How to Know When Your Home's Furnace Needs Repair or Maintenance Work

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When you turn on the heat to your home and no warm air comes out of the vents, of course your home's furnace needs some type of repair or maintenance work. However, not all signs of needed work are so obvious, and no matter the failure on the part of the furnace, you might want to know beforehand what type of repair work you're facing. This can help you to talk to a repairperson when you call for an appointment and to know what bill to expect as well. Note the following signs of needed heating repair work and common problems a home furnace might face.

1. When the air smells burnt or you smell anything burning

The air that gets pushed through your home's vents will be very dry and recently heated, so it's not unusual for it to have something of a distinct smell. However, if it smells very burnt or you can smell something burning every time the furnace kicks on, you may want to call a repairperson or check the furnace yourself. If the filter is very dirty, replace it; this accumulated dust and dirt in the filter can actually singe as warm, dry air passes over it. You may also want to have the ductwork in your home checked to note how dirty it is; the ducts too can allow for dust and dirt to accumulate and these can get singed by the warm, dry air of the furnace.

2. Excessive noise

Very often excessive noise from your furnace is from airflow reduction; this can be caused by dirty vents in the home or a blower that is breaking down. As the furnace works harder to push air through the home's vents, it may rattle or shake and in turn, produce excessive noise. If the burner is clogged this too can cause the furnace to shake or pound as it tries to switch on. Even if your home is still getting warm air, have this excessive noise checked by a repairperson as soon as possible, to avoid added wear and tear on the unit.

3. Constant power outages

If your electric furnace constantly switches off, the circuit may need rewiring so that the wires can handle the amount of power demanded by the furnace. If it's a gas furnace that consistently needs the pilot light relit, the furnace may have a draft that blows it out or the light area may have a clog so that it doesn't get a continuous flow of gas. Have this checked so that your home doesn't have an accumulation of gas from an unlit pilot light.