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Using Your Senses to Detect a Furnace Problem

Winter is here in full force! During this time of year, it’s likely that you are using your gas furnace daily to keep your home warm and cozy. During this time, it would be especially inconvenient if your heating system were to fail. Because your furnace is so essential for keeping your home comfortable and safe for your family, you want to be aware of how well its working at all time. You certainly feel the cold when your furnace malfunctions, but have you ever thought about how it may trigger your other senses?

Knowing the signs may help you detect an issue with your furnace before it breaks down completely. Here are a few other ways that you may be able to detect warning signals from your furnace:

Hear

Your furnace may hum from time to time, and that’s completely normal; even the newest models aren’t entirely silent. Louder, abnormal sounds are more of a cause for concern. If you hear any bangs, groans, or whistles, you should have your furnace professionally inspected. A piece in your furnace may have become loose or detached. If its left to rattle around inside, it can cause further damage that will put a dent in your wallet.

See

The color of your pilot light is one of the most important things to keep an eye out for. It should be visible on your furnace, and you should check it frequently. If you can see a blue flame, that means you are in the clear! This is an indication that the gases in your furnace are equal. If you ever see that the pilot light is yellow, it’s a sign that something is seriously wrong. If the gases become unbalanced, your furnace may be leaking carbon monoxide into your home. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal, so you should always keep an eye on your pilot light for warning signs. You should also have detectors to alarm you if it’s ever present in your home!

Smell

The only time you should ever smell your furnace is during the first or second time your turn it on for the season. Smelling gas or oil after a few consecutive uses is a serious sign that something isn’t right with your furnace, and you should contact a professional as soon as possible. This could be a potentially hazardous situation if not addressed immediately.  

Touch

Reach out and grab that electric bill! Seeing a price increase on your electric bill is one of he most obvious signs that your furnace isn’t working properly. If your heating system has a leak somewhere or your furnace is no longer running efficiently, it will require more electricity to function. Contact an HVAC specialist as soon as possible for an inspection or maintenance. If your furnace is considerably old, outdated, or damaged, you should seriously consider replacement. After upgrading, you will save money in the long run due to the efficiency of your new home heating system.

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