Have you ever turned on your furnace for the first time of the season, and smelled something burning? A lot of people do, and they think that something is actually wrong with their furnace. Not to worry, though. That’s typically nothing to worry about. Most of the time, that’s actually the smell of the dust particles that have built up in the furnace over the year burning away as the system starts up. After a few hours of operation, that smell should go away. However, there are plenty of other symptoms of furnace issues that you absolutely should take seriously. Read on to find out more about these signs.
One of the first signs that your furnace is experiencing some sort of problem might be the presence of odd noises during operation. What kind of problem the system is experiencing, and how significant the problem is, will depend on the noise. For example, a loud grinding sound while the furnace is on could mean that the air handler motor needs to have its bearings replaced. The bearings serve to lessen friction on the system while it’s running, and as they fail the system will be placed under more stress. If the bearings are not replaced, the air handler motor will eventually overheat and burn out completely. You don’t want that to happen, as an air handler motor is a lot more expensive to replace than the bearings inside it.
Another common problem noise is a loud booming when the furnace first turns on. If you hear this noise, it’s probably because the burner assembly is becoming clogged. Clogged burner assemblies ignite later than they should, burning through a lot of excess gas at once. That’s what creates the booming sound. Professional cleaning should remedy that situation for you.
When your furnace turns itself on and off every couple of minutes, it’s called short cycling. This behavior is incredibly damaging to the furnace, because it accelerates the rate at which the system accumulates wear and tear. Short cycling that is allowed to continue for a long period of time will make it more likely for the furnace to break down in various ways. If it goes for long enough without being treated, it can even shorten the lifespan of the system by years. So, make sure that you call for repairs for your furnace if you notice it short cycling.
If your furnace isn’t putting out as much heat as it should be, you might want to have a professional check it out for you. Low output can occur for a few different reasons, from something as mild as a clogged air filter to something as serious as a blockage in the gas line. You’re going to need to have a professional check out the system to determine for certain what the problem is, so make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice this happening.