8 Warning Signs of Furnace Failure


Have you ever woken up freezing in the middle of the night? A likely reason for this is because your home’s furnace isn’t working. It may seem too early to consider your furnace’s health. However, it’s much better to check it now than in the middle of winter. Waiting until a crisis occurs can leave you without heat when you need it the most. At Roy’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we can help you learn what warning signs can lead to a furnace failure.

Here are eight warning signs of a furnace failure:

Mechanical problems/loud noises

With all of the mechanical parts in your furnace, wear and tear is a common problem. The easiest way to tell if something’s up is if you hear popping or squeaking noises from your furnace. That’s a common sign that something is wrong with your furnace. There are many possible reasons for the noises, so we suggest calling one of our technicians to help diagnose the exact problem.

Leaking gas

A gas leak is an extremely dangerous problem that your furnace might face. If you smell gas in your home, you should turn off the gas supply valve right away. Next, make a call to your gas supplier and get them to help you find the problem. While you wait, avoid lighting matches or turning switches on or off.

Ignition failure

The possibility of your furnace’s ignition failing is a serious issue for furnace owners. If the ignition doesn’t work, you can forget about your furnace providing warm air. If you’re using a modern furnace, it’ll have either a Hot Surface Ignition system or an Intermittent Pilot system. The first system uses a controlled resistance heating element to heat the gas burner. Meanwhile, the second system uses a high voltage electric spark to ignite the gas pilot with the main burners. No matter what kind of ignition your furnace uses, you should call a technician if it isn’t working.

Increased heating bills

Are your heating bills rising despite there being little change in how you want your home heated? That might be a sign something is off with your furnace. When a furnace isn’t well-maintained, it’ll work harder to produce the same amount of heat a healthy furnace does. Not only does this cost you more, but it puts stress on the furnace, lowering its lifespan.

Clogged filters

Your furnace’s filters are an important yet easy-to-manage part to keep in working order. The filters can get clogged with dirt and other debris fairly easily. At the minimum, you should clean them out monthly. Failure to do this can result in reduced airflow and constant cycling, which is when the furnace turns on and off.

Old age

When it comes to furnaces, the average life expectancy for modern furnaces is 16 to 20 years old. If your furnace is around this age or beyond, you should get shopping for a new furnace. Shopping for a furnace when yours is still working lets you take your time and make the best decision.

Yellow burner flame

A yellow or flickering flame may be a sign that your furnace may produce poisonous carbon monoxide. Other signs your furnace may produce carbon monoxide include:

  • Streaks of soot around the furnace.
  • No upward draft in your chimney.
  • Excess moisture on walls, windows, and other cold surfaces.
  • Excessive rusting on appliance jacks, flue pipes, and other pipe connections.
  • Small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe.
  • Rust on the part of the vent pipe visible from the outside.

Fluctuating temperatures

You might notice that despite keeping your thermostat the same, the temperature seems to fluctuate. This is a sign your furnace is becoming less efficient and can’t properly distribute air to keep your home comfortable.

Why should I choose Roy’s to keep my furnace in top condition?

Roy’s is well known across Western New York for our unparalleled customer service. We take pride in our commitment to customer satisfaction, from your first phone call to the completion of every job. We confirm every appointment with a courtesy email introducing your technician and a description of what you can expect. Call Roy’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to learn more about our furnace services!