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Common furnace problems to start looking out for now

One of the worst fears for homeowners is being stuck in the midst of a harsh winter without a furnace providing heat. Luckily, with fall just settling in, there is plenty of time left to get ahead of any furnace issues before they start making trouble. There are several tell-tale signs to be on the lookout for, so keep these common furnace issues in mind, and reach out to a professional to have them addressed before winter forces your hand.

Unknown Sounds and Nasty Noises

New sounds and noises rumbling up within the ducts, or coming from the furnace itself, are not usually spontaneous a form of Halloween décor. Most often, these are a potential sign; something is amiss. These unwanted audible additions mean either something within the system has become dislodged, and needs to be reattached, repaired, or replaced,— namely some debris — has entered the system and is banging around, potentially causing internal damage. In either scenario, it’s best to shut down the system before further damage can be done, potentially causing irreparable harm and requiring that the entire unit be replaced.

Where’s the Hot Air?

The primary function of a furnace is to circulate hot air, so naturally, if the furnace is producing cold air when the thermostat is reading a higher temperature, this is a sign that something is off. What the issue is exactly, however, can be somewhat tricky to pin down without help. One cause could be the furnace’s blower fan motor. If this piece isn’t running properly, then the furnace will struggle to circulate enough warm air throughout the home, leading to cold spots. If the furnace is producing no hot air whatsoever, the likely culprit is the heat exchanger or pilot light, both of which will require the expertise of a certified technician to provide a fix.

Failing the Smell Test

An unpleasant or odd odor blowing from the vents is never a welcome addition. However, the substance of the smell can actually help pinpoint the problem. If the smell is acrid and metallic-like melting plastic — then the likely culprit is frayed or malfunctioning wiring. Alternately, if the smell is more distinctly organically rotten or sulfuric — like spoiled eggs — it’s potentially a gas leak. Both of these issues are very serious and demand that the furnace be immediately shut off and serviced. Ignoring either of these signs could result not only in serious damage to the furnace but potentially very harmful health effects or a spontaneous fire. Contact a professional ASAP.

Like most major appliance issues, furnace issues are best caught and addressed early on. One way to ensure this happens is by scheduling an annual furnace inspection. However, it’s important for the above issues that each is addressed with immediacy to ensure they don’t become more major problems. If you suspect there’s an issue with your furnace, or if you have questions about ways to ensure your furnace holds out through winter, reach out to the experts at Duane Blanton Family Home Service. Licensed and knowledgeable, with over 30 years of experience, the experts at Duane Blanton will be able to keep your furnace running — and your home comfortable — all year round. Reach out today by calling (815) 781-2567 or schedule service through their convenient online scheduling portal.  

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