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Ways You Can Determine if Your Furnace isn't Working Efficiently

Energy Efficient FurnaceFew things are as comforting as relaxing in the warmth of your home on a cold winter evening. Unfortunately, that scenario can come to an abrupt end if your furnace should pick that moment to break down. The good news is that furnaces rarely do that without providing you with some warning signs ahead of time. Knowing those signs can give you the opportunity to bring in an HVAC specialist to address the issues before you are left in the cold.

Obviously, a lack of heat in your home will alert you that your furnace is having issues, but uneven heating is also a warning sign. It can indicate that you may have an airflow obstruction which isn't allowing the warm air to be evenly distributed through your home. If an area feels either warmer or cooler than what the thermostat is showing, you may also have a faulty thermostat.

Gas furnaces can provide several clues that they aren't operating properly. A healthy gas flame should burn with a steady blue color. If there are other colors present, that can be a warning sign. If you occasionally notice a slight odor of gas in your home, it may be an indicator of a leaking gas line which will not only prevent the efficient operation of your furnace, it can be a deadly health hazard and should be addressed immediately by professionals.

Unusual sounds can be a tip-off that your furnace is not working as it should. A noticeable "whoosh" when your gas furnace kicks on can indicate that it needs to be adjusted to burn a little leaner. A high-pitched squeal when the furnace starts up can be the sound of a blower motor whose bearings are getting ready to seize up. This can not only prevent the flow of warm air through your home, it can become a fire hazard if the motor overheats.

An obvious indicator that your furnace is not operating efficiently is the bottom line on your utility bills. If you compare your current bills with those from previous heating seasons and notice a marked increase, chances are that your furnace is not giving you the performance it used to.

Age is another consideration when you're looking at furnace efficiency. If your furnace is approaching or has passed the manufacturer's warranty age, you probably aren't getting all of the benefit from it that you could.

One way to deal with furnace efficiency is to have regular maintenance performed on it. That will help your technician spot potential problems, keep the furnace running its best, and may even add a few years to the life of your furnace. You tune up your car; why not your furnace? If you are looking to buy a gas furnace, consider replacing it with a high efficiency furnace instead for optimal performance.

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