It’s cool to pay attention to your furnace while it’s still only cool outside.
Prevention is really the best policy and knowing the signs of a furnace about to go on the fritz will prevent your family from experiencing an uncomfortable surprise this winter.
However, if you haven’t maintained your furnace and the temperature is dropping, it’s not too late to ask for some professional help.
Regular maintenance visits from your oil company will preserve your investment, prevent furnace failure, and keep your family warm for many winter seasons to come.
This article describes three ways to prevent furnace failure in your home.
1. Prevention, Extend the Lifespan of your Furnace
The worst time for your furnace to malfunction is in the middle of this coming winter’s first snow storm.
Prevention, prevention, prevention!
Last year’s heavy snows should have lodged in your memory prompting you to arrange for heater maintenance and cleaning of your heating system.
The hidden cost of neglect
Your neglected furnace will have been silently paying you back by steadily collecting debris, dust, and dead insects.
Over time, grime from the air filter can migrate to the blower motor causing it to overheat and burn out the fuse. When the fuse itself becomes encrusted with soot and debris, the connection will break, causing the fuse to fail.
Dealing with an old furnace
If your furnace is aging, and particularly if it’s more than fifteen years old, it’s time to consider replacing it before it begins to turn into a fossil.
2. Know the Signs of a Failing Furnace
So, the cold season has arrived, and your furnace is busy trying to keep frigid nights from invading your home.
If your furnace is trying to tell you that it’s in need of repairs, ignoring the following warning signs could deliver a cold and expensive surprise to you and your family.
Some rooms are hotter than others
If you are sweating in one room and freezing in another, this is a sign that warm air is not being distributed efficiently.
You are hearing popping, rattling, groaning, whining, or banging
If your furnace is providing you with a symphony of odd noises, this is your furnace’s cry for help!
The only acceptable sound from your furnace is that of the blower turning on and off.
However, if the blower is doing this constantly, your furnace is not running efficiently. If you constantly have to press “reset,” this also is not a good sign.
You are experiencing rising energy bills
You have complained to your wife about saving money on heating with rising utility bills, but have laid the blame on the price of energy. However, the increased expense may be because your furnace is having to work harder to provide the same amount of heat.
Your burner flame is yellow
This is not a matter of aesthetics – it should be blue. If it’s yellow, this is a sign that your furnace may be leaking carbon monoxide. Other omens include sooty streaks around the furnace, moisture on cold surfaces such as walls or windows, and rust on the flue pipes.
Your family has increased health problems
Members of your family have seen a rise in breathing-related health issues such as allergies and asthma. A poorly functioning heating system may be putting mold, dust, and other irritants into the air circulating through your house.
3. Keep Your Vents and Pipes Clear of Snow for Oil Deliveries
A weekend storm has dumped more than a foot of snow on your property, and your kids are in a high state of excitement. However, before joining them in a snowball fight, it’s more important to keep their safety in mind.
Blocked vents and pipes can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide inside your home.
So, pull on your high boots, put on your down jacket, grab your shovel, and get out there to clear snow drifts and ice away from your furnace intake and exhaust pipes. Make sure that all vents coming out of your house are clear.
Sign up for a total comfort plan, which, as the name implies, will provide your family with just that. It will keep your furnace running without interruption of oil delivery.
Think of Your Oil Company
As the white stuff piles up outside your door make sure that your access pipes are clear and accessible for any needed delivery of heating oil to keep your family warm and cozy. So, enlist your teenagers to help, and get out there in the winter wonderland before the deliverers arrive.
Tip – You can help prevent snow buildup on your venting pipes by constructing a plywood A-frame over the pipe and up against the side of the house.
Still Need Help to Prevent Furnace Failure?
We want your family to experience a warm winter this season, and for many more winters to come. Having routine maintenance is the number one preventative measure to ensure that your furnace will live a long, healthy life.