Picture this—it’s February in Maryland. You wake up in the middle of the night to grab a glass of water, and you realize your home is freezing cold. The thermostat reads 58 degrees! Not only is your house cold, but the worst part is you’ll have to wait until the morning to call your local HVAC contractor.
This entire situation may have been avoided with an annual furnace tune-up back in the fall. Most homeowners choose to skip their annual furnace maintenance service because their unit has never broken down before, and they think it’s invincible. However, as the years pass, your furnace will begin to deteriorate. This can be prevented with professional maintenance services.
Our HVAC experts have compiled a list of ten signs your furnace needs repairs or maintenance. If you notice that your furnace is showing any of these symptoms, take immediate action.
10 Signs You Need a Tune-Up for Your Furnace
Furnaces are complex devices that have a lot of moving parts, components, and connections. If you don’t take care of them properly, you may find yourself replacing the entire system earlier than you ever intended. That’s why, when problems arise, instead of attempting DIY furnace maintenance, it’s beneficial to reach out to professionals who know how to tune up a furnace.
1. There’s No Heat
Perhaps one of the most obvious signs your furnace is going out is if there is no heat flowing through your ductwork and coming out of your registers. Regular maintenance and prompt troubleshooting can help address these issues before they escalate, ensuring your furnace operates efficiently throughout its lifespan. If needed, enlist in furnace repairs from experienced technicians.
2. Your Energy Bills Rise
If you notice your energy bills are increasing each month after turning on your furnace for the season, chances are your heating system is not running at its peak efficiency. A furnace tune-up will ensure all of the components are secure and working properly so your unit will operate as it should.
3. Your Furnace Smells
If you have a gas furnace, it’s normal to expect a faint smell of burnt fuel. But, if the smell is overwhelming or stronger in rooms closer to your furnace, you need a furnace tune-up. If your home smells like rotten eggs or unburnt gas, you need to have your system looked at immediately–before anything hazardous happens.
4. You Hear Loud Banging Noises
Your furnace won’t operate silently. That’s a given. However, if you hear any loud noises, like bangs, cracking, or popping, it means that components, like the blower motor, need to be cleaned, repaired, or replaced.
5. Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off
A sign that you need an immediate heater tune-up is if your carbon monoxide detector goes off. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be fatal if inhaled in excessive amounts. If the carbon monoxide detector is activated in your home, it suggests that your furnace may not be burning fuel completely.
In such a situation, it is crucial to take immediate action. Shut off all gas appliances, including your furnace, open the windows in your home, and promptly contact the fire department. Once your home is declared clear for re-entry, get in touch with an HVAC contractor to diagnose and repair any issues with your furnace.
6. Your Thermostat Readings Are Inaccurate
When you’re cold in your home, the first thing you may do is crank up your thermostat. However, if your thermostat isn’t staying at the temperature you set it at, it’s best to have a technician examine both your furnace and thermostat to find the root cause of the problem.
7. Your Pilot Light Is Yellow or Orange
A blue pilot light is a surefire solution if you’re wondering how to know if your furnace is working properly. If you notice your furnace’s pilot light is yellow or orange, there is definitely something wrong. Turn to a heating specialist to fix the issue.
8. Your Furnace Is Old
As your furnace ages, the need for furnace maintenance becomes more important. The average lifespan of a furnace is ten to 20 years. If your unit is beyond ten years old, it’s vital to have it inspected and maintained every year so it can last as long as possible.
9. Your Furnace Has Needed Frequent Repairs
If you have had your furnace repaired more than once in the past two years, it needs to be taken care of better. Frequent repairs mean that your unit is heavily malfunctioning. Annual maintenance will nip these problems in the bud and enhance your furnace’s efficiency.
10. Your Furnace Turns On and Off Constantly
If your furnace turns on briefly and then shuts off, it’s a sign you need a tune-up. This issue could be due to problems like faulty wiring, a fixed fan motor, or a malfunctioning thermostat.
Benefits of Furnace Tune-Ups
Make sure to include furnace tune-ups on your annual fall and winter maintenance checklist, as it will provide you with numerous benefits. Regularly servicing your unit will lead to a longer lifespan, more efficient operation, and other perks, including:
- Improved Airflow
- Improved Indoor Air Quality
- Fewer Repairs
- Reduced Repair Costs
- Improved Energy Efficiency
- Upheld Manufacturer’s Warranty
Now that you know the many signs of needing a tune-up for your furnace, it’s time to have maintenance performed. Our skilled technicians at GAC Services are dedicated to helping you keep your furnace safe and operable. When you need furnace maintenance in Howard County, Montgomery County, or Frederick County, Maryland, contact us to schedule an appointment.
To save money every year, join our priority maintenance program and receive annual maintenance, discounts on repairs, and other cost-effective perks.
Do you have a heat pump and are wondering the best time for a tune-up? Our team is here to help you as well.