Summer is winding down. Soon it will be time to start your heater up. When you do, you want to make sure that it's working properly. The last thing you want is to have your heater break down during the coldest part of the winter. If you can't remember the last time your heater was replaced, it might be time to think about replacing it. In addition to the age of your unit, there are some warning signs to look for. If you notice any of the following signs, you should talk to an HVAC contractor about replacing your old unit.
Odd Noises Coming from Your Heater
When your heater is operating properly, you should only be able to hear a humming noise coming from the unit. If you're hearing odd noises coming from your heater, you might have a problem. This is particularly true if you hear a loud bang or pop right after the heater turns on. When operating properly, the flame from the pilot light will be lit by the ignitor almost immediately. However, when the ignitor isn't operating properly, natural gas can build up. When the ignitor finally ignites the flame, the residual gas will ignite too, creating the loud bang or pop. If you're hearing this type of sound, you should have your heater looked at as soon as possible.
If you've been developing flu-like symptoms when no one else is sick, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible. This is particularly true if you have an older furnace. As furnaces age, the heat exchanger can wear out and develop small cracks. When that happens, carbon monoxide can build up inside your home. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal, especially if left undetected. To protect yourself, you should have your heater inspected for carbon monoxide leaks. You should also have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home. If your heater is found to be defective, you should have it replaced as soon as possible.
Heater is Short-Cycling
If your heater is constantly turning off and on, it's short-cycling. That means that it's not going through a complete cycle before it shuts off. There are a couple of problems that could cause short-cycling. One of the causes of short-cycling is a dirty filter. If your heater keeps turning off and on, check the filter. If it's dirty, install a fresh filter. If the filter is clean, you'll need to check the thermostat. Try changing the batteries and see if that resolves the problem. If it doesn't, you'll need to have a technician come out and take a look at your heater. You could have a problem with your flame sensor.
You need your heater to keep you warm this winter. If you notice any of the problems described above, be sure to contact your heater repair technician as soon as possible.