With fall officially here, you know cold weather can’t be far behind. And that means you will need your furnace running. The last thing you want, of course, is for your furnace to conk out on a freezing day. Of course, your furnace can fail at any time without notice, but there are some telltale signs you need a new furnace. Here they are:

  1. Yellow burner flame. A yellow burner flame not only means your furnace is malfunctioning, but it is a potential sign of danger. That yellow flame could be a sign of leaking gas or potentially lethal carbon monoxide.
  2. Your furnace is more than 15 years old. Even if you have taken great care of your furnace, the average expected life is 15 years (less if you have not taken proper care of it). If your furnace has reached that age, and you can afford it, the “better safe than sorry” move would be to buy a new unit.
  3. Your house is not getting warm. If your thermostat is set the same as always but the house is colder, that means your furnace may be nearing the end of its life.
  4. Your home is warming unevenly. If some areas of your home are warmer than other sections, that could also be a sign you need a new furnace.
  5. Weak airflow. If hot air is coming out of your vents, but weakly, that could be a sign of a failing blower motor.
  6. Constant cycling. If your furnace cycles on and off frequently, that could be a sign it is not working properly.
  7. High energy bills. Rising utility costs may mean your furnace is not operating efficiently. If so, it might be time for a new unit.  
  8. Frequent furnace repairs. If you are making more frequent and more expensive repairs to your furnace, that could be a signal you need a new unit. A good rule of thumb: if the furnace repair costs in the last two years are more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace, buy a new furnace.
  9. Air quality is suffering. Furnaces should be forcing clean air into your home. If you notice more dust and other particles appearing, that could be a sign your gas or electric furnace is failing.
  10. Poor humidity. Gas furnaces should also be able to control the humidity in your home, keeping the air moist. If the air in your home is dry, that could be a furnace problem.
  11. Noise. If your furnace or heating system is making unusual noises such as popping, grinding, rattling, or humming, those could be signs your electric or gas furnace may have a crack, leak or other structural issue and should be replaced. Contact an HVAC technician as soon as you notice furnace noises.
  12. Rust, corrosion, and/or cracks. If you visibly notice cracks, corrosion or rust, furnace replacement is necessary.
  13. Odors. The first time you turn your old furnace on in the season, you can expect a somewhat musty odor. But if it lingers, you may have a problem.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Heating Services

Ravinia Plumbing’s HVAC pros can help you determine whether you need a new furnace. We maintain and repair all major furnace brands and are a licensed distributor of Carrier heating products. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.