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Hidden Dangers of an Old Furnace

Our home heating systems are designed to be durable and built to last a long time — faithfully providing heat similar to the way a heart provides a body life-sustaining blood. They keep us safe. They keep us comfortable throughout the most extreme wintry weather.

And yet, nevertheless, when a homeowner chooses to keep an outdated model in use it almost always means higher heating costs and more frequent repairs, which can easily end up costing them more in the long run.

Worse yet, outdated heating systems can pose significant safety hazards — hazards that are more likely to happen if proper maintenance was not performed over the years.

To help you understand a few of the hidden dangers of an old furnace, as well as which warning signs to watch out for, our team here at Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling put together the following:

3 Major Hazards of Old Heating Equipment

  1. Carbon Monoxide Leakage

After years of faithful operation, the safety features in our systems intended to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming a problem start to become unreliable. If this happens and carbon monoxide leaks out of the system, it could put everyone in the home at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Furthermore, because outdated furnaces lose efficiency in their latter years, smaller levels of carbon monoxide can sneak out without tripping safety sensors that might still function otherwise. If this happens, these smaller levels could cause health problems over time.

  1. Fire Hazards

Although home heating systems are designed to endure, to heat our homes safely and efficiently, their built-in safety features designed to prevent fires can quit working over time. Because of this, homeowners using furnaces that have outlived their estimated lifespan should at least have their safety features tested by a certified HVAC technician. Testing safety features on heating systems comes with preventative maintenance, which should be performed prior to every heating season.

  1. Gas Leaks

Home heating equipment that uses natural gas for fuel is far more likely to develop gas leaks when they are older —  as opposed to some of the newer, more improved, models that are far safer and use far more efficient technology. This is because gas furnaces corrode over the years, making smaller leaks much more likely to develop. Again here, while most furnaces come with safety features designed to warn residents, these features become unreliable in older systems that are outdated. For homeowners who use oil furnaces, be mindful that oil furnaces still have dangers of their own. Oil furnaces are prone to fuel leakages that can damage the home and become fire hazards under certain conditions.

Top 4 Warning Signs

As you see, the hidden hazards of an aging heating system are quite serious. As such, it’s imperative we all watch for the signs of trouble. When it comes to any sort of HVAC system, being proactive and practicing caution is a must. Safety should always come first, especially for those of us who have loved ones living with us. A few of the more common warning signs of trouble include:

  • Flu-Like Symptoms: An invisible gas that has no odor, carbon monoxide is rarely discernable when it leaks. However, if you or your loved ones start having flu-like symptoms, this could be a sign of carbon monoxide or gas. Knowing this, flu-like symptoms should be taken seriously, and this possibility should be considered.
  • Yellow Flame: Our furnace’s burner and pilot light flame should always be blue and it should never be flickering. If you see a flickering flame, or if it is yellow, call us immediately because there could be a carbon monoxide or gas leak.
  • Unusual Noises: If you are hearing pounding, rattling, grinding, whistling, popping, or squealing noises arising from your heating system or out of your air ducts, this is another sign your system is heading for trouble. Moreover, you should also listen for the sound of your blower running constantly. 
  • Rising Heating Costs: If your heating costs are on the rise or if it seems like you’re paying more for heating than normal, you might have a furnace problem. Moving forward, as such, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of money you are spending on heating costs on a month to month basis as this is often a sign of some kind of problem.

You can avoid these dangers by . . .

Realizing a few of the hidden dangers of an old furnace, homeowners using older systems are likely to wonder: What can be done to avoid these problems if my furnace is older?

The best answer, other than installing a new system, is having a professional HVAC technician perform seasonal maintenance. Preventative maintenance not only enables one of our certified technicians, who we insure to the max, to catch these types of problems early on, but it also gives us the chance to prevent them from causing further problems down the road. Meanwhile, you get to save hard-earned money on energy costs while prolonging the lifespan of your heating equipment.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling today at 740-212-5849, or schedule an appointment now by clicking here!

As always, we’d love hearing from you!

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