, the blower will always run (even if the furnace isn’t producing heat). Switch the setting to AUTO to have your furnace blow warm air only.
  • Pilot light is out: Relight the pilot light (or have us do it). If it stays lit, you’re all set. If it doesn’t light at all, make sure gas is actually flowing into the furnace from its supply line.

Dirty air filter

As well, it is possible for your furnace to “overheat” (that’s when it blows warm air, then cold air, then nothing at all).

When that happens, a limit safety switch kicks in to cool the furnace down to a safe operating level.

Usually, this is caused by a dirty air filter.

Change the filter ASAP and check if the furnace begins to blow warm air.

2. Strange, unpleasant noises

Your furnace should operate silently and not sound like a jet engine.

If it does, it usually indicates one (or a combination of) the following things:

  • BANGING NOISE – Blower motor issue: Without a functioning blower motor, the warm air inside your furnace stays there and doesn’t go in your ducts and throughout your home.
  • POPPING NOISE – Dirty burners: Debris that’s trapped in the burners will prevent them from lighting properly. That popping noise is actually gas build-up igniting.
  • POPPING NOISE – Air duct problem: Heat causes metal to expand and lack of heat makes them contract. As a result, you may hear a popping or banging sound from time-to-time.

Whenever you hear anything out of the ordinary coming from your furnace, don’t “wait it out” or “hope it goes away.” Instead, contact us and explain what you’re hearing.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm3. Carbon monoxide alarm goes off

Carbon monoxide (CO) is odourless, colourless, and very deadly.

If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, it’s a sign that your furnace isn’t burning fuel completely.

Whether that’s from dirty air filtration inside your unit or a symptom of a mechanical issue, contact us immediately if your CO alarm sounds.

Other things you should do include:

  • Turn off all gas appliances: Stove/oven. Heaters. Gas fireplace.
  • Open all windows: To allow the CO to dissipate and exit your home.
  • Contact the fire department: Anyone experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning (dizziness, vomiting, headaches) needs to be moved to fresh air and tended to immediately.

4. Thermostat isn’t working properly

Think of your thermostat as the nerve centre for your furnace.

It’s where decisions are made (to raise or lower the temperature) and where you can see the results (temperature, fan settings, etc.)

If you turn your thermostat up a few degrees, but nothing happens, here’s what it could mean:

  • Faulty power source: The batteries could be dead. Its fuse may have switched off. Some wires might have gotten disconnected.
  • It’s dirty: Remove any dust, debris (and even spider webs) from your thermostat. Use a brand new, soft brush. Or use compressed air to blow it clean. Just don’t get it wet.

Should it not respond to commands after you’ve done the above, it may be time to replace your thermostat; especially if it’s old.

They’re not meant to last forever and are probably costing you extra money because it’s just not working as it should.

5. Your hydro bill went up

Expensive hydro bill
All winter long, you’ve been warm, cozy, and comfortable inside your home.

Then, your monthly energy bill comes and you’re shocked to see it’s gone up by as much as 20%.

Now, as annoying as that is, it does not mean there is a critical issue with your furnace.

Rather, it simply may not be running at peak performance and needs a little maintenance and protection visit.

Consider a WeCare Maintenance Plan from Comfort Plus ClimateCare

Your furnace is something you probably don’t think about often.

That is, until you really need it and/or it doesn’t work for you when it should.

WeCare Protection for your furnace ensures you don’t have to worry about it. Regularly scheduled visits give your furnace the ongoing TLC it needs to run smoothly:

  • Cleaning or replacing the air filter.
  • Inspecting vital components (blower, fans, belts, etc.).
  • Checking important connections such as electrical wiring, piping and gas supply lines.
  • Looking for damage to your heat exchange from cracks or corrosion.

Need more information:

Learn more about furnace maintenance from Comfort Plus ClimateCare.

You can also contact us with your questions or comments and we’ll get back quickly with the answers you need.

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