When your furnace goes out in the middle of a Boston winter, you know it immediately. There’s nothing subtle about coming home to a freezing house or waking up in the middle of the night to discover the heat has gone out. In these situations, it’s clear that you have a problem with your furnace—but if your furnace is still running, identifying issues can be a challenge. A properly functioning furnace keeps your home and your family warm all winter long. You can keep your furnace working its best with regular maintenance, but this is a task many homeowners put off. If your furnace has never had issues before, it might seem like there’s no reason to book a furnace repair appointment. However, a furnace tune-up can help prevent problems later in the season. Sinclaire Home Services can help you discover and repair any problems before they become serious. Explore 9 signs that your heating system is ready for a tune-up. Your Heat Stops Working When your furnace stops working, it’s obvious that you need a heating tune-up. Aside from your home suddenly feeling cold and drafty, check your ductwork and registers. If there’s no heat flowing from your system, or no air moving through the ducts at all, it’s time to have your furnace serviced. Contact Sinclaire Home Services to have your heating system professionally evaluated, diagnosed, and repaired. Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if you breathe too much of it. If your home’s carbon monoxide detector ever goes off, this can be a sign that your furnace isn’t completely burning its fuel. Instead, some of the fuel is being released back into the air supply and circulating throughout the rest of your house. Since carbon monoxide can be deadly, you need to take this alarm seriously. When your detector goes off, you can protect your home by cutting off the gas to all appliances in your home. In addition to your furnace, you may also have a gas stove, oven, water heater, fireplace, and other appliances. Next, open the windows and call 911 to send out the fire department. Don’t take any chances with carbon monoxide poisoning. After the professionals have declared your home is safe to re-enter, it’s time to book a furnace inspection appointment. Proper maintenance can help restore your heating system and protect your family from further carbon monoxide risks. Your Energy Bills Are Going Up If you’re not changing your usage habits but your utility bills keep getting more expensive, your furnace is probably not working at its full capacity. Increasing energy bills mean that your furnace is becoming less efficient, using more energy to create the same amount of heat. Schedule a tune-up to get your system back on track. Preventative maintenance now will help your furnace work its best for years to come. Your Furnace Makes Banging Sounds Your furnace doesn’t work silently during normal operation, but most homeowners become familiar with how their furnace usually sounds. Hums and whirring noises are normal in most furnaces. You may also hear louder sounds when your furnace starts up or turns off. These types of sound can all be heard from a safely operating furnace. New and loud noises can be a sign that something is wrong. When your furnace starts to make long banging noises, that could mean that your blower motor needs to be repaired. If your furnace isn’t making a banging noise but is becoming louder than normal, that could also mean it’s ready to be serviced. Something Smells Off Gas and oil furnaces do have a distinctive smell. It’s normal to notice a slight hint of burning fuel from time to time with these systems. However, it’s important to pay attention to any new or changing smells in your home. If you notice a strong odor of rotten eggs or raw gas in your house, that’s an immediate sign you should book an appointment for your furnace inspection. You may experience more odors in the rooms closer to your furnace, but smells can also travel through your ducts. No matter what kind of odor you notice or where it’s occurring, plan to have your furnace serviced soon. A maintenance visit will help your home return to smelling pleasant. Your Pilot Light Is Yellow Or Orange If you’re ever wondering whether your furnace is working its best, take a quick look at the pilot light. When your furnace is working properly, your pilot light should be blue. It’s time for a tuneup if you see another color burning. Yellow, orange, and other flames are a sign that your furnace isn’t operating properly. Your Furnace Is Old Older appliances do need more maintenance than newer models. Furnaces also have a standard lifespan of around ten to twenty years. If your furnace is more than ten years old, you should schedule regular maintenance appointments to keep it running as efficiently as possible. Proper care can mean the difference between a furnace that lasts 20 years, and one that needs to be replaced much earlier. Schedule a check-up appointment to make the most of your furnace throughout its life cycle. You’re Facing Frequent Repairs Has your furnace needed more than one repair in the past two years? Frequent repair visits mean your furnace is having issues, but future problems can be avoided with regular tune-ups. Be proactive and make a service appointment at the beginning of the winter weather season. This preventative maintenance will help your furnace work its best throughout the cold days to come. Your Furnace Cycles On And Off Frequently Your furnace should be able to operate steadily as it keeps your home warm. If you start to notice your furnace turning on, running for a short period of time, and then turning off again, this is a sign that you need a tune-up. Several different issues could cause your furnace to only run for a few moments at a time. You could be facing problems with your wiring, a malfunction in the fan motor, or even an issue with the thermostat. It can be hard for most homeowners to tell the difference between these symptoms, but an expert can quickly identify the source of your problem. Schedule a service appointment to get your furnace up and running again. What Are The Benefits of Furnace Tune-Ups? Like all of the other major systems in your home, your furnace needs regular maintenance to keep performing at its best. It might be tempting to put off annual tune-ups, especially when your furnace seems to be working fine. However, scheduling an annual maintenance appointment will help you stay warm for years to come. Book a furnace tune-up to enjoy the following benefits: Higher Air Quality A poorly functioning furnace can cause multiple problems in your family’s air supply. If your furnace isn’t working efficiently, you can face unpleasant gas smells and even a dangerous level of carbon monoxide in the air. Problem furnaces can also introduce ash and dust into the surroundings. Improve your indoor air quality with regular maintenance and annual furnace checks. Better Heat Flow Many homeowners start to suspect their furnace is having problems because their house feels unevenly heated during the winter. You may experience cold pockets within your home, where some rooms aren’t receiving enough heat while others still feel comfortable. Uneven heating is a classic sign that your furnace needs attention. Whether you’re already struggling with cold rooms, or simply want to avoid this problem in the future, yearly furnace maintenance can help your heating system work its best. Fewer Repairs You’ll face fewer emergency repairs when your furnace is always well-maintained. When you schedule a tune-up, our expert technicians make sure your furnace is working smoothly. These appointments are a smart way to head off any issues before they become serious. Reduced Repair Costs In addition to reducing the number of repairs, you can also keep repair costs low with proactive tune-ups. Preventative maintenance will help you stay on top of your furnace’s condition. When you schedule regular tune-ups, you can perform any needed repairs or updates before problems escalate out of control. Increase Energy Efficiency An inefficient furnace uses more fuel than should be necessary to heat your home. When you use extra fuel, you’re also going to face higher energy costs. You can take control of your bills by improving your furnace. Maintenance, tune-ups, and necessary repairs will help your furnace operate properly again, lowering your energy costs and reducing your monthly expenses. Uphold Your Warranty If your furnace is still under a manufacturer’s warranty, then scheduling a regular tune-up can help maintain your protection. Many warranties require you to have regular maintenance performed on your furnace to remain covered. Your warranty offers powerful protection from defects and unexplained breakdowns, so make sure your family is still covered with furnace tune-ups.