It's important not to ignore unusual noises coming from the furnace or a change in the way the system operates. These symptoms might be signs of an impending breakdown. They could mean reduced energy efficiency and have a negative impact on the appliance's lifespan. Homeowners who like relying on one company for plumbing and heating service can choose an organization providing both.
With some symptoms, it's obvious that repair work is needed. The equipment may stop turning on and the temperature begins to drop. It might fire up and immediately shut off. It might turn off before reaching the set temperature.
Homeowners might not be too concerned at first if they notice the furnace having shorter run cycles than normal. Instead of operating for 10 or 15 minutes as it should, the furnace only runs for five or six minutes. The appliance maintains the set temperature by turning back on relatively quickly.
This rapid turning on and off is hard on the equipment and can shorten its lifespan significantly if nobody calls for service. Furnaces are intended to only run two or three cycles per hour.
Fan Runs Continuously
The fan may begin to run continuously, blowing room temperature air through the vents some of the time. The first step is making sure nobody changed the thermostat setting from auto to on. If that's not the issue, the fan limit switch probably needs to be replaced or rewired.
A fan running this way shouldn't wear out sooner because these devices are designed so they can operate all the time. Some households like having that fan on to circulate warm air more evenly. For other individuals, though, the constant sound is annoying.
Unusual noise is another sign that something is wrong with the system. For example, buzzing and humming could indicate a problem with the blower motor. The motor's capacitor, a device that stores electricity, might be failing. If furnace maintenance was not completed within the past year, the motor may need lubrication.
Scheduling inspection and maintenance service in autumn before the heating season helps prevent the need for repair work. So does changing the air filter as recommended since a plugged filter makes the appliance work harder. However, an older furnace will inevitably need repair service at some point, just as an older automobile does. Mechanical systems experience wear and tear over the years. That eventually causes problems with performance and breakdowns. Reach out to a heating contractor if your system isn't working as it should.