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Take Your Furnace for a Test Run

Now that it’s October and we’re fully into the fall season, getting ready for the coming cold weather is a major priority. Have you already scheduled your annual heating maintenance with our professionals? If you haven’t, contact us and have it arranged as soon as possible. If you think that you may need a new furnace, as we talked about last week, you should also make arrangements with us right away.

But there’s a job you can do to check out your furnace on your own, and it’s something we recommend every homeowner does: pick a warm day, one when you don’t need your home heated, and turn on the furnace for an hour. This is a good way to alert you to problems early on so you can schedule heating repairs in time.

What am I looking for during this test run?

A number of things that aren’t usual. Below are some of the major warnings that the furnace is struggling.

  • Odd noises: Furnaces shouldn’t make sounds like rattling, clanging, screeching, or grinding. All of these can indicate a mechanical issue with the motors or loose parts. A booming sound is probably dirt and grime along the burners. A clicking sound after the blower fan turns off might be a cracked heat exchanger—which is a problem that needs immediate repairs.
  • Acrid odors from the vents: The first time that a furnace comes on after summer hibernation, it will send out dusty odors with a slight burning smell. This is normal: it’s the dust on the heat exchanger burning off. But if these smells persist during the test run, then there may be a motor that’s running too hot.
  • Uneven heating: Walk through all the rooms of your house while the furnace is running to see that warmth is evenly spread to all the places that have vents. Cold spots in the house (or in this case “less warm” spots) often mean the furnace is losing heating power or the ductwork is damaged.

Of course, the furnace might not turn on at all… in which case, yes, there’s definitely a problem!

No matter what may be wrong with your home’s heating system, you only have to call us to have skilled technicians come to your home to fix the problem in plenty of time for winter.

Red Rock Mechanical LLC offers heating maintenance and heating repair to Burlington, VT and the Plattsburgh, NY area.

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