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Subtle Signs of Trouble with a Furnace

checklist-homeHow do you know when it’s time to call in technicians for a furnace repair? When the system won’t turn on, of course. If it has nothing to do with the circuit breaker (or blown fuse), the thermostat batteries, or the settings on the thermostat, it’s something you’ll need an expert to fix for you.

However, many furnaces show signs of breaking down long before they ever turn off completely. It’s important that you know the subtler signs of a furnace breaking down, so that you can schedule repairs before you’re stuck without heat on a cold night. Besides, it typically costs less to fix a furnace that is still working than one that has completely broken down! Pay attention to these signs of trouble.

Shorter, More Frequent Cycles

The furnace should not run all day and all night, never once shutting off, no matter how cold it is outside. Rather, it runs in cycles, shutting off for a time until temperatures drop again, at which point it turns back on. These cycles maximize the efficiency of a furnace and keep it from being overworked.

However, there’s such a thing as a furnace cycling too frequently, as well. If the furnace is running in quick cycles that barely heat the home, this is called short cycling. A short-cycling furnace may be the wrong size for a home, in which case it needs replacement. The upside is that this might be caused by a dirty filter or a couple of closed vents.

If there’s not a simple solution, though, you should call in professionals right away. The sooner they can resolve issues with the blower fan or safety switches, the less likely your system will be to break down when you really need it.

Inaccurate Temperatures

It might not seem like too big of a deal to you when temperatures are not quite as high as you’d like. After all, you’ve got warm clothes and a blanket for heat, and you can stand it. However, this might be a sign of impending failure for your furnace. If it struggles to reach the temperature on the thermostat, it’s more likely due to an inner component, like the ignition or fan motor, than with the thermostat itself, and this should be repaired ASAP.

A Squeaking or Squealing Noise

Subtle noises within a furnace are often signs of not so subtle damage within the system. The squeaking or squealing you hear as the fan moves may not seem like such a big deal to you, but once the fan gives out and the furnace stops working, you will see why you should have paid attention. This may only mean a fan belt is loose or the motor needs lubrication, but it’s better to get the problem taken care of now than to wait until the system doesn’t work at all.

A Sudden Bang or Pop

If the furnace is near your living space, it won’t exactly be a “subtle” sound. However, if the furnace is far from where you spend your days, it may not seem like a huge deal. After the noise occurs, the furnace may deliver heat just as reliably as ever, after all.

This is often the result of something simple: some dirt has built up on the furnace burners. The problem is that this dirt can cause the furnace to struggle to startup, resulting in a gas buildup that creates a mini explosion once the burners finally light. That can rattle the heat exchanger and cause it to crack, which could leak toxic carbon monoxide into your home.

Schedule heating repair in Broomall, PA with your local experts at Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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