Brr! You feel a slight breeze in your home that chills your spine enough to make you wonder about your heating system. Your home is not as comfortable as it usually is, but is this cause for concern?
A broken heater can occur at any point in time and is more likely to happen to units that have not been maintained or serviced regularly. If you fail to take care of your heating system, you’ll be repairing or replacing it before its intended lifespan.
How do you know if you have a broken heater? The best way to find out is by calling a professional HVAC technician and searching for seven signs. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Filter Problems
A common reason for a broken heater is problems with the filter. If you don’t change the filter every month, it can cause you to have to replace your heating system sooner than later. These are other times to change the filter:
- When you can’t see light shine through it
- A dirty smell comes from the vents
- There is dust around the vents and furnace
The filter helps the furnace blower by preventing debris from getting into it. To change the filter, turn the heater off so that air isn’t coming through the vents.
Be mindful of the position you put the filter in as it can only catch debris from one direction. The filter cannot complete its job when put in backward.
2. Dirty Blower
If your heater broke, it might be due to a dirty blower that stops blowing air the way it should. It’s possible to fix the problem by removing the blower from the unit and cleaning it.
You’ll need certain tools to clean the blower properly so it’s best to hire a professional that has a vacuum and a brush. Throwing the blower out of balance is common, another reason to outsource the task to an expert.
3. Musty Odors
Unusual odors are common if you’ve had your heater off for a long period. If you smell burning dust, it should go away with little time.
However, if you smell a foul odor coming out of your heater and vents, there is a good chance you have a broken furnace. You’ll also want to hire a heater repair service if your furnace comes on and makes your home smell musty.
A musty smell indicates a mold problem in your ducts and vents that can lead to health issues along with a broken heater. A technician should inspect your furnace because mold might come from the unit itself.
To keep you from getting sick, you’ll need this cleaned or replaced right away.
4. Rotten Egg or Sewage Smells
Another sign of a broken heater is when you smell rotten eggs or sewage in your home. A bad heat exchanger in a furnace reeks of these odors.
Take this smell as a warning. You’ll need to turn the furnace off right away and call an expert for emergency services.
When the heater is on and smells like this, dangerous levels of CO gas are dumped into your home. Carbon Monoxide (CO) gas buildup causes poisoning but is colorless and sometimes odorless.
To avoid being accidentally poisoned, have your heating system maintained and inspected regularly. You can also install CO detectors in your home to catch toxic gases right away.
5. Loud Noises
A broken and even a bad furnace can make scary noises that range from grinding to clicking to popping. During the heating cycle, it’s not normal for your system to make any of these noises.
If you can hear squealing or grinding throughout your house, call a repair technician.
Some underlying causes of this can be fixed. A newer or mid-range furnace is better off with a repair. An old heating system that is near the end of its life should be replaced to avoid costly issues down the line.
Old age is a common cause of a broken heater that has been maintained and serviced throughout its life.
6. Yellow Pilot Light
If you have a natural gas furnace heating system, the pilot light should always be blue. A yellow pilot light indicates that your system needs immediate repair and might be leaking carbon monoxide.
Yellow lights mean that gas is not completely burning or the system cannot vent away CO. The most common cause of a yellow flame is a dirty burner or pilot light which a skilled technician can clean.
Always have a technician clean the pilot light to ensure it gets reinstalled correctly. An incorrectly installed pilot light might be more dangerous than a dirty one.
If you notice that the yellow flame is weak, appears wavy, or is flickering, it’s another sign to call a repairman right away and turn off your furnace until the issue is fixed.
7. High Heating Bills
Perhaps the most obvious sign of a broken heater is high heating bills. Most homeowners are aware of how much they spend on energy each month and if a drastic increase occurs, there’s likely an explanation.
A broken heating system is less efficient, less functional, and more wasteful. This problem causes the system to consume more energy and fuel to keep up with home comfort needs.
Calling a technician can help you decide if your unit is the cause of high heating bills. If it is, they can determine whether or not your system needs to be repaired or replaced.
Although heating bills are unpredictable, you should never have to pay an amount too out of the ordinary from past energy bills.
Do You Have a Broken Heater?
There are very obvious signs that you have a broken heater while others are not so obvious. The best way to prevent major repairs and breakage over time is by scheduling regular maintenance.
Heater maintenance and servicing are key to an efficient and safe home heating system. A heating breakdown is never convenient but you can manage your risk when you work with professional technicians.
Ready to have your broken heater repaired? Contact us today!