Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical

10 Warning Signs That You Need a Furnace Repair

The Importance of Furnace Maintenance

In the modern Downriver home, the furnace has become more than just a luxury—it’s a necessity, especially during those chilly winter months. According to a 2016 survey, 36% of American households, including a significant number in Downriver, utilized electric furnaces, while 47% preferred gas furnaces. Despite the evolving technology and newer heating methods, the furnace remains an essential household item.

But just like any other piece of equipment, furnaces aren’t immune to wear and tear. This guide will help Downriver homeowners find the 10 early warning signs that it’s time to reach out to Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical for professional furnace repair.

10 Warning Signs
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    1. The Age of the Furnace

    Is your furnace more than a decade old? Most homeowners often overlook the age of their heating unit. If your furnace is edging towards the 15–20 year mark, it’s time to keep a watchful eye. While these units are built to last, age inevitably affects their efficiency. Regular maintenance can lessen some of the wear, but as it ages, consider if replacement might be a more cost-effective option in the long run.

    2. Unusual Furnace Odor

    A subtle scent of fuel upon startup is normal for most furnaces. But if your Downriver home starts retaining a strong, lingering odor long after the furnace has been turned off, it’s a red flag. This could signal a potential gas leak or an accumulation of dust inside the unit. Remember, safety first! It’s crucial to avoid DIY solutions and instead rely on expert HVAC technicians like our team at Flo-Aire.

    3. The Furnace is Making Strange Sounds

    Whirring, humming, and the occasional click are normal furnace sounds. But should you start hearing rattling, banging, or frequent on-off cycling, it’s time for an inspection. Often, these noises indicate wear and tear or a malfunctioning blower motor. Before those chilly Downriver nights set in, ensure your furnace is in tip-top shape by seeking professional assessment.

    4. Rising Heating Bill

    The Downriver area, like the rest of the nation, has its share of high energy costs, with an average annual heating cost hovering around $1,013. If your bills are rising without an apparent reason, it might be your furnace signaling inefficiencies. Issues such as leaky ducts or an aging system can lead to a spike in costs. But worry not—our Flo-Aire HVAC specialists are just a phone call away to diagnose and fix the issue.

    5. Change in the Pilot Flame Color

    Every homeowner should be aware of the furnace pilot flame’s color. A consistent bright blue indicates all is well. However, a change to a wavering yellow or orange could signify incomplete gas burning or potential venting issues. Even a relatively new furnace can show these signs if it’s not functioning optimally. Never compromise on safety; when in doubt, seek expert consultation.

    6. An Increase in Furnace Maintenance

    Recurring maintenance costs can indicate problems with your furnace. Normally, a furnace should have at least two comprehensive maintenance checks annually. If breakdowns are more frequent, it may be time to consider replacing your nearly two-decade-old furnace. When deciding, consider the costs of repairs versus buying new heating equipment.

    7. Very High Levels of Soot

    Normally, soot shouldn’t be present when your furnace runs. If you see soot, it could be due to poor installation or an aging furnace that’s not burning carbon correctly. Partial combustion can produce large amounts of soot. If this is a concern, discussing with furnace repair specialists might be necessary.

    8. Inadequate Heating

    Your furnace’s primary function is heating. In regions with subzero temperatures during winter, adequate heating is crucial. If your furnace isn’t heating enough or at all, an HVAC expert may need to examine the thermostat or possible ductwork leaks.

    9. Poor Indoor Air Quality

    Your furnace also affects the air quality in your home. If maintained improperly, dirt, bacteria, and other particles can circulate. Experiencing more airborne dust recently? It might be a sign that your furnace is failing. Low air quality can also lead to respiratory issues or allergies. Immediate intervention by an Indoor Air Quality specialist is recommended in such cases.

    10. Furnace Has Difficulty Starting

    Starting your furnace should be simple. If it’s difficult to start or keep running, especially during colder seasons, there might be wiring issues or thermostat damage. Working with an HVAC technician to inspect for these problems is important. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent further damage to the HVAC system.

    Seen Any of These Signs? Consider Having Your Furnace Repaired by an HVAC Expert!

    A functional furnace is a household necessity, especially during colder months in Metro Detroit. However, like all appliances, it can experience issues due to age, wear, or faulty installation. Before attempting any self-repairs, it’s always safer and more effective to talk with an HVAC specialist. Make sure that you work with professionals who prioritize service quality. If you’re in need of trusted furnace repair specialists, remember we’re just a phone call away. Ensure your home’s warmth and safety by contacting us today.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    It's recommended that you have your furnace serviced at least once a year, preferably before the cold season begins. Regular maintenance can safeguard your furnace operates efficiently and can help in early detection of potential issues.

    The average lifespan of a furnace is around 15-20 years. However, this can vary based on the brand, usage, and how regularly the furnace has been maintained. Even with good maintenance, a furnace nearing the 20-year mark may show signs of inefficiency or frequent breakdowns.

    Unusual sounds, like rattling, popping, or banging, can be a sign of wear and tear or issues within the furnace. Common culprits include a malfunctioning blower motor or problems with other internal components. If you notice strange noises, it's essential to talk with an HVAC technician for a proper diagnosis.

    Yes, a sudden increase in heating bills can be indicative of furnace inefficiencies. As furnaces age or experience issues, they may have to work harder to produce the same amount of heat, consuming more energy in the process. It's advisable to have your furnace checked if you notice significant changes in your heating bills.

    If your furnace is nearing its average lifespan (15-20 years) and is requiring frequent and costly repairs, it might be more economical in the long run to replace it. Newer models are often more energy-efficient, which can lead to savings on heating bills. Speaking with an HVAC specialist can provide a clearer picture of whether repair or replacement is the best option for your situation.

    Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.
    Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

    Locally owned and operated in Southgate, MI since 1955, Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical is one of the top heating & cooling companies in Southeast Michigan. Flo-Aire provides residential, commercial and industrial HVAC services throughout all of Metro Detroit.

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