How Do I Know If My Furnace Is Broken?

During the winter season, the furnace is the most important appliance in your house keeping you and your loved ones cozy and comfortable. Although furnaces are designed to last several years if maintained properly but can run into problems. This can be a frustrating issue especially if you are neither aware of the issue nor how to tackle it because you will have to call in furnace services. So, if your furnace is struggling to function normally, here are a few tips that will help you determine if it is broken.

The Furnace Isn’t Turning On

The first sign of a broken furnace is an obvious one. It’s when it doesn’t turn on. If you observe that the furnace is working perfectly fine and suddenly fails to turn on. It means the problem developed over time and you failed to notice it. Such situations can be complicated to diagnose and there could be several reasons not allowing your furnace to turn on.

It might be that the furnace is turned on and is not blowing any heat. Moreover, the blower motor should not be making any unusual sounds. If you are facing such an issue, you will need to get down to try fixing the issue until you can call a technician.

Before you dive in, make sure to wear protective gear like glasses and gloves. Furnaces can become extremely hot and so protection is very important. Firstly, you should check the power sources. The issue could be related to the power supply and this problem may not be allowing the furnace to turn on.

Furthermore, it could be a setting issue or a safety concern. Modern furnaces are equipped with safety features and won’t turn on if a safety feature is engaged. So, make sure you check the basics first before calling in an expert.

Discolored Pilot Light

If your furnace is powered by gas, it will need a heat source to keep your house warm. Gas-powered furnaces require a burner for heating the heat exchanger and the air. And, a furnace burner can turn on when the pilot light is turned on. If you did not know, the pilot light is a little flame that acts as the ignition for the burner. This is why the pilot light has to stay on at all times so whenever the furnace has to start the burner, it can achieve it easily.

In normal working conditions, the pilot light emits a blue color. This means everything is working fine and no input is needed from your end. However, if the flame color is different such as yellow, it means there is most likely a problem that needs to be addressed.

Therefore, you will need to clean the furnace burners. Normally, fixing a discolored pilot light issue is not much of a problem because you only need to clean it. However, if you have tried everything and the problem persists, explain this situation to your gas supply company. But before that, get your furnace inspected by an expert so you know that the furnace is okay. You can also check the flames on other gas appliances.

Poor Heating

Another tell-tale sign that your furnace is experiencing problems is poor heating. A furnace is supposed to produce heat and keep your house warm. However, if you notice the temperature is not going down and you feel uncomfortable even after the furnace has been running for hours, it means it is experiencing an issue.

Then again, a furnace not properly heating the house can be due to different reasons. Before you consult an expert, you need to shut it down and check for basic issues such as the air filter, blocked air ducts, or even a broken blower motor.

Sometimes, issues could also arise due to lack of maintenance. Furnaces require maintenance to function normally. Dirt, dust, debris, etc. can accumulate over time and prevent furnaces from functioning normally. The best way to start a diagnosis is by consulting the user manual.

If you can fix the problem, you are good to go. But, if the situation fails to go away, you will need to hire gas furnace services to check the unit thoroughly. For oil furnaces, look for oil burner repair services Port Jefferson.

Weird Sounds

A normal running furnace will hardly produce any noticeable sound. But, if there is a developing problem or a problem that already exists, it will produce weird sounds. Some of the most common sounds tend to be squealing, banging, clicking, rattling, etc.

These sounds hint at different furnace problems you should address. For instance, if there is a squealing sound, it could be the blower motor bearings needing replacement. If you hear excessive scrapping or humming sounds, there could be an issue with the blower motor itself.

The blower motor is held in place using bolts and screws. If these bolts or screws become loose, they can produce a rattling or scraping sound. Moreover, it could also be the belt that spins the fan and helps transfer heat around the house. If the belt is worn or damaged, it could also produce a squealing sound. A simple replacement should fix the issue.

Unusually High Heating Bill

If you notice that your energy bills are rising all of a sudden, it means your furnace is not being efficient anymore and is utilizing more energy than usual to heat the house. It might be that someone is changing the settings that are causing the furnace to work harder to achieve the desired temperature or it’s heating efficiency has decreased.

But, if you notice the furnace needs to be constantly adjusted to heat the house, it means it is no longer running at its peak. Such issues are caused by dirty air filters, dirt and dust accumulation on the burners, a blown blower motor, etc. If possible, you can try fixing the issues on your own. However, if the bills continue to rise, you should better call in an expert.

Your Furnace Is Old

A furnace, on average, can last from 12 to 15 years as long as it is properly maintained. Depending on some external factors, the lifespan of the furnace might be less. When the furnace nears its maximum lifespan, it will start running into problems.

If you notice that your furnace is breaking down often and needing repairs much frequently, it means it is time to replace it. There is no point in spending money especially if the total cost exceeds the actual value of the unit. You should save that money and invest it in a new furnace.

If you are still unsure, you should hire an expert just to be sure. It could be that a simple repair or replacement might fix the issues. But, if the expert finds out the components are weak and might give up any time, you will need to replace the entire unit.


Sometimes, the problem is not as big or complicated and could be fixed by simply replacing or cleaning the concerned part. However, in other cases, the problem might require a professional inspection and diagnosis. But, in the meantime, you should make sure to maintain the furnace and get in touch with furnace services Huntington for furnace repairs.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *