5 Furnace Warning Signs
The termination dust is creeping down the mountains and winter is right around the corner. Do you know if your furnace is going to make it through the cold Alaskan winter months? Here are some warning signs you need to watch out for and get taken care of to stay snug and warm until spring.
Warning #1: Strange Noises
More than likely your furnace has just started to work harder recently as the temperatures outside have started to drop. If you hear grinding or chattering sounds from the relays that usually means there is an electrical problem. On the other hand, if your burner is huffing, puffing, and banging there is probably a delayed ignition. If it is clunking and bumping, you might have a cracked belt. What is the solution? If it is an unusual noise, figure there is a problem and unless you’re handy, call your technician.
Warning #2: A Yellow Flame
A yellow flame can be a critical problem. In a healthy furnace the flame should be sharp and blue, clean and stable; meaning that the flame is burning as purely as possible. Dirt in the burner is the most common cause of a yellow flame, and it prevents the gas and air from mixing properly. A call to a technician for cleaning and evaluation is needed to fix that problem.
Warning #3: Dusty Smell
This time of year it is common to smell a dry or dusty smell as our furnaces begin to kick on for the first time in months. This isn’t usually something you have to worry about since it is just the dust burning out of the combustion chamber. But you can change your filter if the smell bothers you. Please be aware, if the smell continues, you do need to call a technician. If you smell gas, call your utility company immediately.
Warning #4: Carbon Monoxide
The unnerving of carbon monoxide is that it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and can kill you! It is critical to have carbon monoxide detectors in your home and to check them regularly. Your furnace can put off carbon monoxide if there is a lack of oxygen or a disruption in the fuel-burning process. Remember your furnace needs to breathe, just like you do. It is vital to provide good ventilation for your unit and make sure the area around it is clean and free of obstructions.
Warning #5: Furnace Age
Older furnaces require constant, close monitoring. While some machines will make it 20 years and some give out after just 8, any unit over ten years is usually considered an “old furnace.” Speak to your technician for more details on the needs of your particular furnace and the maintenance required.