Signs that your furnace definitely needs to be serviced

By David DeRocco

What to look for so you don’t run into unexpected trouble

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” That seems to be a common attitude of people who don’t see the wisdom of investing in preventative maintenance.

Those are usually the same people needing emergency services when their roof leaks, their plumbing clogs, their electrical shorts out, or even worse, the furnace conks out in mid-February.

To be fair, not everyone knows the tell-tale signs that their HVAC system needs servicing (for those who might not even know what HVAC is, it’s your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system). Your furnace is responsible for the air quality in your home, so it’s important to recognize when something might be going wrong.

“Making sure your furnace is working properly is vital to your comfort and your safety,” said Tracy Burgess, Service Manager at Carleton Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning. “Taking care of any problems before they turn into emergencies is easy if you know what warning signs to look for.”

According to Burgess, there are some simple indicators that you might have an issue with your furnace.

  • It’s making weird noises. A perfectly functioning furnace should be barely audible when working at proper efficiency. If you hear strange banging noises when you turn it on, it could be a sign the burners need cleaning or repair. Whistling sounds could also be an indicator that the fuel supply to the burners is restricted. “Call a professional immediately if you hear such sounds,” said Burgess
  • You smell strange odours. A furnace can produce a bit of a dusty smell when first turned on as dust on the heating elements or in the duct work begins to circulate. However, any strange burning smell like smoke or oil should immediately be addressed. Don’t hesitate to call someone if odours appear.
  • You find it hard to maintain a consistent temperature in your home. Assuming your duct work is properly installed, any inconsistency in temperature throughout the home could indicate that your system may be in need of repairs. Heat loss can also be an issue not related to your actual furnace; poorly insulated walls and windows can make your furnace work overtime and be a root cause of inconsistent temperatures. An HVAC professional can quickly assess such an issue.
  • Your heating bills are growing. Yes, heating prices are constantly on the rise; however, if you notice sudden large increases in your heating bills, book a service call. Your furnace could be operating at an inefficient level, machinery may need replacing, or it could just be a dirty air filter. Let the professionals check your furnace to get it running properly.
  • There’s no heat at all. That’s emergency service time! Whether you’re heating your home with an old furnace or a new high-efficiency one, if it’s not producing adequate heat, you have a problem. It could be something as simple as a thermostat issue. Don’t hesitate to call a professional, as a furnace that isn’t burning properly could generate deadly carbon monoxide.

Always pay attention to your heating and air conditioning system. To book your service, visit Carleton Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning at 150 Industrial Ave, Carleton Place, or online at Call them at 613-257-8282 or 1-866-557-8282.

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