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6 Signs that it’s Time to Replace Your Furnace

No matter how well you treat your furnace, eventually it’s going to be time to replace it. It’s never fun, but in order to keep your family safe, your home warm and your heating bill down, the old one has got to go. Get ahead of the game and watch out for common signs that your furnace is going out. 

6 Signs your furnace is going bad

According to Family Handyman, there are quite a few issues that will begin to arise when it’s time to replace your furnace.

1. Short Cycling

Pick HVAC states that short cycling is when your furnace cycle kicks on and off frequently. This means that it doesn’t run for very long and then it kicks back on shortly after. This could be happening because:

  • Your flame sensor has gone bad.
  • The furnace filter is dirty.
  • Heat grates are blocked.
  • The thermostat was incorrectly placed.
  • You have the incorrect furnace size for your home.

Short cycling is very dangerous and can mean that it’s time to replace your furnace. However, it will save you a lot of money to explore these common problems first before making the replacement. 

2. Flame Color of Your Burner

Family Handyman also tells readers to check the color of the flame when your furnace kicks on. Some natural gas burning furnaces will require you to open up the service door, but some models have a peep hole. HVAC states that the color of the flame should predominantly be blue. When your flame turns yellow, orange or red, this can indicate a few different issues:

  • Dirt in the burner (clean your own burner)
  • Poor oxygen-to-gas combination
  • Incomplete combustion (causing too much gas to be left unburned)
  • Moisture

When your furnace’s flame isn’t running blue, it can cause too much carbon monoxide to build up in your home, which is very dangerous. Getting an annual furnace check can tell you if you need to get one of the above issues fixed or if it’s time for a new furnace. 

3. Excess Moisture

When your furnace isn’t running properly, moisture can start to build up on the inside of your windows and walls. This can also be a sign that there’s improper ventilation throughout your HVAC system. Either way, if you notice moisture starting to build up, it’s time to get a professional out to your home.

4. Noise

Most furnaces will make a little bit of noise while they run. When you start experiencing loud rattling, it’s likely due to your furnace’s insides falling apart. It might just need a few repairs, but it can also mean that your furnace is on the fritz. When the sounds of your furnace stop abruptly, leaving you in uncomfortable silence, this can be a big warning sign of a serious underlying issue.

5. Age

Most furnaces will stop working after about 20 years. Once you’ve had your furnace for about 15 years or more, it might be time to consider replacing it. New furnaces will work much more efficiently, saving you money on your heating bill all winter. Not only that, but it is much more inconvenient to replace a broken furnace than one that’s still running and heating your home. 

6. Carbon Monoxide poisoning

When your furnace isn’t working properly, a number of issues can lead to a carbon monoxide leak in your house. This can “include nausea, headaches, dizziness, and flu-like symptoms.” Another serious sign is you’re beginning to hallucinate – you’re seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there, often leaving people believing that their house is haunted.

Keep yourself safe from carbon monoxide by:

  • Installing a carbon monoxide sensor in your home.
  • Ensuring your carbon monoxide sensor is working properly.
  • Keeping an eye out for a rusting flue pipe.
  • Keeping an eye on your furnace’s flame for proper combustion throughout winter.

If you begin to experience any of the above symptoms, or your sensor starts going off, turn off any combustible appliances,  exit your house to find fresh air immediately and have your home serviced by a professional before re-entering. 

Furnace maintenance and replacement is serious business and isn’t something that can be put off. Contact us to get an HVAC professional out to your home to service your furnace before winter sets in and find out if it’s time for a replacement.