Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair

By: Brian Schutt  |  October 30, 2023

As fall weather brings the cold to Indianapolis, a dependable furnace is essential over the coming months. Ensuring your furnace is in top shape not only guarantees warmth but can also prevent costly repairs down the road. Wondering if your furnace might be signaling a repair call? We’ve put together a list of 10 things to be on the lookout for, that may signal a furnace repair.

1. Rising Energy Bills
Noticed a spike in your Indianapolis utility bill without a clear reason? A struggling furnace might be to blame. It might be working overtime, signaling inefficiencies that need addressing. Naturally, over time the furnace might build up soot in the burners, causing the gas usage to increase in order to meet the same goals. At the same time, electrical usage can increase over time if filters aren’t changed. Since Citizens Energy and AES have seen rate increases, it might take a more details exploration to see if the usage is actually increasing, not the the dollars increasing.

2. Uneven Heating
Ideally, your home heats in a consistent way across rooms and floors. If you’re feeling toasty in one room and chilly in another, your furnace might not be distributing heat consistently, which is a more common concern in Indianapolis’ older homes – like Meridian-Kessler and Broad Ripple.

3. Weird Noises
It’s not the Indy 500 in your basement! If your furnace starts making unexpected sounds – be it humming, popping, or screeching – it’s a clear signal to inspect further. Early in the season, it’s normal to experience some furnace smells, but weird noises are a different, and more meaningful concern.

4. Short Cycling
Your furnace shouldn’t be frequently turning on and off. This rapid cycling could be an indication of underlying issues, from a malfunctioning thermostat to larger furnace problems. Short cycling, oftentimes goes hand in hand with discomfort or uneven heating issues.

5. Yellow Flame
A blue flame is standard for a well-functioning gas furnace. If it’s yellow or flickering, it might indicate incomplete combustion, a serious concern for Indianapolis homes relying on gas heating. The hard part of seeing this is that your flame is usually behind the door of your furnace, so not always visible. Many newer furnaces have a small window to see through the furnace door, so you can get a clearer idea of how clean your flames are burning.

6. Water Around the Furnace
Noticed any water puddles? This could stem from issues like a clogged condensate line or problems with the furnace’s humidifier. Condensation is more prevalent with a 90%+ efficiency gas furnace, which will have a PVC pipe exhaust vent. While condensation is normal, puddling is not.

7. Excessive Dust
Cities like Indy can get dusty, but if you see a sudden increase in household dust, it might be your furnace failing to filter air properly.

8. Furnace Age
Remember, the average lifespan of a furnace is around 15 years. With the harsher winters in Indianapolis, if your furnace is nearing this age and causing problems, considering a furnace replacement might be wise.

9. Repeated Repairs
If you’ve been regularly calling Homesense over the past two years, it might be time to think about a more permanent solution or replacement. Like many mechanical systems, the repairs usually start small, with parts like igniters and flame sensors, but if they increase into parts like inducer motors or heat exchangers, the expense of those repairs should get you considering replacement.

10. Carbon Monoxide Alerts
For those with gas furnaces, a carbon monoxide detector is crucial. If it goes off, evacuate immediately and reach out for professional help.

When to Dial your Indianapolis HVAC Pro Homesense

While some might be tempted to handle furnace concerns on their own, certain situations mandate a call to a local Indianapolis professional:

– Suspected gas leak or carbon monoxide issues.
– Complete furnace shutdown.
– Signs of electrical hitches, such as fluctuating lights when the furnace operates.
– After you’ve tried basic troubleshooting without success.

When your Indianapolis home needs furnace repair, prioritize safety over DIY. Given that furnaces involve electricity and combustible gases, it’s always better to rely on furnace experts who have the tools and training to get your furnace repaired the right way.

Indianapolis homeowners know the importance of a reliable furnace during our cold winters. By staying alert to the signs of potential furnace issues, you can ensure optimal warmth and efficiency throughout the season. If any concerns arise, never hesitate to reach out to a trusted Indianapolis HVAC professional. After all, there’s no price tag on comfort and peace of mind in your Hoosier home.

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