Signs To Look Out For To Know Your Furnace May Need To Be Replaced
Furnaces rarely just quit with no signs of impending failure. Being able to spot these signs can help homeowners know when to repair them and when to replace them. Here is a look at some of the indications that a furnace is on borrowed time.
When does a furnace need to be replaced? Determining how close a furnace is to failure can be tricky, but some issues are easier to diagnose than others.
Below are some of the warning signs that a homeowner will soon need to invest in a new furnace.
Frequent Starting and Stopping
If a furnace starts and stops constantly, this could be a sign that it’s on its way out. The term for this problem is short cycling, and it can occur because the unit is getting too hot.
Overheating can occur because the filters are clogged and dust is accumulating inside the unit. A bad flame sensor or blocked exhaust vents can also cause a furnace to short cycle. Short cycling can also occur if the furnace is too large. An oversized furnace will get the home warm too quickly, leading to the problem of the cycles being too short.
Condensation on Windows
Window condensation is usually caused by the temperature difference between a home’s interior and the outdoors. While the moisture can be caused by older single-pane windows, it may also point to a malfunctioning furnace.
The combustion process in a furnace produces water vapor as a byproduct. If that water vapor begins to accumulate on windows, it means that the furnace is not venting as well as it should be. If it was venting correctly, that water vapor would be sent outside.
Most furnaces have a lifespan in the 15- to 30-year range. If a furnace is more than 15 years old, it should be replaced, according to energystar.gov (https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/heating_cooling/replace). This is so even if it is showing none of the symptoms above.
Aside from the increased likelihood of it breaking down, something that homeowners have to worry about is its efficiency. Older furnaces simply aren’t that efficient. Technology has come a long way in the last two decades. Even when it was new, a furnace from 15 or 20 years ago wouldn’t be as efficient as today’s furnaces.
Furnace Flame Color
The flame in a furnace should be a steady blue. Yellow is an indication that the mix of gas and oxygen might be wrong, which means that the furnace might be putting out carbon monoxide, a potentially deadly gas.
Higher Utility Costs
A failing furnace might cause utility bills to spike. The furnace may have to work extra hard to keep a home at a comfortable temperature. Similarly, an oversized furnace can lead to excessively high costs. In both cases, replacing the unit will be the best way to lower bills.
If a furnace shows any of these signs, the homeowner should have it inspected by an HVAC professional. If the contractor determines that the furnace is about to stop working, they will also guide the homeowner in selecting a replacement.