Live in Chicago? Your Furnace is Important-How to Spot a Malfunctioning Furnace
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Live in Chicago? Your Furnace is Important-How to Spot a Malfunctioning Furnace

  • Categories: Heating
  • Date: October 3, 2017
Live in Chicago? Your Furnace is Important-How to Spot a Malfunctioning Furnace


If you live in or around Chicago, you already know how harsh the winters can be here. Having a fully-functional heating system is essential, as is knowing how to spot problems. Here are some telltale signs that will let you know your unit is malfunctioning.

#1. There’s low airflow coming out of your vents

A furnace that is straining to work properly often cannot force an adequate amount of air through. As a result, you may notice little or no breeze coming out of your vents. There might also be a burst of air followed by a very light trickle. Setting your thermostat higher will probably make little or no difference, so you will need a technician to help you get to the bottom of things.

#2. Cold air is seeping out of your registers

One thing that’s worse than low airflow is cold air coming out of your vents. It obviously means your unit is not heating air properly before pushing it out. It obviously means your unit is not heating air properly before pushing it out. There are multiple things that can cause this problem, which requires an experienced technician to evaluate and repair. 

#3. You notice a gassy odor

Gas normally has no odor, and therefore cannot be detected. Special chemicals are added to natural gas, allowing you to smell when there is a leak. You may notice a scent similar to rotten eggs, in which case you should seek repairs immediately. Turn off the pilot light at once and evacuate while waiting for a technician to arrive. In the meantime, do not allow any open flames within 50 meters of your home.

#4. Your utility bills are sky high

If your heating costs have skyrocketed yet temperatures are at or near seasonal norms, the problem could be your furnace. Have an inspection performed, even if it appears that everything is working normally. The money you save will more than cover the cost of repairs.

#5. The unit seems to run continuously

An HVAC system is designed to cycle on and off whenever temperatures reach a certain range. If your furnace keeps running regardless, you may have a thermostat issue or problem with airflow. Your home may also become too hot because warm air is constantly blowing. Continuous operation can cause further damage, not to mention a drastic increase in your electric bill.

#6. Your furnace is operating too loudly

A perfectly-operating system will produce a moderate humming noise while it is running. When you hear other clanging, banging, screeching, or thumping noises, this means something is amiss. More often than not, unusual noises come from malfunctioning components, and are an early warning sign that you need repairs. Even if everything appears normal, you should have an inspection performed right away. You risk further damage and might jeopardize the safety of your family by putting off repairs.

These are just a few things that indicate HVAC repairs might be in order; however, this is not an all-inclusive list. You know your system better than anyone, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric
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