Signs Your Furnace Needs Attention Before Winter

furnace and heating system repair in Ocean County, New Jersey

As we say goodbye to summer and we start to see frost appearing on our windshields in the early mornings, it’s time to turn our attention to the health of our New Jersey home’s furnace and heating system.

Winter is just around the corner, and furnace maintenance is required to ensure you can enjoy a well-functioning HVAC system to keep your home cozy and safe.

But how do you know if your heating system needs some TLC before the cold sets in? Let’s take a look at the signs that your furnace may need servicing.

As time goes on, potential issues can come up with your furnace, including those that could lead to higher energy bills or even dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s important for New Jersey homeowners to understand the importance of a clean heating system filter and to be able to recognize when your furnace might be working overtime. There are a variety of tell-tale signs that it’s time to get your furnace serviced.

Do you have carbon monoxide detector installed to safeguarding your NJ home? Remember, a well-maintained furnace is not just about comfort – it’s about safety, too. So, as we transition from air conditioner use to relying on our heating system, let’s make sure we’re prepared for the colder months ahead.

Understanding Your Furnace

Your furnace is a crucial component in your home’s heating system. It plays a vital role in ensuring comfort and warmth during colder months. But how exactly does it work? And when can you expect to start seeing problems?

Basically, a typical furnace, especially a gas one, operates by using a heat exchanger to warm up air. Here’s a simplified explanation of the process:

  1. The furnace pulls in cold air from your home.
  2. This cold air travels through an air filter to remove any dust or debris.
  3. The cleaned air then passes over a heat exchanger, which warms it up. In a gas furnace, the heat exchanger gets hot from the combustion of natural gas.
  4. The now warm air is circulated back into your home, raising the temperature to the desired level.

Carbon Monoxide Risks

One crucial component in this process is the heat exchanger. It’s a series of coils or tubes that heats up the air. However, a cracked heat exchanger can lead to serious problems, including a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause flu-like symptoms, confusion, and even death in high concentrations.

In Ocean County, New Jersey, we typically don’t have much to worry about when it comes to Radon detectors when we think about harmful gasses that could have an impact on our safety in our homes. Radon is more of an issue inland, in the mountains and rocky areas. Carbon monoxide is something everyone who had a furnace should be concerned about and that’s why it’s essential to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home, particularly near your heating unit.


As for the lifespan of a typical furnace, it can last between 15 to 20 years with regular heating system maintenance. However, as your furnace ages, it may become less efficient and more prone to issues. One common sign of an aging system is a steady increase in your energy bills due to it having to work harder to maintain the same level of heat.

You should also be aware that certain components, like the heat exchanger, may start to wear out or crack after extensive use. If your heating system starts showing signs of age—such as unusual noises, frequent cycling, or the previously mentioned increase in energy bills—it’s a good idea to have it checked by a professional. They can identify any potential issues, including a cracked heat exchanger or carbon monoxide leak, and recommend appropriate solutions.

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Signs Your Furnace Needs Attention

Your furnace is a workhorse that often operates in the background, providing warmth and comfort to your New Jersey home. However, like all appliances, it may begin to show signs of wear over time. Here are some signals that your furnace may need attention:

1. Unusual Noises

If your furnace begins making noises that you haven’t noticed before – such as banging, humming, or squealing – it’s a good indication something’s not right. These sounds could be a sign of a loose belt, ignition problems, or even a failing motor. Don’t ignore these noises; they’re your furnace’s way of telling you it needs some care.

2. Increased Heating Bills

If you notice a sudden increase in your heating bills without a corresponding rise in usage or energy prices, it could be a sign that your furnace is not operating efficiently. This could be due to a variety of issues, from a dirty filter restricting airflow to a more serious mechanical problem.

3. Frequent Cycling

Frequent cycling – when your furnace turns on and off more often than usual – can indicate a problem. While it’s normal for a unit to cycle three to eight times per hour, if it’s happening more frequently, it could be due to an oversized furnace, a clogged filter, or thermostat issues.

4. Uneven Heating

Are some rooms in your home warmer than others? This could be a sign that your furnace isn’t distributing heat evenly, which could be due to a problem with the blower or ductwork.

5. Yellow Pilot Light

The pilot light on your furnace should always be blue. A yellow or flickering pilot light could indicate that the gas mixture is off, which could lead to the production of carbon monoxide, a dangerous, odorless gas.

6. Poor Air Quality

A properly functioning furnace should filter the air in your home, reducing dust and allergens. If you notice an increase in dust around your home or if allergies seem to be worse, it could be a sign that your furnace isn’t doing its job. This could also lead to dry, itchy skin and irritated eyes and throat.

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Ensure the optimal function of your heating system with furnace maintenance services

Your New Jersey home heating system is more than just a matter of comfort—it’s also about safety and financial prudence. Recognizing signs that your furnace needs attention can prevent potentially dangerous situations like carbon monoxide leaks and save you from high heating bills caused by an inefficient system.

Listen for unusual noises, monitor your heating bills, observe the frequency of your heating cycle, and pay attention to the temperature consistency throughout your home. These are all crucial in detecting early warning signs that something may be amiss with your furnace.

Remember, while some issues can be resolved with maintenance and HVAC repairs, there comes a time when investing in a new furnace installation might be the most economical and efficient solution in the long run. Regular care and timely attention to your furnace will ensure that you’re not left out in the cold when winter arrives.

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