Heating System Breakdown

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While it's impossible to know precisely when a furnace will fail, often, they will give off clues that a complete breakdown of the heating system is imminent. Unfortunately, by the time a system failure of this extent occurs, it's almost always far past the point where minor repairs are a possible solution, and the furnace will require a significant repair or may need to be replaced altogether.

Estes Services shares the warning signs that a heating breakdown is right around the corner, so you can take action early and hopefully spare your household the discomfort and expense of such a considerable issue.

Warning Signs a Heating Breakdown Is Just Around the Corner

As mentioned above, most complete heating system breakdowns don't come as a total surprise. But, typically, some indicators occur ahead of the event that point to a possible heating outage in the near future.

Here are the top warning signs a heating breakdown is likely to occur soon:

1. Your Furnace Is Old

As furnaces age, their components sustain wear, increasing the risk of a total system breakdown. On average, natural gas and oil furnaces last between 15 and 20 years, though some units show signs of wearing out after about ten years of service.

Having an old furnace doesn't always mean your heating system will fail, but it dramatically increases the likelihood of major breakdowns. Once furnaces reach this point in their service lives, homeowners are typically advised to make plans for replacement so they can avoid issues that plague heating systems in their old age, like complete heating system outages.

2. Short Cycling

Short cycling occurs when a furnace's heating cycles run for shorter time periods than they should, along with an increase in the number of heating cycles the furnace runs. This problem can be caused by system issues such as dirty air filters, overheating, blocked vents, thermostat malfunctions, dirty flame sensors, bad ignitor, or even furnace equipment that is too big for the home.

In and of itself, short cycling is a heating system issue that requires repair. Continuing to let a furnace run while it is short cycling causes damage to the system, which is why this issue is one of the warning signs that a heating breakdown may be imminent. When short cycling, the furnace must overwork to offset the obstacles causing the problem. Energy is wasted, and system components suffer increased wear and tear that eventually causes malfunctions.

3. Furnace Blowing Cold Air

When a heating cycle starts, you should feel the heat coming through the supply vents throughout your house within a few seconds - you may notice some cool air at the very beginning of the cycle, but it should quickly resolve. However, if the furnace or heat pump continues to send cold air out through the home's vents, this may be one of the warning signs your furnace could break down.

A furnace that produces cold air can result from various system issues. For example, minor malfunctions like faulty ignition components or a bad blower fan can produce this heating problem, or cold air can be an indicator that the HVAC system is wearing out and on its last legs. If you feel the cold air from the furnace, it's best to call your heating and air conditioning system technician to evaluate the system for those minor malfunctions that can be fixed. But if there is no apparent cause of the cold air, this is more likely to be one of the warning signs that a heating breakdown will happen soon.

4. Increased Utility Costs

Energy bills higher than normal with no clear cause are typically warning signs that your heater could break down. Furnaces lose energy efficiency over the years due to wear and tear, which should cause a gradual increase in energy consumption. So if your energy bills suddenly shoot up without explanation, the heating system is often to blame.

If you get hit with a surprisingly high heating bill, have your heating and cooling system technician evaluate your furnace to determine if a specific flaw is causing the unit to waste energy and if this issue is fixable. If the jump in energy consumption cannot be attributed to anything specific, it's just one of those things that you have to deal with at the end of a furnace's service lifespan.

Furnace Repairs in Atlanta, GA

When you see the warning signs that a heating breakdown is coming, it's time to take action. First, have your system checked out by a trusted professional to determine if operating problems are caused by something that can be fixed now. If you let these issues fester, they're sure to become warning signs that heating a breakdown is near. So call Estes Services today to request furnace repairs for your Atlanta, GA, area home.