Keeping a furnace in operating condition and as close to peak efficiency as possible is important, but it can be challenging to figure out just when it requires the attention of a qualified professional. If you're worried there might be something wrong with the system in your home or business, these are some of the indicators that there may be trouble.
As a furnace ages, it can be easy to dismiss any noises it might make as due to age. Generally, though, most age-related noises in these systems should not become clearly noticeable if everything is still functioning properly and safely.
A squealing sound from the furnace may be a sign that the blower motor is beginning to fail. Even if the heat output from the system is still consistent, a squealing motor will get louder with time. Also, the motor will eventually fail completely, leaving you without blowing heat. In fact, many setups will shut down if the blower isn't functioning properly.
A furnace repair technician can swap out the motor for between $400 and $600. In some cases, the solution may be as simple as greasing the motor.
Clunking sounds are also a sign of fixable trouble. These usually occur because the cage surrounding the blower motor has gotten loose or fallen off. A furnace repair services provider can either remount the existing one or replace it with a new cage.
One of the bigger concerns is any kind of thumping sound. This is commonly caused by delayed ignition of the gas. Excess gas builds up and it only ignites after a certain point. You should turn the system off immediately and get a professional to look at it.
Smoky or metallic smells from a furnace usually indicate that the blower motor is having trouble. You might merely get a dusty or musty smell from your system when you start your system at the beginning of fall or on a cold day during the summer, and it's not worth getting upset about unless it doesn't go away after a day or two of the heat coming on regularly.
All smells of natural gas should be taken seriously, even if the smell is just faint. In some cases of delayed ignition, gases may build up without producing a pronounced thump. Instead, you'll only get a hint of the unburnt gas after it is pushed through the vents.
Call a furnace repair service for assistance with your furnace.