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6 Scary Signs You May Have a Broken Furnace

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound
October 6, 2021

Some signs of furnace trouble are subtle. However, others can be quite scary and should be addressed immediately. The consequences of a broken furnace can be severe when you consider these particular signs:

 6 Signs You Have a Broken Furnace that needs repair

1. Cold- or Flu-Like Symptoms

There are several furnace problems that can cause carbon monoxide (CO) gas to escape. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50,000 people in the U.S. suffer severe enough CO poisoning each year to visit the emergency room. A cracked heat exchanger, other faulty components, and poor ventilation can increase the risk. While deadly in high doses, CO can make you quite sick even in lighter concentrations, so take action if you have unexplainable symptoms, especially if they occur at home and diminish when you’re outside.

2. Loud Noises

A bad or broken furnace can make all kinds of scary noises. These can range from clicking and popping to grinding, to squealing heard throughout your home. Your furnace should not make these sounds at any point in the heating cycle. Call a repair technician immediately. Oftentimes the underlying cause can be fixed (perhaps it’s one faulty component or something has come loose). For newer and mid-range aged furnaces, repairs make the most sense. If your furnace is old and near the end of its service life, you’re better off replacing it.

3. The Pilot Light Has Turned Yellow

The pilot light of a natural gas furnace should always be blue. If it is yellow, not only is your furnace in need of repair; it may be leaking carbon monoxide. It’s an indication that gas isn’t burning completely or CO may not be venting away. Also seek service if the flame is weak, flickering, or appears wavy. A common cause of a yellow flame is a dirty burner; a skilled technician can clean it, troubleshoot your furnace, and perform any repairs necessary to make it safe to use.

4. The Flue Appears Rusted

Another potential sign of CO, a rusted flue is something never to ignore. It’s also a sign that you may have a roof or plumbing leak. The flue system helps vent carbon monoxide, a byproduct of burning natural gas, out of your home. If flue lines are rusted, CO may be escaping tiny holes in the lines, causing it to flow back into your home instead of outside.

5. Lack of Temperature/Humidity Control

The idea of your furnace breaking down in the middle of the night, during a cold spell, is indeed scary. It’s also unnerving if you never know what the temperature is going to be at home, despite setting the thermostat as you have all along. Contact a furnace technician if some rooms are hot and others are cold, warm air isn’t blowing, or the system doesn’t respond when you adjust the thermostat. Low humidity is another sign of a broken furnace, as a lack of humidity control can make your home abnormally dry.

6. High Heating Bills

Most homeowners maintain a budget accounting for their monthly utilities and other expenses. A broken furnace is obviously less efficient and more wasteful than a functional. As your heating system must run more frequently, it consumes more fuel and energy, without maintaining comfort. Heating bills can therefore be unpredictable. But you can restore control over your energy costs by scheduling repairs or a furnace tune up. Your technician will determine whether your furnace should be repaired or replaced.

Contact Quality Heating Cooling Plumbing

Our team is available throughout Glenpool and other cities in Oklahoma to provide heating, air conditioning, and plumbing repair services. If you notice any of the scary signs above, we can diagnose the problem, provide an accurate estimate, and fix your broken furnace right the first time. Call 918-393-3035 today to schedule an appointment or request 24-hour emergency service.

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound

Cassie Pound is the Vice President of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric with locations in Tulsa, Glenpool, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma.