Your furnace is bound to get a workout as it keeps you warm through the cold Long Island winters, so now is the time to queue your ears and eyes to signs of trouble to keep it in good working order.
Abnormal noises usually signal that you may need a furnace repair. These trouble signs include:
- A low-pitched rumbling noise that could be caused by dirty gas burners or an improperly adjusted pilot light
- A high-pitched squealing noise that may be caused by a slipped blower belt or shaft bearings that need oil
- Disturbing noises, including banging, clanking or grindingâ€”usually the sign of a delayed ignition.
Don’t assume these noises will simply go away. As legitimate trouble signs, the best way to address them is by hiring a reputable HVAC contractor.
Sometimes, however, problems with your furnace are best diagnosed by a visual inspection. So grab a flashlight and check that:
- The furnace flame is vivid and blue. A yellow flame, by contrast, is a sign of dirt in the burner, which must be professionally cleaned.
- There are no flakes of rust (by-products of burning gas) near the furnaceâ€”a sign that the burners must be cleaned.
A dusty smell can also indicate problems, if you notice an unusual smell as soon as you turn on the heat. A fleeting odor may mean that it’s time to change your furnace filterâ€”a job you can do yourselfâ€”but a lingering odor may mean that a furnace repair might be necessary, and you’ll need to hire a certified furnace professional.
Also be aware of carbon monoxideâ€”an odorless, colorless but toxic gas that, even in its early stages, can cause dizziness, headaches and pain in the ears. If these flu-like symptoms disappear when you leave your home, place an immediate furnace repair call to T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating.
As always, follow the mantra that if something doesn’t sound, look or smell rightâ€”just as with your car or any other piece of machineryâ€”it probably isn’t. Contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating to put your fears to rest and your furnace back in peak working order. Serving the Long Island, Queens, and Brooklyn since 1934.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Furnace icon via Shutterstock.