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Common Furnace Issues and When to Call a Professional

Common Furnace Issues and When to Call a Professional

January 16, 2020

If you’ve ever heard a strange sound from your HVAC system and wondered whether or not you need a professional to check out the system, you’re not alone. Many homeowners struggle to determine what issues are minor and which ones require professional help. HomeServe of Long Island is here to help you understand some common furnace issues.

  1. Unusual or Loud Noises
    Furnaces aren’t the quietest piece of equipment in your home, and there will always be some noise associated with running yours. However, there’s a difference between common noise of operation and noises that could signal a problem.

    Common noises associated with running the system include pinging or popping of expanding and contracting ductwork, or a minor thud as the system shuts down. Rattling or squealing noises are also fairly common, and typically indicate that something needs to be tightened. Generally speaking, these can be addressed during your annual tune-up, but if they are constant and/or very loud, you may want to call a professional.

    If you hear grinding noises or a loud bang when your system shuts down, those are indications of more serious issue and are the times when you should call us for furnace repair services. Remember, you run your furnace all winter long and know what it sounds like. If something is different, professional assistance is never a bad idea.

  2. Rapid Cycling
    Rapid cycling is when your furnace repeatedly shuts on and off quickly without running long enough to heat the home to the correct temperature. A dirty air filter is the most common cause of this and is something most homeowners can check and replace themselves.

    If you have already recently replaced the filter or a new one isn’t fixing the problem, you should call us to inspect the system. When the filter isn’t the cause of rapid cycling, you could have a more serious issue such as a bad blower motor.

  3. Furnace is Blowing Cold Air
    If your furnace is blowing cold air or isn’t heating the home, you could be dealing with one of several issues. If you’re experiencing this problem the indicator light on your unit will likely either be flashing red or entirely off (it’s green when everything is fine). If this is the case, you could have anything from a thermostat to a blower motor to a furnace control board problem. A red light or no light means you should call for service, so if your furnace is blowing cold air don’t hesitate to call us for repair services.

  4. Unusual or Foul Odor
    Natural gas is odorless, which is why a substance called mercaptan is added to it. Mercaptan gives gas a very unpleasant smell that’s similar to rotten eggs. If you smell this in your home, even mildly, leave the house and call the gas company immediately. This is a strong indication that there could be a gas leak in your home, which poses an immediate danger to everyone in the home. Do not try to test anything or flip things on and off, simply evacuate the home and call the gas company. Once the gas company has investigated the issue, call us to provide repair services for the furnace itself. Of all the furnace issues you may experience, this is arguably the most severe and most dangerous, so don’t take any chances.

  5. Electrical Issues
    Electrical issues are common with furnaces and other large equipment, and they can show themselves in several ways. Your lights shouldn’t flicker when your furnace turns on, and if they do it likely indicates your electrical system is struggling to handle the capacity. A professional can inspect your system and determine why this could be happening.

    Electrical issues could also be to blame if your furnace isn’t turning on. Both your thermostat and the furnace itself need electricity to operate, so if neither is working it could be because they’re not getting power. Check your circuit breaker to see if anything is tripped first, and if that’s not the solution then contact a professional to inspect the system.

If you're having any issues with your home's furnace, HomeServe of Long Island are the local furnace repair experts you need. Call us today at 800-691-7002 or contact us online to get started. We also offer comprehensive home repair and service plans to help protect your home from unexpected issues.


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