Getting prepared for the unpredictable weather is something that should be on every homeowner’s fall and winter checklists.
Turning on your furnace after a long break can cause some anxiety, as you may not be sure if it will work properly or if you’ll need to schedule a tune-up with a furnace repair Silver Spring MD technician.
How do you know if it’s time to schedule furnace repair? Below are some of the warning signs that it’s time to call a heating repair technician immediately.
1. Uneven Heating
If you begin to notice that some rooms feel warmer than others, it’s a sign that your furnace needs a tune-up. Some of the causes of uneven heating include a blockage in the vents. The ductwork in your furnace can also degrade over time, leading to changes in airflow.
Unfortunately, reduced airflow can lead to other issues and be costly to repair in the long run. An HVAC technician can check if your ductwork needs repair, resealing, or if some sections need to be replaced.
2. Long Furnace Runtime
If you have noticed that your furnace is running longer than it used to, that could indicate some issues. For example, the heat exchanger in your furnace can accumulate soot, dirt, and other debris over time. That causes your furnace to work harder, which translates to the furnace running longer to heat your home. Cleaning the heat exchanger can help address this problem.
What’s more, improper sizing can also contribute to longer runtimes. Purchasing a furnace that’s too small for your home means that your furnace will need to run longer for it to effectively heat your home. Your furnace will also need regular repairs, which will cost you more over time.
3. Strange and Unusual Noises
If your furnace is producing popping, rattling, squealing or grinding sounds, your furnace needs to be serviced. A functional furnace should be fairly quiet while running. You should have it checked by a qualified HVAC technician to prevent any issues that could be more costly to fix.
4. Short Cycling
Short cycling occurs when your furnace turns on and off rapidly without running a full cycle. A furnace that’s short cycling could indicate several issues. Sometimes the flame sensor accumulates a lot of soot, which means it can no longer tell when the burners are off or lit. That can lead to short cycling.
Soot can also clog your burner and prevent it from lighting. When that happens, the flame sensor shuts down the gas valve and the furnace short cycles. Having a furnace that’s too big for your home means that it will struggle to not overheat your home. This can also lead to short cycling.
5. Abnormal Odors
If you notice the smell of something burning when you switch on your furnace, that could be due to an overheated blower motor or dirt buildup in the heat exchanger.
A musty smell shows that moisture could be collecting somewhere inside the furnace, which can lead to the growth of mold or mildew. Abnormal furnace smells are also a sign of poor combustion.
Scheduling a furnace tune-up is something most homeowners forget to do until it’s too late. However, it’s recommended to have an HVAC technician check your furnace before the start of the cold season. Routine tune-ups and maintenance can reduce the need for heavy repairs.
Uneven heating, rising energy bills, unusual sounds, abnormal smells, and water leaks are all signs that your furnace might need repair. Get in touch with an HVAC technician for furnace repair services or to schedule a routine check-up.