Winters can be extremely harsh in some regions. From chilly winds and rainfalls to snowstorms, you need a functional furnace to stay warm during the freezing winter season. As one of the most important appliances, the furnace needs proper maintenance to create a comfortable environment at home. However, like any other appliance, a furnace also has a specific lifespan. Either due to age or poor maintenance, the furnace may stop functioning suddenly, leaving you shivering in cold. It can be frustrating to find that your furnace has stopped working in the middle of the night when it’s snowing outside. A failed furnace leaves your home without heat. However, it’s possible to avoid this inconvenience by identifying some early signs of a furnace malfunction.
How to know it’s time to replace the furnace?
Your furnace has served you well for years before it starts creating problems. Every appliance faces some ups and downs and occasionally needs repair and maintenance. However, for the most part, it keeps doing the job of keeping your space warm and comfortable. The best furnaces have a lifespan between 15 to 25 years. So, if your unit is less than a decade old, it’s less likely that you need a replacement any time soon. But if the furnace has completed more than 15 years, you might have started noticing some issues. The furnace shows some signs that indicate it’s possibly on its last leg. So, if your furnace is struggling to warm the place, it’s time to either repair or replaces it. The furnace starts showing some warning signs before complete breakdown. If your furnace is showing any of the following signs, make sure to get it checked and replace it if needed.
- Increased Energy Bills
If lately, your energy bills have gone up, possibly your furnace is consuming more energy than usual. Furnaces like other appliances consume electricity and the efficiency of this unit directly impacts your energy consumption. During the winter season, utility bills usually go up due to increased heating costs. However, you should scrutinize your monthly energy bills and figure out if it’s unusually high than last winter season. If you’re paying much more than last year, possibly your furnace is malfunctioning. New or properly maintained appliances that work at peak efficiency levels tend to consume less energy. But as the furnace gets old or damaged, it has to work harder and needs more energy.
- Reduced Performance
When a furnace is nearing the end of its life, its efficiency declines. Several factors determine the performance of your furnaces such as age, maintenance, usage, and more. Due to any reason, the furnace may fail to heat your home. If some areas of your home are colder than the rest, it means the furnace is unevenly heating. Whether your home isn’t warm enough or you notice uneven heating, it could be a sign of a failing furnace. Poor performance is the most obvious sign of malfunction. It could be due to air leaks or a malfunctioning thermostat. Make sure you get the furnace checked to identify the exact cause of the problem.
- Odd Sounds or Unusual Smells
Most homeowners never take a close look at the furnace. Many times, you can easily find there’s something wrong if you simply stand near the furnace. An odd noise or signs of wear and tear like cracks and corrosion can tell a lot about the condition of the furnace. If you hear a squealing and screeching sound, possibly the blower may need adjustment. Some loud noises like grinding or banging often indicate a serious problem and you might need repair or replacement. Besides sound, if you smell something odd in the furnace room, get the unit checked and install a new furnace, if needed.