4 Common Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair and What to Do About It

4 Common Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair and What to Do About It

Winter is fast approaching and it’s crucial to ensure your furnace is in optimal working condition. Nothing can be more unpleasant than a broken furnace during a freezing winter night. But how can you tell if it needs repair? Well, you’re in luck! Here, we will discuss four common signs your furnace might be giving you, hinting it’s time for a repair in Kitchener, Waterloo, or Elmira. 

  • Inconsistent heating
  • Mysterious noises
  • Rising energy bills
  • Unusual odours

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but by keeping an eye out for these issues, you could save your home (and your wallet) from a serious heating problem. What’s even more important is understanding what you should do about them when you spot them. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! 

Prevention is better than cure. Keep your furnace well-maintained and seek professional help at the earliest sign of trouble. Your family’s comfort and safety is worth it.

As we delve into these problems, bear in mind that professional residential and commercial furnace repair services, such as those provided by CJ Brubacher Ltd., are vital for ensuring the equipment is in top shape. Be ready to make that call when needed.

What Are The Common Indicators That A Furnace Needs Immediate Attention?

There are several telltale signs that a repair needs to be prioritized. Being aware of them allows you to address potential issues before they develop into major problems promptly. Here are the four common indications to look out for: 

Inconsistent Heating 

As a homeowner, the first sign to look out for is inconsistent heating. Simply put, this is when some rooms in your home feel warmer than others. Inconsistent heating compromises your comfort and indicates that it is not operating efficiently and may need residential furnace repair

Unusual Noises 

Like many mechanical devices, furniture occasionally produces sounds, such as minor pops or hums. However, if you start noticing strange, uncharacteristic noises like groans, bangs, or whistles, that’s a clear sign that it requires attention. 

Unexpected Rise in Energy Bills 

If you witness a sudden and unexplained spike in your energy bills, it could be a result of your heating system working harder to maintain desired temperature levels in your home. This added strain is often due to underlying issues within the equipment that necessitate a professional’s attention. 

Presence of Unusual Odours 

A functional furnace should not emit any noticeable smells. If you detect a strange scent such as a burning smell or a ‘rotten eggs’ odour lingering around your furnace, it’s a serious issue that needs immediate attention as it could indicate a potential gas leak. 

How Does Inconsistent Heating Indicate A Problem?

Inconsistent heating is often one of the first signs that you might notice indicating a need for repair. This occurs when there is an uneven distribution of heat in your home. For example, you might notice that one room is significantly warmer than another despite both being set to the same temperature. 

If you’re observing uneven heating, it likely points to a problem with your residential or commercial furnace. The issue could be anything from a faulty thermostat to blocked vents, or even a leak in the ductwork. Therefore, it’s crucial to tackle this problem sooner than later to prevent more significant issues down the line. 

What to do about it: 

  1. Firstly, check your thermostat to ensure it’s functioning properly. If the problem persists, your thermostat might need replacement or repair.
  2. Inspect vents for any obstructions and clear them out if necessary. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate within vents, hindering the efficient flow of warm air.
  3. Next, check for any potential leaks in your ductwork. If you find a leak, it’s best to seek assistance from a professional technician to properly seal it, ensuring optimal performance.

What Are The Potential Causes Of Strange Noises Coming From A Furnace?

If you’re a homeowner, a certain amount of noise from your heating system is likely pretty standard for you. After all, it’s just doing its job: heating your home. However, what about those unexpected, strange noises that keep you on your toes? They might vary from a faint humming to banging, popping or screeching. When these sounds become a constant, it’s a clear red flag that something isn’t quite right and that you may be in need of repair. 

But what could be causing these surprising sounds? 

  1. Loose parts – The furnace has an array of moving parts, all of which can loosen over time. This often leads to rattles, knocks, or bangs. Think of it as it’s crying out for a little tune-up. A few minor adjustments by a professional can usually fix this issue. Even small and seemingly trivial noises shouldn’t be ignored – these could be the early signs of more significant issues. 
  2. Motor Problems – High-pitched sounds often indicate blower motor issues. Lubricating the motor or replacing the faulty motor bearings might be necessary, and a professional technician should handle this. Ignoring such noises could worsen the situation, leading to more significant issues and costly repairs. Therefore, responding promptly to motor problems ensures it remains efficient.
  3. Ignition Difficulties – If you hear a loud booming or banging sound, it might be an ignition issue causing gas to build up and “pop” when the ignition finally succeeds. This is a serious problem that requires immediate professional attention. Aside from the startling noise, this sign often leads to inconsistent heating and may cause a significant increase in your energy bills. More worryingly, unchecked ignition issues can also lead to more severe damage, underscoring the necessity of early intervention.
  4. Ductwork Expansion – The furnace heats the metal ducts and causes them to expand, inducing cracking and popping sounds. Although this is normal to some extent, excessive noise could mean that your ducts need some maintenance or insulation. However, when such noises persist or become extremely loud, it might signal a bigger issue requiring professional residential repair. It is imperative to address this promptly to prevent further damage and ensure your home stays comfortably warm.

How Can A Rise In Energy Bills Be Linked To Equipment Issues?

girl reading electrical bill

If your furnace is running efficiently, it should maintain your home’s comfort while keeping energy costs relatively stable. However, any significant hike in your energy bills, especially during the colder months, might signal a need for repair. 

When a residential or commercial furnace becomes faulty or inefficient, it will need to work double-time to produce the same level of heat, thereby consuming more energy. So, if there are sudden and unexplained increases in your energy bills, your furnace might be behind it. Here’s what you can do: 

  1. Check the filter: A dirty or clogged filter forces your heating system to work harder, contributing to inefficiency and higher energy consumption. Regularly cleaning or replacing the filter can help improve its efficiency and lower your energy bills. 
  2. Inspect the thermostat: Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the furnace but the thermostat. Ensure that your thermostat is functioning correctly and set to the right temperature. If it’s not working properly, consider replacing it. 
  3. Contact a professional: If your energy bills remain high despite these steps, it’s time to bring in an expert. Technicians can identify underlying issues and suggest the best course of action for your needs.

What Are The Possible Reasons For Unusual Odours?

One unmistakable sign you may need residential furnace repair is the presence of an unusual odour. It’s normal for it to emit a faint smell when it starts up for the first time each winter; it’s just burning off dust. Yet, if the smell persists or if it’s strong and noticeable, that’s a different story. 

A plastic-burning smell suggests that a part of your furnace may be overheating or that there’s a dangerous electrical issue.  Usually, this requires urgent attention. On the other hand, a rotten egg smell could indicate a gas leak, which is a serious, maybe even life-threatening issue. If you detect this smell, vacate your home immediately and call your local gas company

What Should You Do If Your Furnace Needs Repair?  

It’s important to keep an ear out for strange noises, keep an eye on your energy bill, and be observant for inconsistent heating and odd smells to catch early signs of issues. Early identification and intervention can save you from bigger problems down the line. 

Remember, whether you have a residential or commercial repair need in Kitchener, Waterloo, or Elmira, specialists at CJ Brubacher Ltd. are always equipped and ready to diagnose and fix your heating problems. Acting promptly on warning signs not only safeguards the comfort of your home but ensures the safety of its inhabitants as well during the coldest months of the year. 

So, don’t wait for a total system shutdown. Reach out to CJ Brubacher Ltd. at the earliest sign of difficulty. You can quickly and conveniently request an estimate from their team, who are happy to help. Keep warm, stay safe, and let the professionals handle your furnace repair.