Symptoms That Call for a Heating Professional
Symptom 1: Short cycling
When your furnace runs for only short periods (less than three minutes) before shutting off, the problem is called short cycling. This happens when the thermostat is out of adjustment or when the heat exchanger overheats and the burner automatically shuts off to prevent damage.
Symptom 2: Irregular flame
Properly functioning burners have fairly even rows of flames. If the flames are uneven or lean toward the back of the furnace, call in a pro. It could be a sign of dirty burners or a cracked heat exchanger.
Symptom 3: Odd noises or rumbling
While rumbling and popping aren’t cause for concern in a hot water or steam heating system, they shouldn’t be present if you have forced-air heat.
Symptom 4: Chronic illness
Frequent headaches or flu-like symptoms can be a sign of combustion gases leaking from a cracked heat exchanger or carbon monoxide leaking from an exhaust stack. With these symptoms, have your heating system checked out even if your carbon monoxide alarm remains silent.
Symptom 5: Soot deposits
Soot is a fine black powder that collects when combustion is incomplete. Its presence may indicate that your burners need adjusting or that you have a cracked heat exchanger that needs replacing.