5 Signs You Need Furnace Repair in Portland

It can be a real nightmare to wake up in the middle of the night and find that your furnace isn’t working. It’s freezing outside, and your comforter is doing little to help you keep warm. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to know when it’s time for furnace repair so you can catch the problem before your furnace stops working altogether.

The first thing you should do is schedule regular preventative maintenance. You can contact Watts Heating and Cooling for all your Portland-based furnace repair needs. But there are also some things you can do yourself to know when your furnace is in need of a tune-up. Here are some things to be on the lookout for so you can know when it’s time for furnace repair.

Keep an Eye on Your Pilot Light

The first thing you should do is keep an eye on your pilot light. This is one of the telltale signs that there could be something wrong with your furnace. Your pilot light flame should always be blue. If it’s another color, that’s a sign that there’s an issue.

In order to inspect your furnace’s pilot light, remove the furnace cover panel. You should be able to see the burner assembly and pilot light flame. If the pilot light is out, you can attempt to relight it. However, you should check the manufacturer’s guidelines or owner’s manual for instructions before doing so. If the pilot light does not remain lit, you may need to replace the thermocouple. If you have any doubts about the job, however, call a professional to do the work. Safety should be your number one priority.

If your pilot light is lit, examine its flame. It should be blue with a yellow tip. However, if the pilot light is a different color, there’s an issue. A yellow pilot light, for example, could be a sign that there’s carbon monoxide leaking from the furnace’s heat exchangers. This issue requires immediate attention since carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is difficult to detect and often deadly.

In fact, you should install a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you haven’t already. If the detector ever starts beeping—or if the pilot light is yellow—evacuate your home immediately and call for help.

Your Energy Bills Are High

If your energy bills are high, it could be a sign that your unit is in need of furnace repair in Portland or even an upgrade. The age of a furnace can impact its ability to heat your home efficiently. If you’re using an older model and you notice your monthly energy bills are going up, it’s probably time to invest in a newer model that will save you money in the long run.

For instance, many furnaces made in 1990 or earlier have annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 65 percent or less. Newer models, on the other hand, Have AFUE ratings of 80 percent or more. That means upgrading your furnace could save you a ton of money in energy costs. If you have a furnace that’s just 10 years old, for example, you could save up to 50 percent in operating costs by upgrading to a new, high-efficiency model.

Since oil ranks among Oregon’s most popular heating options, we offer oil furnaces as well. Many of our oil furnaces have AFUE ratings ranging from 82 to 86 percent. Whether you use gas or oil to heat your home, you can save quite a bit of money when you upgrade to a newer furnace. Watts Heating and Cooling even has financing options available to make the upgrade quick and easy.

Your Furnace Is Making a Strange Sound

Your furnace should be operating smoothly and not making any disruptive noises. If you notice any unusual sounds coming from your furnace, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. The type of noise your furnace is making is oftentimes a good indicator of what type of issue is occurring. An HVAC technician can quickly diagnose the issue, but here are some common noises that could be sounding an alarm.

If your furnace is making a banging sound, then one of its internal parts may be loose. A rattling noise could indicate that you have a screw loose. Well, not you … but your furnace. Whistling sounds may signify an issue with the fan or belt. Whatever sound your furnace is making, be sure to listen to it carefully so you can describe it to your technician later.

You Smell Something Foul

If you smell a foul odor coming from your furnace, then something is likely amiss. When you turn your furnace on for the first time at the start of the season, it’s not uncommon for it to smell like fuel. However, if you notice that the smell lingers, it could mean that you have a gas leak or dust and dirt buildup. Either way, it’s a sign that your furnace is likely in need of maintenance or repair.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Your furnace should keep you warm and help you breathe easier. It should not compromise your family’s health. If you notice that you’re coughing, sneezing, or experiencing frequent headaches, then poor indoor air quality may be to blame. Some indoor air quality issues can be resolved quickly. For instance, some issues may be fixed by simply changing or cleaning your filter.

However, if issues persist, then you could have a furnace that’s clogged with dust, mildew, or other allergens. This can lead to respiratory illnesses and other health problems if left unaddressed. Call an HVAC technician to service your unit to prevent these pollutants from circulating throughout your home.

If you’re reading this article, the bad news is you may be in need of furnace repair. But the good news is if you’re in need of furnace repair in the Portland area, Watts Heating and Cooling can help. We’ll diagnose the problem and recommend the right solution. After all, we know just how to get things heated up.