With fall here, you know that freezing winter weather cannot be far behind. When it hits, you want to make sure your furnace is up to the task. The last thing you need is a furnace fail on one of those frigid days. Of course, your furnace can go out without warning, but here are a few warning signs that you may need to replace your furnace before winter hits.

  1. Yellow burner flame. We’re putting this one first because it could not only be a sign of malfunctioning, but also of potential danger. A yellow flame could be a sign of leaking gas and/or potentially lethal carbon monoxide. Get this taken care of right away!
  2. Old age. A furnace should last about 15 years. It might last longer if you’ve taken good care of it and maybe less if you haven’t.  Even if your furnace seems to be running smoothly, if it has hit that age you may want to consider a new unit.
  3. Your house is not warm enough. If your house is not as warm as it should be, or if rooms are heating unevenly, this could mean the furnace is not generating warm air. This could be signs your furnace is on its last legs. 
  4. Weak air flow. Similarly, if the air coming out of your vents is hot, but not coming out strong, that could be a sign of a failing blower motor.  On a new unit, the repair may be justified, but not on an older unit.
  5. Rising energy bills. If your heating bills are going up, that could be another sign that your heating system is not functioning as efficiently as it used to. While a new furnace is a substantial investment, over time the energy savings from a newer, more efficient unit should recoup that investment.
  6. Frequent repairs. If you are repairing your furnace more frequently, and if those furnace repairs are getting more expensive, it may be time for a new heating system. If the repair costs in the last two years are more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace, get a new one.
  7. Humidity. A properly functioning furnace should keep the air moist. If you notice the air in your home is dry, the furnace could be the problem.
  8. Poor indoor air quality. If you are experiencing more dust, dander, soot, rust, or dirt in your home, that could mean the furnace is not removing airborne particles. Of course, you will also have more dust if you do not change your air filters. But if you do change them, the furnace could be the problem.
  9. Cracks and corrosion. If you are noticing cracks and corrosion in your furnace, that is a clear warning sign that it may be time to retire it.
  10. Strange noises. Some squealing and screeching are expected. But if you are hearing grinding, rattling, popping, or banging sounds, those could be indications of more serious problems that could warrant replacement.
  11. Unpleasant odors.  Similarly, when you turn the furnace on for the first time in a season, you can expect a bit of a musty odor. But if it lingers, that could be a sign you have a problem.
  12. Frequent cycling. If your furnace cycles on and off frequently, or if it never cycles off, it is not working properly.

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

If your electric or gas furnace is getting old or not functioning properly, the technicians at Ravinia Plumbing can help determine whether your existing unit can be fixed, or whether it is time for a new one. We maintain and repair all major brands. We are a licensed distributor of Carrier heating products, and we are an eight-time winner of Carrier’s President’s Award, given to firms that display excellent customer service. 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 Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.