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10 Warning Signs That Your Furnace Will Fail This Winter

Whether you are a seasoned home owner or you just made your first purchase, you should always keep an eye on your furnace. Checking in every now and then on your home heating system allows you to keep tabs on your furnaces function. You may notice that it’s working differently or less efficiently than it used to – it may be making strange noises or you notice an increase in your electric bills. If your furnace is old and outdated, or it hasn’t been serviced in a while, you should know what to look for if your heating system starts to fail. With the cold winters that New Jersey experiences, your furnace needs to be working properly.

Retire My Furnace Warning Signs

From all of us at Raynor, here are 10 signs that your furnace may need to be replaced this winter:

Scary Sounds

No old furnace is completely silent – the average hum is not a major cause for concern. If you notice that it starts to sound like a monster with loud bangs, growls, or howls, it may be in your best interest to consider replacement. When you dump money into repairs for an old furnace, you lose the money when it eventually dies. Troubleshoot as soon as you hear noises to see if your furnace should be fixed or replaced.

Your Thermostat Doesn’t Seem to Work

When it’s chilly in your home, your normal reaction is to turn up the thermostat and wait for the heat to reach your desired temperature. If that hasn’t seemed to work lately, you’ve got a problem somewhere in your heating system. It’s possible that you have a leak somewhere in your ducts, or that your thermostat itself may not be working properly. Either way, it’s important that this works properly during the winter months.

Your Electric Bill Skyrockets

As a homeowner, it’s likely that you pay close attention to your bills. If you notice a spike in your electric bill but you can’t think of a reason for it, the problem may be your furnace. When a furnace is running inefficiently, it requires more electricity than normal. The excess energy is wasted by your furnace, and it shows on your bills! Calling a specialist is recommended, you may need to fix or replace your furnace.

Yellow Pilot Light

Take a peek at the pilot light in your furnace. What do you see? A yellow flame may look normal, but if you ever encounter one in your home it’s a major cause for concern. A yellow pilot light is a sign that the gases working together in your furnace have become imbalanced, and that dangerous carbon monoxide may be leaking into your home. Carbon monoxide exposure can be harmful or fatal. What you want is a blue flame, meaning there is a balance in the gases.

Your Furnace Won’t Stay On

This is a telltale sign that your furnace needs repair. This could be caused due to faulty wiring, a broken fan motor, or a broken pilot light. A Raynor specialist will be able to locate the problem and fix the part, or go over replacement options with you.

Respiratory Problems

An outdated furnace can pump dust, mold, and other pathogens into your home. When your furnace needs repair, you may notice that your family members may be suffering because of it. Asthma symptoms may worsen, or other chest related illnesses may pop up. Your air quality is extremely important, so you should get this fixed as soon as possible.

Hot and Cold Spots

If your furnace is on and you can still feel significant drafts, or different rooms in your home have drastically different temperatures, you may need a new furnace. This is a sign that your furnace is no longer capable of heating your entire home. Make sure that heat isn’t escaping through another area in your home, like the attic. Call for a professional tune up as well.

Air Condensation

You may not need immediate repairs for furnace condensation, but if it keeps up you will need to have it checked. Frequent repairs often lead to replacement, as it’s best to only allow to minor furnace problems before you schedule maintenance.


The average lifespan of any given furnace is 10 to 20 years. With proper routine maintenance, your furnace can live its full life. However, the older it gets the more at risk it becomes for problems. If your furnace is 50 years or older, you should start looking for a new one. This will prevent you from going without heat if your current furnace breaks.

Strong Smells

The first time you turn your furnace on for the season, you may be able to smell oil or gas. This should stop after a few uses. If you can still smell it after a few consecutive uses, or the odor appears stronger, you should call a professional to diagnose the problem. Any leaking fluids could result in a potentially dangerous situation.