Winter is here again and the thermometer is proving it. You have caulked the widows, fixed all of the leaks around the vents, and weatherstripped the doors and are now 100% prepared for the Toronto winter. But wait a minute! When was the last time you checked the furnace to make sure it was in good working order? And how do you know if it’s time to call specialists in furnace repair, replacement and installation?
Since furnaces can last for two decades or longer, there is a good chance that furnace was in your home was there when you bought it. And if you have been in your house for a while it may be time to check on just how old it is and the specifics about its remaining life expectancy. First you should consult the owner’s manual or go on line with the model number to find out details about the unit. If the unit is older than fifteen years, you need to perform some checks and take note of how the unit has been behaving. With this in mind there are some things you can observe to tell you if your unit is on its last legs.
- Constant Repairs – As your furnace’s parts age they begin to break down more frequently requiring you to call for service more often. This will lead to you unit being replaced in the near future.
- Furnace Runs Too Long – There can be several reasons for your furnace running too long and many of them are not good. If you furnace is old this is usually due to its efficiency decreasing and is a sure sign replacement time is coming soon. This will also usually cause your energy bills to go up even though your usage of the system has not increased.
- Strange Noises and Smells – Unusual noises including rattles and hums, and smells including smoke and oil, and dust and soot particles being extruded from the furnace may signal serious problems. This is definitely cause for contacting a professional service to inspect and repair your furnace.
- Visible Rust or Corrosion – If you see visible signs of rust in and around your furnace, or if any of the components show cracks or corrosion, it could be a sign that your furnace is on its way out. There is a danger of a deadly carbon monoxide leak if the exhaust flue has any holes or corrosion. So you should check call a serviceman immediately to inspect and either repair or replace.
Here are few steps that you can take on your own:
Change the Air Filter
The air filter actually serves a few important purposes. It removes pollutants from the air before they can be released from the furnace. And it also helps to protect the furnace itself from particles that could get sucked into the fan and damage the motor. When the filter gets clogged, it blocks off airflow to the furnace, which greatly diminishes its efficiency.
Conduct Regular Inspections
By keeping an eye on your unit, you may observe a problem before it becomes a serious one. Check all parts and keep a keen ear and nose for any new unusual sounds or smells coming from the unit. If you spot or smell anything, turn the unit off and call a serviceman. The difference may be the cost of a repair bill versus a replacement unit.
Keep a Maintenance Schedule
Maintenance is the best way to insure that your furnace stays in top shape for as long as possible. It’s also a good way to insure you are paying the lowest heating costs possible, because you unit will be its most efficient.
Be Prepared to Replace It
An older furnace will eventually succumb to failure and have to be replaced. The key is to prolong that time period for as long as possible and to be aware of its status so you are not surprised with an out of service furnace on the coldest day of Toronto’s year.