When spring rolls in, homeowners are often so excited about the warm weather that they turn their furnaces off and don't think about them again until fall. This is understandable, but it is not necessarily a great approach. If you turn your furnace on next fall and find that it's not working well, you'll be pressed for time to have it repaired before you really need to rely on it for heat. A better approach, therefore, is to evaluate whether your furnace needs repairs in the spring. Here are some signs you'll want to arrange for repairs at some point this spring or summer.
How often is your furnace turning on and off? It should only turn on and off a few times per hour, even on the coldest days. If it is only running for a few minutes or less every time it turns on, and is turning on and off really often, that is known as short cycling. It usually points to something amiss in the furnace's air circulation. A lack of airflow may be causing the furnace to become too hot, triggering a limit switch that turns it off to prevent fires.
Short cycling is really hard on furnaces and can lead to total failure if you don't have your HVAC contractor identify the smaller problems and repair them soon.
Failing to Reach Temperature
This one is easy to miss as spring rolls in and temperatures get warmer. Your furnace may be turning on, but is it actually getting your home up to the temperature selected on your thermostat? Check a few times. If, for example, your thermostat is set to 70 but your home only seems to ever reach 68, your furnace needs repairs before next fall.
A furnace in good condition should make very little noise. If you hear a banging noise when the furnace turns on, a squealing when air is blowing, or a scraping at any point in the heating cycle, these noises all point to a problem with your furnace. Many noises just mean a component is loose or a little damaged, so these issues tend to be easy for a furnace repair technician to fix.
This spring, before you turn your furnace off for the season, pay attention to how it is operating. If you are worried about it at all, call an HVAC service for repairs before the next heating season.