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5 furnace warning signs for help

Winter has descended quickly and without mercy this year, and it appears the cold weather is showing no signs of slowing down. As homeowners rush to the thermostat to switch over to the heat, it’s also an ideal time to take a look behind the scenes and check on the furnace directly, as unexpected furnace issues are a nasty surprise to accompany the unseasonably low temperatures. To ensure your furnace keeps running smoothly through these long, cold nights, watch for these five warning signs that your furnace needs some help before a minor furnace issue becomes a major furnace meltdown.

1. Age is More Than Just a Number

Like all major appliances and fixtures, furnaces have a life expectancy. On average, a furnace will last between 15 – 20 years in a home, though, according to ENERGY STAR®, that number is much closer to 15 years than 20. Some furnaces can do just fine past that 15-year mark, but it won’t be for long, and the repairs to keep them performing can become costly. If your furnace is nearing the 15-year mark, the most responsible choice is to begin shopping for a replacement.

2. Racking up Repairs

Even if your furnace isn’t that old, if it has needed to be repaired multiple times in a 2-year span,  this is generally a telltale sign that a furnace is on its last legs. Trying to keep a furnace going past its prime can be difficult and, more importantly, quite costly, as the repair parts for a furnace become significantly more difficult to source as the furnace gets older.

3. A Cold Wind Blows

The purpose of a furnace, of course, is to circulate hot air, so naturally, if the furnace is producing cold air, this is a sign that something is amiss. What, exactly, can be somewhat tricky to diagnose? If the furnace’s blower fan motor is malfunctioning, then the furnace will struggle to try to circulate enough warm air throughout the home, leading to cold spots. If the furnace is producing no hot air whatsoever, then the likely culprit is the heat exchanger or pilot light, both of which will require the expertise of a certified technician to truly remedy.

4. Strange Noises

All HVAC systems produce noises, especially as they turn on or off. However, there are certain noises that indicate something is off within the furnace. If you hear a squeaking or popping coming from within the furnace or vents, there is a strong possibility that something has become dislodged within the system. This can be difficult for homeowners to pinpoint on their own, so it’s best to bring in a professional to take a look.

5. Yellow Means Yield

If your furnace is a system that still employs a pilot light, it’s a good idea to check to make sure the flame being produced is still blue. If the flame is yellow, this means there is a strong chance that there is a carbon monoxide leak coming from the furnace, especially if the yellow flame is accompanied by the smell of sulfur/rotten eggs, rust, or excessive amounts of moisture.

In the event that there is a carbon monoxide leak, this poses a very real, serious health issue, and should be addressed immediately by a professional.

Avoiding a full emergency furnace replacement should be a top priority, especially during the colder months. If any of these 5 warning signs hit particularly close to home, there is a good chance that your furnace needs either repairs or to be replaced outright. Should you encounter any of these warning signs firsthand, and you’re unsure of the next steps to take, consider reaching out to the licensed professionals at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With over 30 years of experience, the experts at Duane Blanton are prepared to tackle any potential furnace issues. Give the professionals of Duane Blanton a call today at (815) 781-2567, or reach out online using their online scheduling portal!

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