Your furnace is important for many reasons. Not only is it an imperative part of your HVAC system, but it is also necessary for keeping your family warm and comfortable during the cooler months of the year. Unfortunately, constant use places stress on the system, which may lead to the loss of heat and costly, overwhelming repairs. Replacements are always possible, but the cost of a new furnace can cost $3,800 or more. Thankfully, knowing the signs your furnace is in distress can help. With this guide, you will understand a few common furnace issues so you can repair your heating system before it is too late.

Banging Noise

You will most likely hear some sound when you first turn on your furnace. This noise usually stems from the system first turning on. However, a loud bang or popping sound should be a cause for concern.

In most cases, the loud bang will stem from one of a few things.

First, the bang may occur if your igniter or furnace burner is dirty. Dirt, dust, and other types of debris can build up on the igniter or burner, causing gas to build up as well. When it is time to turn on your furnace to start heating the home, a loud bang or popping sound will be heard as the gas ignites.

Cleaning the ignitor or burner before the heating season begins is your best option to prevent the noise. If you have already started heating your home, consider having your furnace, ignitor, and gas lines inspected and cleaned anyway.

Also, the loud banging may be coming from the ductwork. As your furnace heats and moves the conditioned air into the home, the ductwork can expand and contract. This is usually not a big ordeal, but it is best to have your furnace and ductwork inspected to make sure.

Scraping Sensation

A sound that can be described as scraping may also be a sign that your furnace is in distress.

Issues inside the blower wheel may be causing the scraping. If a component is loose, warped, or damaged in any way, the metal pieces on the blower wheel will rub together, creating the scraping sound. This can prevent the blower wheel from spinning properly, creating the scraping sound while reducing the furnace's ability to heat your home.

A licensed contractor can inspect the blower wheel and motor to determine if any parts are missing or damaged. Replacing the actual blower wheel or motor will be an expense, but it is much more affordable than replacing the entire furnace.

Lack of Air Flow or Cold Air Flow

Your air conditioner is meant to blow cold air, not your furnace. Therefore, if you are feeling cold air coming out of your vents, there is definitely an issue with your furnace.

To get started, your heating contractor will check your thermostat. While surprising, a simple issue with your thermostat may be causing cool air to blow into your home even though you believe your thermostat is set to heat.

A thermostat that is set to the "on" position rather than "auto" will release cool air. When it is set to "auto," only heated air will move through the vents.

Dirt, dust, and other debris trap inside your furnace filters, decreasing air flow and the efficiency of your system. If your filters are clogged, you may not feel any warm air moving through the vents or the air may feel cooler rather than warm.

Lastly, technicians will check the ductwork to determine if air is being lost through loose seams or tears. If air is lost while moving through the ductwork, you will notice a lack of air flow moving through your vents.

With proper understanding and maintenance, your furnace can continue heating your home in the most efficient and effective way.  Contact heating repair contractors if you are noticing one or more of the above issues.