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Out Cold: The Major Signs of a Broken Heater

What are the 5 coldest states in America?

They’re Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. North Dakota is the chilliest with a statewide average temperature of 27.7 degrees, Brrrr! Just thinking about that type of cold is enough to make you want to curl up in a blanket.

image - The Major Signs of a Broken Heater
The Major Signs of a Broken Heater


Have you recently noticed your heater isn’t working as well as it used to? The sooner you figure out what’s going on, the easier it’ll be for you to stay comfy and warm, all winter long.

Read on to learn warning signs that point to a broken heater, and what you can do about it.

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Spikes in Your Power Bill

What’s a normal power bill look like for your household? While it’s normal for power bills to fluctuate slightly during weather changes, giant jumps in price could mean your heater isn’t doing its job.

The moment you notice a bill increase, call your electricity company to make sure the amount you’re being charged is accurate. If you have a prepaid electricity account, you can go online to track your energy usage by the day and hour.

A faulty heater will drain electricity as it struggles to keep up. Your furnace is doing everything it can to maintain a certain warm temperature in your home, however, if it’s broken it’ll just be running itself into the ground.

By running longer, and inefficiently, your compromised heater will wind up costing you a lot of money. The sooner you can get it fixed the better. If you don’t get the heater repaired quickly, the entire system could shut down, causing the repairs to come more expensive.

The Heater Is Blowing Cold Air

Anytime a furnace is blowing cold air, it’s a dead giveaway that something’s not working correctly. If every room is cold, the entire furnace is probably about to stop working.

Is your furnace blowing warm air, but not in every room? There are all sorts of things that can cause certain rooms to be cooler than others.

For instance, the blower fan might not be working properly. If the blower fan isn’t doing its job, the furnace won’t have the power it needs to efficiently blow warm air throughout your home.

Newer heaters are complex, and diagnosing or fixing the problem on your own can wind up costing you too much time and money. Instead, you can reach out to this local HVAC company to let a professional figure out what’s going on.

How Do I Know If My Furnace Is Broken by Listening to It?

A broken heater is usually a noisy heater! If something’s up with your furnace, you might hear it making all sorts of weird noises.

Here’s a shortlist of furnace noises to look out for:

  • Screeching
  • Whistling
  • Clunking
  • Banging
  • Humming
  • Scraping
  • Hissing and sizzling
  • Loud vibrations
  • Rattling air ducts

Is your heater making a loud banging sound when it turns on? If yes, there could be something wrong with the ignition. For instance, there could be gas build up happening in the combustion chamber, which is creating the banging noise.

Do you hear your furnace whistling while it’s running? Chances are somethings disrupting the airflow. There could be some type of debris in the ductwork or a blocked return. Broken burners or blowers can also make your furnace whistle.

If your heater is making loud clunking sounds, there’s probably a problem with the blower fan. The fan could be hitting some part of the furnace, which will cause eventually cause all sorts of complications. The moment you hear a clunking sound, turn your furnace off and call a trained technician to come and take a peek.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Are Going Off

If you don’t already have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, you need to install some ASAP. A leaky or broken furnace can cause fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.

Since carbon monoxide is odorless, you won’t even know there’s a problem until it’s too late. If you already have carbon monoxide detectors, and they’re going off, shut down your heater immediately and call in the professionals.

A Broken Heater Can Create Dust

Are you noticing that there’s a lot more dust in your home than usual? Your furnace is responsible for filtering air from outside, heating it, and distributing the clean hot air throughout your home.

However, if your furnace isn’t working properly, it might not be filtering the air as well as it should be. The older your furnace is, the harder it’ll be for it to efficiently filter the air. If you’re noticing there are extra dust and debris in all of the rooms in your house, it’s probably time for a new furnace.

Fast and Easy Heater Solutions

The good news is that not every heater problem is expensive to fix. Some smaller issues you can take care of on your own.

For instance, if your heaters whistling, you might not have a broken furnace. Instead, you might just need to change your air filter. A dirty air filter will restrict airflow, which can cause whistling, dust, and a spike in your energy bill.

Next, double-check that all of the vents in your home are open. If you have dampers or vents closed in one room, it could be causing your heater to whistle since the air isn’t flowing freely.

Finally, sometimes the ducts in your home can become loose, or damaged. Loose ducts will make it hard for the heater to efficiently warm your home. Simply get some duct tape and start tightening up any loose ducts you find.

Stay Warm and Toasty

After reading this article, do you think you have a broken heater? Remember that the sooner you call someone to perform repairs, the less expensive things will be.

However, before you bring in the professionals, make sure you’ve already checked the air filter and ducts. If after checking the air filter and ducts you’re still hearing weird strange sounds, or not getting hot air, call an HVAC company ASAP.

For more ways to protect your home, check out the rest of this site.

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