Does Your Heater Need to Be Replaced? Here Are Some Warning Signs

February 9, 2022

Wintertime brings with it many challenges. Keeping water out of the foundation and your car running are just two of the outdoor tasks that can be a hassle, but more importantly it’s critical to keep your home’s heater in good working order. Your family’s safety and comfort rely on your home being kept at a cozy and consistent temperature, so knowing how and when to maintain your heater is a critical part of being a responsible homeowner.

Staying up to date on heater maintenance is a great start, but beyond regular checkups, how can you tell if something is awry?

Read on for some of the telltale warning signs of a faltering heater that might soon need major maintenance or even replacement:

  • Higher-than-normal heating bills: This one is a bit tricky at this particular moment in time, as rising fuel costs across the country mean that everyone’s utility bills have likely ticked up a bit; however, it’s still something to be aware of. If your unit is running inefficiently and sucking up way too much fuel, then heater repair could be in your future.
  • Unfamiliar noises: If you live in a house or apartment or condo for a while, you eventually get used to the sights and sounds. You know that it’s no big deal that the washing machine pauses for a while between cycles, for example. On the flip side, you should also have your ears open for unfamiliar sounds, especially from your furnace. If you start hearing odd noises emanating from your unit, then it could be time to call in the pros for heater maintenance.
  • Yellow pilot light: Your pilot light should be burning a distinct blue color if everything is going properly. A yellow flame indicates that heater maintenance is going to be necessary because the flame is simply not getting enough oxygen—blue flames burn at a higher temperature than yellow, so yellow means it’s just not hot enough. This could be an air intake problem, so it’s likely time to call in a pro to take a look.
  • Father Time: Most heaters these days are only expected to last about 15 years, so if yours is at or near that age and is starting to falter, then heater repair might not be enough—it might just be time to replace it. Another warning sign that goes with age is if it needs repairs more than once every two years or so. This is a clear sign that it’s starting to really deteriorate.

Heater maintenance is not something that you should take lightly—and not just for reasons of comfort (although important). Since many furnaces deal with burning fuel like natural gas or oil, it’s absolutely critical to have working carbon monoxide detectors positioned around your home as well.

If you think your heater is on its last legs or just needs some TLC and a professional set of eyes on it, then it’s time to call the team at JMB A/C & Heating LLC.

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