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Questions New Homeowners Often Have About Their Furnaces

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Most homes have furnaces to provide central heat. When you live in an apartment, your interaction with that furnace may be nothing more than touching the thermostat buttons to turn the temperature up or down. But when you move into the first house that you own, you'll need to interact with the furnace a bit more. Replacing, repairing, and maintaining it becomes your responsibility. Here are a few questions that people sometimes have about their furnaces as new homeowners.

How do you know your furnace needs repairs?

If your furnace stops heating, then it's fairly obvious that you need to call the repair team. But if you pay attention, you can usually notice that your furnace is struggling before it quits heating completely. Here are some signs your furnace may need repairs:

  • It's making unusual noises, such as rumbling, scraping, or banging sounds.
  • Some of your rooms are getting warm, but others are not.
  • The furnace is turning on and off a lot more often than it should be.
  • The furnace is giving off strange odors, such as burning smells or metallic smells.

A furnace repair company will usually come take a look, tell you what's wrong, and then make recommendations for the needed repairs.

Do you really need to have a furnace maintenance company come every year?

It's a good idea to have a furnace company come to maintain the furnace once a year. This will keep the furnace clean, ensure all parts stay lubricated, and make sure all bolts are tightened. This maintenance will help prevent the need for bigger, more expensive repairs. In other words, it will extend the life of your furnace. Yes, maintenance plans cost money — but they often save you more money than they cost.

How long do furnaces last?

Furnaces generally last about 15 - 20 years if cared for properly. However, this is just an estimate. Some furnaces last much longer. And sometimes, it is worth replacing a furnace that has not yet reached the end of its lifespan. For example, if a furnace is really inefficient and only 10 years old, you may save money on energy by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

With these questions answered, you should now feel more comfortable and confident caring for and maintaining your furnace. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to call a local HVAC maintenance company. Most are happy to help keep new homeowners informed.