Furnace Repair is one of the most common home repairs, especially when cold weather hits. Most homeowners can handle some of the basic maintenance tasks, but a few key problems should be left to the professionals. Knowing when to call for a professional can prevent a minor problem from turning into a major project.
If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, this is an emergency that requires immediate attention. This could mean a gas leak, which can cause serious health issues for your family. Carbon monoxide detectors are designed to detect low levels of carbon monoxide and sound an alarm. If yours sounds and alarm goes off, shut off your furnace immediately and call a technician.
An unattended furnace problem can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, so a leak should always be taken seriously. Carbon monoxide can be dangerous to your family, pets and even plants. Luckily, this is a very easy issue to fix by turning off your gas. Then, open a window and turn on a fan to clear out the fumes. You can also use a fire extinguisher if needed.
A burning smell is another indication that your gas heater is leaking. This may be a sign that the burner isn’t running properly, or that the pilot light has been extinguished. This is a dangerous situation that should only be repaired by a qualified professional.
If you hear scraping, thumping, banging or other strange noises coming from your furnace, it is probably time for an inspection. These sounds may be caused by loose panel or belt, which need to be tightened or replaced. They may also indicate a broken motor or limit switch, which should only be repaired by a professional.
Another common problem is a frequently cycling furnace. This may be a sign that your thermostat is set incorrectly or that you have a dirty filter or low airflow. It could also be a sign of a cracked heat exchanger, which is a dangerous issue that should only be repaired by a professional.
Lastly, an unusually high utility bill could be a sign that your furnace is overworking to keep up with your heating needs. This is a sign that your thermostat is set too high, or that you have a clogged filter or that the airflow in your home is poor. A professional can help you identify the root of the problem and determine whether it is an easy or complicated fix.
Keeping up with regular maintenance and having your system inspected regularly by a qualified professional can help you avoid most major furnace problems, including the ones listed above. It is important to know what your furnace’s maintenance schedule is, and how often you should replace your filters. Getting your furnace inspected and repaired as necessary can prevent costly repairs and keep it in good working condition for a longer period of time. If your furnace is older than 15 to 30 years, though, it’s likely time to consider replacing it.