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Is My Furnace About to Break Down in Lake Placid, FL?

There’s no worse time for a furnace to break down than in the middle of the winter. Even if winters in Lake Placid, FL, tend to be mild, you’ll still deal with shock and inconvenience if your system suddenly quits working during a cold snap. To avoid suffering until the service technician arrives, remember these five signs that your furnace may be about to break down:

Age of the Furnace

The first thing to consider is the age of your furnace. Even with proper care, skilled repairs and regular maintenance, every furnace will have a point beyond which it simply won’t be able to function reliably.

This age limit will be different depending on your type of furnace. Gas furnaces can usually last for about 15-20 years. Electric and heating-oil-based furnaces will be able to work well for as many as 20-25 years.

These numbers are only averages, and your particular system may perform well for longer, especially in a milder climate where it won’t work as hard. Once you reach these points, though, it’s wise to at least consider installing a new furnace.

Changes to Your Pilot Light

Your gas furnace’s pilot light serves as a source of ignition for the furnace’s burner. It should always burn a solid blue color. Anything else is abnormal and points to the existence of a problem.

If the pilot burns yellow, the gas flowing through the furnaces only burns incompletely, which wastes fuel. More importantly, it signifies carbon monoxide could be out of the system. Since carbon monoxide is highly toxic, you should leave your home and request the services of an HVAC repair service technician as soon as you become aware of this.

If the pilot light goes out entirely, the gas isn’t igniting at all. Your furnace will be unable to heat your home if this happens.

Luckily, modern furnaces all have a safety feature that shuts off the flow of gas to the combustion chamber if the pilot light is out. This prevents gas buildup in the chamber, which can be extremely hazardous.

Rusty Flue Pipe

The purpose of a flue pipe is to evacuate harmful gases from your home that emerge as by-products of combustion. It’s generally located either on the top or at the back of the furnace.

If the flue pipe develops any significant amount of rust, it will not be able to perform this function. Even a small amount of rust can expose you to danger. If this pipe starts rusting, we strongly recommend asking a furnace repair technician to replace it with a new one.

Leaking Water

Condensation will naturally occur as your furnace works. Still, the system has special parts meant to remove all resulting water. If water leaks out from the furnace, it can rust its valves.

The two most common reasons water might leak from a furnace are a busted condensate pan and a faulty condensate drain line. In either case, you will need to ask a service technician to replace the malfunctioning part.

Sudden Starting and Stopping

Of course, starting and stopping are perfectly normal aspects of every furnace’s ordinary heating cycle. However, the most obvious sign that something is wrong is that your system turns on and off before it can complete a heating cycle.

There are many reasons why this might happen. For example, there might be so much soot built up in the valves of your furnace that it may inhibit gas from flowing as it should. This could trigger sensors and force the unit to shut down.

Alternatively, you may have a malfunctioning thermostat that issues invalid commands to the furnace. Or, your furnace’s filters might be so dirty that they hamper airflow. Routine professional maintenance could prevent some of these problems.

Many factors can cause a furnace to break down, including simple wear and tear. Thankfully, our repair service technicians will help you return things to normal. Call Miller’s Central Air, Inc. and ask for our heating repair services in Lake Placid, FL.

Image provided by iStock

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