Signs of a Malfunctioning Furnace

A faulty furnace can lead to serious consequences. That's why it is recommended that you have your furnace cleaned and inspected every year. A furnace that is not running properly can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a natural product of incomplete combustion. Almost every furnace produces some amount of carbon monoxide, but a properly running furnace will emit such small amounts that they are carried away by the vent system of the furnace. It's important to know what to look for in regards to furnace problems.

What are common signs that your furnace may be malfunctioning?

  • Scale: Small flakes of rust known as scale can fall on the burners and obstruct the gas flow. As time goes on, this can damage your furnace by harboring moisture and causing rust to form on a larger scale. If you see any of these rust flakes on the bottom of the furnace housing you should clean them away. The solution for this is to have a service technician take out the burners and clean them.
  • Grinding/Chattering Sounds: A furnace that is making sounds or banging could indicate serious issues. Any mysterious noise should be evaluated by a service technician. 
  • Rising heating costs: This can be a good indication that you have a problem that can lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless and can potentially kill you if it is concentrated too much. Carbon monoxide detectors should indicate if your furnace is emitting too much carbon monoxide. 
  • Yellow Flame: Your furnace flame should always be blue. If your flame is yellow, then there is dirt in the burner.
  • Dusty Smell: A dry, dusty smell that results after turning your thermostat up is an indication of a smaller problem that can typically be handled by you. This smell means that your furnace is burning dust out of the combustion chamber. The simple solution is to change the filter.
  • Frequent repairs: This is a good sign that your furnace may be reaching the end of its life. Instead of being faced with more expensive repair bills, you may consider a new furnace. 

Recognizing potential problems with your furnace can be paramount to suffering through a night without heat because your furnace went out in the middle of the night. In addition, it can cause serious hazards to health and safety. It's important to have your furnace checked regularly by a professional HVAC technician. Regular maintenance can prevent many potential furnace problems.

Have a broken furnace? Contact Mr. Furnace for all of your furnace concerns.

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