As temperatures continue dropping in Indiana, many homeowners may wonder if their furnace will last them for the whole season. After all, it’s been nearly half a year since they started using their heaters consistently again, so we understand the concern.
We don’t recommend gambling on it, though! A quick maintenance check can easily uncover some hidden issues, many of which aren’t listed in this article. As for some of the more obvious signs that you can look into right now, you can look for:
Time sure flies! We don’t always think of the age of our HVAC equipment—it’s not as if we plan birthday parties for them—so it can be easy to lose track of time. However, age is an indicator that can explain a lot of imperfections in your heating system. Increased energy bills, slower heating capabilities, and other problems suddenly make a lot more sense if the system is getting near its expiration date.
Cracked Heat Exchanger
Although we don’t recommend doing your own HVAC maintenance or inspection on your heater, we would advise you to keep an eye on your heat exchanger. This is the component of your heater that generates the heat! The pilot light certainly does that too, but the heat exchanger is what converts that energy into hot air to be dispersed through your home.
If the heat exchanger is cracked or damaged in any way, it can become a serious hazard, leading to carbon monoxide leaks or other dangers. It’s not a bad idea to check on the exchanger every now and then (but be careful—just because everything looks fine doesn’t mean it is! We still recommend regular maintenance checks to make up for that fact).
Yellow Pilot Light Flame
While you’re there, take a look at your pilot light’s flame. A healthy flame will be blue, with maybe a little bit of orange at the tip. If it’s mostly yellow or orange, however, you’ve got some big problems. We recommend calling in for furnace repairs in Fort Wayne, IN immediately.
There are a few different reasons for it, and none of them good for your furnace and your safety. Too much gas is one possibility, and that indicates defective or worn down parts that need to be replaced. It could also be due to too little air, which needs to be adjusted by a professional to find the right balance. And finally, there may be dirt in the burner, indicating that you need general maintenance to clean up all parts of the system.
While not technically a furnace issue, it’s one we try to remind homeowners about from time to time—simply because it’s so easy to forget about. Thermostats do their jobs without much complaint, as they should, since they have very few moving parts. However, since it’s the thermostat that tells the furnace how to behave, it’s a big problem if it’s not working properly. Make sure it’s not dialed into any strange settings like “fan only mode,” and remove the front panel to clean off any dust. If you still suspect treachery from your thermostat, it might just be time to replace it.