Like a car, heating systems need routine maintenance. Whether they are oil or gas fired, it is important that the burners ignite and burn properly, and that the flue gases are effectively discharged to the outside of your home.
Here are a few signs that your heating system may be in need of attention.
- Is the gas usage on your bill increasing? That can be a sign that your heating system is inefficient.
- If you have a natural gas heating system, a yellow or flickering flame may be a sign that your burner is not firing properly and poisonous carbon monoxide can be drawn into your home.
- If you hear banging, popping, rattling, or squealing noises coming from your furnace
- If your furnace blower is running excessively
- The furnace is blowing cold air sometimes
Old and poorly maintained furnaces run the risk of discharging excessive carbon monoxide into your home. Some of the signs of excess carbon monoxide are streaks of soot around your furnace or supply registers, excessive rusting on the flue piping coming from the heating system, or even water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe.
Always be mindful and monitor your furnace for any of the signs noted above and always make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, particularly close to your furnace room.
As furnaces age, they run the risk of developing cracks in the heat exchanger, causing carbon monoxide to leak into your home undetected.
Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning include:
- frequent headaches
- a burning feeling in nose or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
If you or your family are experiencing symptoms like this, you should immediately open your windows and place an emergency service call to a heating professional.
If your heating system is about 18 to 20 years old, it is time to have it inspected to ensure it’s safe operation. Compare your energy bills over the last 3 years and see if there has been an increase of usage over time. If your heating system is running inefficiently, you are spending more money than you should on energy costs and can use those dollars on purchasing a new, more efficient system.
Newer systems can provide you with a substantial energy savings and provide you with more comfort in your home. The newer technology of the heating systems on the market today are designed to provide more even heating, at a lower cost of operation, and with more versatility in operation. Couple that with a smart thermostat and the savings can be even greater.