man checking furnace

Even though a common debate in many Nashville households is whether to keep it hot or cold in the house, no one wants to be faced with the dilemma of a troublesome or broken home furnace. In fact, because 83% of Americans rely on either natural gas or electric furnaces, this is an issue most of us will deal with. But how do you tell the difference between routine maintenance repair and the need to replace your furnace altogether?

On the one hand, you may have an older furnace model that you suspect is nearing the end of its days. Or, your newer furnace model isn’t heating correctly and has a complex system that makes it difficult to decipher what the actual problem is.

Nashville’s Furnace Repair and Replacement Experts

Cumberland Mechanical Service specializes in both furnace repairs and replacements and can make a recommendation for your home.

And when it comes to diagnosing why your furnace isn’t keeping you warm, any of the following telltale signs are worth a call to one of our specialists:

  • The furnace is running off-and-on.
  • The furnace flame is yellow.
  • There is an excess of dust or soot near your air ducts.
  • The exhaust vent/flue pipe is rusting.
  • The furnace is 15 to 20-years old.
  • Your utility bill is unusually high.

The Furnace Is Running Off-And-On

If your furnace is running, kicking-off, then turning on again, this is a reason for concern as the safety features are likely preventing the furnace from overheating. There could be multiple reasons for this: the furnace could be too big for your home, the exhaust vent/flue pipe could be blocked, the air blower wheel could be dirty or broken, or the flame sensor might be corroded or dirty.

Even if there are several potential culprits, calling a specialist can help you cut to the quick. Some may simply require quick maintenance, while others are indicators for a furnace replacement.

The Furnace Flame Is Yellow

The color of your flame is like an indicator of your furnace’s health; it should be a bright blue. A mostly yellow or even orange flame is an ill sign of dirt buildup or that the gas isn’t burning off entirely. While an initial concern would be that the furnace isn’t heating to its full-potential, it also could be a warning – that the carbon monoxide is not venting properly.

There Is an Excess of Dust or Soot Near Your Air Ducts

If there are any signs of gray dust or black soot accumulating on the ceiling, floor, or wall around your air ducts, the furnace is likely the problem. The stains are a result of air that is not filtering properly and/or a furnace that is running unsafely.

In the case that you are seeing black soot, contact Cumberland Mechanical Services immediately to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Exhaust Vent/Flue Pipe Is Rusting

Because your furnace produces carbon monoxide, your flue pipe system is vital to venting the gas safely from your home. If, however, the pipe’s exterior is beginning to show signs of rust from excessive moisture in the room or a leak, the rust can erode the flue pipe and allow carbon monoxide to escape right into your home.

The Furnace Is 15 to 20-Years-Old

Unfortunately, age is a factor you must consider when it comes to the safety and efficiency of your home’s furnace. Even if your furnace has given you little to no trouble over the years, the average furnace from the mid-2000s won’t last beyond 15 to 20 years.

Your Utility Bill Is Unusually High

The age-old expensive utility bill, if unexpected, can also be a reason to suspect your furnace. While the examples we listed above are more serious reasons for concern and for a likely furnace replacement, a high utility bill could indicate your furnace or AC units need a little extra TLC. Consider checking and changing your furnace filter, cleaning the air conditioning fins, and sealing any duct gaps with caulk.

So, Does Your Furnace Need Attention?

Cumberland Mechanical is a family-owned business in Nashville providing services ranging from AC, furnace, and water heater repairs to replacements, installations, and air quality. You can also be sure that our service experts have the most-current training on all manufacturers, guaranteeing you with quality and accurate home HVAC care.

Contact our team of experts today!

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