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5 Signs Your Heater Is Not Working Properly

This time of year, you rely on your furnace or heater more and more for indoor comfort. With that warmth comes the risk of a breakdown if you don’t act on signs of trouble. Most heater problems can be spotted early. Here are signs you should contact a heating repair professional before you’re left shivering on a cold winter’s day.

1. Something Doesn’t Sound Right

A furnace making noise isn’t always a reason to panic, but if you suddenly hear rattling, banging, squeaking, clicking, popping, or hissing sounds, the best thing is to call a technician. If a furnace suddenly stops making sounds and is silent, that’s also a reason for it to be serviced. Heater noise may originate from a faulty blower fan, a loose belt, or even a gas leak.

2. Odd Smells

Woman With Warm Clothing Feeling The Cold Inside House

If you smell a musty odor when your heater is running, there may be dust inside the ducts. The odor tends to dissipate over time—call a professional if it lasts more than a few hours. If your heater smells like it’s burning, there may be a mechanical malfunction or plastic or rubber components burning in the system.

3. Your Home Isn’t Hot Everywhere

Some parts of your home may be cold while other areas are warm and cozy. Try looking at whether every vent is open. If it’s not your vents, then something may be wrong with the appliance. In extreme cases, you may notice ice forming. Also, be on the lookout for areas that are too hot; your furnace may be inefficient and wasting energy.

4. Your Energy Bill Has Spiked

While abnormally low temperatures and other factors may cause utility bills to rise, a struggling heater will burn more energy to get the same job done—thus, there’ll be a noticeable increase in your energy bill. If the number goes up in moderate temperatures or compared to last year at the same time, check the filter or have a professional troubleshoot any potential issues.

5. The Pilot Light Is a Color Other Than Blue

Plumber fixing gas furnace

The pilot light in a gas furnace should always be bright blue. A yellow or orange pilot light flame means the gas isn’t burning properly and carbon monoxide may be present. If so, there may be soot streaks on the heater, signs of moisture on exterior windows and walls, water pooling below the chimney or flue pipe, or rust on the vent pipe. Also, know the signs of CO poisoning, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and hallucinations.

Call Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing

These are just a few common problems with heating systems. If not addressed, they can lead to heater breakdowns and even indoor air quality and health issues. Customers in Austin and San Antonio rely on us for high-quality heating repair, no matter what kind of issue is occurring. To schedule heating system repair, we can be reached 24/7 by calling our local offices:

  • Austin: 512-246-5400
  • San Antonio: 210-651-1212
  • Temple: 254-773-7175
  • New Braunfels: 830-627-2211

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