Home Improvements
What Are The Signs Of A Bad Furnace?

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Furnace?

Having a furnace in your house is nothing less than a blessing for those chilly winter nights. That is only possible if your furnace is consistently performing its best. However, if the furnace happens to be old, it will show some signs that indicate it needs replacement. Let’s take a closer look at when it is the perfect time for you to let go of your existing furnace and connect with furnace services to have it replaced.

Abnormal Furnace Smells

If you have recently installed a new furnace, you will observe a pungent smell for a few days. With time, the smell will automatically go away. But, if you notice that your furnace is producing a weird smell all of a sudden out of nowhere, it means the furnace might need servicing.

Strong odors from the exhaust means that the combustion process is not being executed properly. In most cases, you will not be able to smell carbon monoxide as it is odorless but Aldehydes, which happens to be a by-product of bad combustion. That said, you can try having your furnace maintained by a professional.

If the problem is related to servicing, it should go away. However, if the same smell continues to exist or any other type comes up, it means the furnace is about to go away.

Gas Leaks

Gas leaks are common in newly installed and old furnaces. In the case of a newly installed furnace, the problem could be due to poor installation. On the other hand, gas leaks in the case of an old furnace might be due to cracks, damage, etc. Furnaces can last a long time considering they are properly maintained.

Even in that case, furnaces will still develop leaks as they near their lifespan. Just like other household appliances, furnaces are not made to last a lifetime. Therefore, the components will become weak with time and leak. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do in this situation is to opt for a replacement.

Spending money on frequent leaks is only going to increase your expenses. Better to save and invest that money in a new unit.

Increase In Utility Bills

If your furnace is running perfectly fine, you would not expect an unexpected increase in the utility bills. It might be that you are using some other household appliances more regularly than you usually do. If that is not the case and the furnace is the only item running constantly, it means there is a problem with the unit.

The reason is as the furnace ages, it loses efficiency increasing utility bills. Modern furnaces are relatively smart and efficient but with time the components become weaker. As a result, its puts more stress on the unit because it works harder to circulate warm air in the house.

Furthermore, if you notice that the furnace runs but the house is not as warm as it used to be, it means the furnace either needs servicing or has gone bad. In the case of an old furnace, servicing might not be that much of a help. Therefore, you will need to consult an expert to help you make an informed decision.

Strange Noises

Furnaces produce a minimal sound while running. You might not be able to hear it inside the house. But, if your furnace has suddenly begun making strange noises, you will need to get it fixed. Sometimes, a component might need replacing or servicing. It might be that neither helps solve the problem.

Fixing a young or mid-aged system makes sense as it still has life and can save money. However, if the unit is old, there is no guarantee the replacement and repairs will permanently take the noise away. Then again, this is a sure sign your furnace needs replacement. You should consult HVAC companies McLean for checking the furnace and suggesting what you should do.

Water Leaks

In addition to the strange noises, water leaks can also tell a lot about the furnace going bad. If there is standing water near the furnace, it shows clearly that the furnace is leaking water from somewhere. However, you should not worry if you have caught it in the beginning.

In most cases, the cause of leaking water is condensation. The condensation line may be clogged or damaged. To find the cause of the problem, you will need to contact an expert. If nothing else solves the problem, you should consider replacing the unit.

Difficulty Starting the Unit

One thing you need to keep in mind is the older the furnace gets, the more maintenance and service it is going to need. Eventually, you will face problems with either the furnace having difficulty starting up or staying on. If you find that it takes multiple attempts for you to restart your furnace, you will need a professional to take a look.

Restarting issues could take place due to dirty filters. The reason could also be a dirty a dirty flame sensor. To find the cause of the issue, you will need to check several parts of the furnace. Then again, you will need a professional’s help in the matter.

Uneven Heating

Uneven heating is also a common problem faced by homeowners with their furnaces. You can set the thermostat according to your needs. If there is a problem with the furnace, it will not be able to maintain the temperature. In most cases, it could be the cause of poor maintenance.

If your furnace is working perfectly fine, there should be even heating. On regular days, it is perfectly normal for some areas to have relatively different temperatures. But, if there is a radical change, it means your furnace is experiencing problems. If not repaired, you might have to replace the unit.

Yellow Pilot Light

Furnaces require a heat source to heat up the air and push it towards the ducts to warm up your house. In gas furnaces, the heat source is natural gas. These furnaces have a pilot light and burners. The pilot light remains on as long as the furnace is working. On the other hand, the burners are tuned on when heating is required.

Normally, the pilot light has a blue flame. However, if the flame turns yellow, some components are dirty or faulty. This issue is easily fixed if the components are dirty.

Can I Maintain the Furnace Myself?

Maintaining the furnace on your own is possible provided you follow the user manual and have the right tools and appropriate skills. Some components of the furnace such as the filters are easy to access and clean, while others are complicated to reach and carry risk.

There have been many cases, where homeowners experimented with the furnace only to end up incurring expensive repair or replacement bills. This is why having an expert on your side is necessary to prolong the life of the furnace and keep it running as smoothly as possible.

Furthermore, the frequency of the maintenance depends on the usage of the furnace. If the unit is being used for almost the entire year, you will need to get it maintained more frequently. It might cost you in some cases but will save you money in the long run.


Furnaces can run into all sorts of problems but you should not panic at the spot. The above-mentioned signs will give you a direction of what you should do. Make sure to hire furnace repair services Falls Church who can repair your furnace if possible.

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