As winter approaches, it’s very important to have your furnace ready and waiting for the drop in temperature that’s just around the corner. Before the snow flies, it’s important to check whether your furnace is ready for the task ahead, and do what you can to repair it if it’s not. Here are three ways to know your system will need work before the cold weather sets in.
If you’ve lived in your home for several years, you’ve probably become accustomed to the normal sounds of your furnace as it kicks on, shuts off, and cools between cycles. Trust your instincts. If you’re starting to hear things that you don’t recognize, something could be in need of attention. Pinging pipes, hissing sounds, “groans”, and any other strange sound should be taken as a request to call for service.
Signs of Leaking Water
Boilers use a closed system of pipes to transport steam through the house to keep it warm. All these pipes and connections are supposed to be completely watertight with no drips or leaks. If you’re seeing puddles, damp areas, or dripping pipes, contact your plumber, someone like McQuade Heating & Cooling Plumbing & Refrigeration as these small leaks may turn into big leaks. Your lines could have damaged connections or generalized corrosion that pose a very real threat of a major breakdown that damages your home and leaves it very cold, but before that, they’ll also waste a lot of energy and keep your home from being as warm as it should be.
Increased Energy Consumption
In the fall, it can be helpful to review old energy bills. Don’t just look at the dollar figures because your rates may have changed. Instead, get the bill itself and check your actual consumption of gas, fuel oil, or electricity. If you see an increase year over year, there could be problems in your furnace that call for a visit from a technician. Outdated combustion chambers, bad burners, and many other factors can waste energy that should be heating your home but is just raising your bill instead. In addition, these components become more problematic as they near the end of their useful life, meaning you could be on the road to a breakdown.
Getting through winter comfortably and affordably is all about preparation. If your furnace is giving you warning signs that it needs attention, don’t ignore them. Small problems have a bad habit of coming to a head on the coldest nights of the year, so take care of your furnace as soon as you detect an issue.