Winter in the Twin Cities: You know that means your furnace is about to get a whole lot more action than it's seen in a while. Even if your heating unit seems to be cranking along just fine, there are a few subtle signs of impending (or, in some cases, existing) furnace problems you'll want to keep an eye and ear out for.

Paying close attention to your furnace's performance is the best way to spot a small issue before it grows into a major, expensive fix or you lose the ability to heat your home. Below, you'll find seven of the most common signs that your unit needs furnace repairs.

1. Higher-Than-Normal Heating Bills

If your furnace is having issues, you may not notice a small drop in indoor temperatures if you don't regularly look at your thermostat. But you'll certainly notice an issue when your heating bill comes along.

While you can typically expect a small increase in your bills when winter rolls around, if you notice a major difference over previous years, you likely have a problem on your hands. If you want to get your heating bills back into a normal range, call a furnace repair specialist for advice and schedule a unit inspection while you're at it.  

Are your heating bills chronically high? You may be able to reduce them by implementing these tips for improving furnace efficiency.

2. Strange Sounds

Furnaces always make a small amount of noise while they operate. That's normal. What's definitely not normal is loud noises that sound like:

●        Squealing

●        Grinding

●        Popping or banging

●        Rattling or rumbling

In some cases, these noises crop up when a component is on the verge of failure, and in others, they indicate a minor problem like debris build-up or even issues with the attached ductwork. Regardless of what you think might be causing the odd noises, don't attempt to diagnose and fix the problem yourself, or you could end up worsening things.

Contact a furnace repair specialist who can thoroughly inspect the unit and perform the correct component replacements or unit cleaning, whichever is necessary. 

Want to make sure you hire a quality contractor? Here's how to find the best local furnace repair service.

3. Uneven Heating

A properly functioning furnace should distribute air evenly throughout the home it heats. If you notice that any of the rooms in your house feel cooler or warmer than others, you may have a unit issue on your hands. Generally, uneven heating is closely tied to ductwork problems, but it can also result from a thermostat's inability to communicate with the heating unit.

You may need to replace your thermostat to solve the issue, or you may simply be dealing with blocked or dirty air ducts, which a thorough duct cleaning can easily fix.

4. Low Air Flow

Your HVAC system should function consistently, and if you're finding less airflow than usual from your vents, this is another indicator that there's something wrong with the unit. While it could be the blower motor or fan due to clogging issues, there could be dangerous electrical problems that require an expert to resolve.

5. Weird Smells

Chemical or musty smells from the unit signal that you need to call a professional immediately. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate, or a gas leak can develop somewhere within the system. Both of these scenarios are considered a hazard because they can create health or financial issues later on, and it is recommended to schedule an inspection as soon as possible.

6. Build-ups of Debris or Dust Around the Vents or Furnace

If you notice excess debris or dust around the vents or furnace, this can be caused by multiple factors, including dirty ductwork or air filters, a cracked heat exchanger, and even rodents or insects that have built nests inside the system.

While these start as minor situations in most cases, they can become much more severe problems that will affect the entire system if not resolved.

7. Your Pilot Light has Gone From Blue to Yellow

Your pilot light helps heat your system to keep you comfortable through the year, and if the flame has turned yellow, it means a repair is in order. While both colors indicate the presence of gases, blue means that the correct combustion and a proper air-fuel ratio are happening.

Yellow shows that carbon monoxide is in the mix, throwing off the balance and creating a dangerous scenario that can lead to health risks if left unaddressed.

Need Furnace Repair Service in the Twin Cities?

Think your furnace might be on the fritz? Get in touch with our team at Dust Doctors! We specialize in furnace repair, cleaning, and maintenance and have proudly served Twin Cities homeowners for over a decade.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at 651-319-9777 or request a free quote, and we'll get in touch with additional info!

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