Four Subtle Signs Of A Failing Or Damaged Furnace

Not all signs of furnace problems and failure are immediately apparent. Some sounds, smells, and operating behaviors can point to issues that are growing serious even if your furnace still seems to be running and heating normally. If you notice any of these signs, your furnace likely needs repairs before it experiences or causes any damage.

Strange Odors from Ducts

Some smells from your ducts are very normal. If you haven't run your furnace in a long while, a slight burning smell is normal due to dust and other debris that may have collected. If this burning smell is consistent, however, and if it smells like metal or plastic, this often points to a problem like a blower motor that is overheating or electrical wires that are melting.

Likewise, if you notice smells like those of rotten eggs or socks, this could mean that gas that should be filtered outside your home is instead coming through your ducts. This can be dangerous to inhale and should be fixed quickly; an HVAC technician can often do this by replacing or clearing a vent that ordinarily filters these gases outside your home.

Strange Sounds

Any new sounds you notice when your furnace is running, even if they aren't loud or constant, should be given serious attention. For example, if you start hearing a banging sound every time your furnace turns on, this may not just be your ducts; it could be that gas is building up in your furnace with a greater delay before it is ignited. This causes louder bangs the more gas builds up before it is properly ignited, which can eventually start to cause serious damage to your furnace.

In other cases, whining, shrieking, or grinding sounds could indicate problems with your fan motor or with a belt that needs to be replaced. If the cause of these sounds is addressed quickly, you can avoid much more serious problems later on.

Frequently Tripping Circuit

A circuit breaker that trips on rare occasions isn't usually a cause for alarm. If the circuit your heater is installed on has started tripping more often and more regularly, however, this often points to a serious electrical issue that needs to be repaired immediately before your furnace is used again. Electrical issues can lead to serious damage if an electrical fire starts, and beyond the risk of damage to your home, these issues can also damage expensive and complex components in your furnace itself, which can lead to more extensive repairs.

Furnace Keeps Shutting Off

If you don't appear to have any electrical issues but notice that your heater keeps turning off earlier than it should, this could point to a problem with your flame sensor. Your flame sensor recognizes when a flame is running and keeps the gas supply open. If this sensor is damaged or dirty, it won't detect the flame even when it's on and will shut off the gas supply. This helps keep your home safe by preventing a buildup of gas, but will prevent your furnace from running long enough in the meantime. This component can often be cleaned, repaired, or replaced by a professional.

For more information, reach out to a company such as Powder  River Heating &  Air Conditioning Inc