Hidden Dangers of an Old Furnace

Dec 17, 2020 | Uncategorized

While our home heating systems are durable and built to last, keeping an older system in use that’s outdated not only costs more in the long-term, but it can also become a major safety hazard as well.

These hazards are compounded and more likely to happen if a unit hasn’t been properly maintained over time.

To help you identify some of the hidden dangers of an old furnace and know the warning signs to keep an eye out for, our technicians at Springfield Heating & Cooling put together the following:

Top 3 Dangers of Old Heating Equipment

Fire Hazards

During the coldest times of the year, our furnaces are designed to heat our homes safely. Even though almost all furnaces have some sort of built-in safety mechanism to prevent fires, a lot of them can become ineffective over time. As such, lifespan estimates intended to guess how long a heating system will work needs to be understood to be based on averages, or ballpark figures at best. They do not take into account how older systems have outdated safety mechanisms. Because of this, people need to remember all safety features are there for a purpose —  to ensure safety. 

Gas Leaks

Heating systems using natural gas are far more susceptible to gas leaks as they get older, as opposed to newer models that use far safer and efficient technology. As a gas furnace starts getting older, it will begin to corrode and develop smaller leaks far more easily. Again here, while most furnaces have safety features designed to warn you, these features become unreliable in older furnaces. Oil furnaces are no exception either, as they are prone to fuel leakages that can damage the home and cause fire hazards.

Carbon Monoxide 

While most heating systems have safety features to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming a problem, over time these features become unreliable. If that happens, it can easily put you and your loved ones at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Moreover, because heating systems lose efficiency as they get older, this can lead to the leakage of smaller levels of carbon monoxide that might not trip safety sensors right away. Over time, however, the levels would be enough to cause health problems.

Common Warning Signs

As illustrated above, the hidden dangers of older heating devices are nothing to take lightly. As such, it’s imperative every homeowner understands the major signs of trouble, be proactive, and practice caution keeping safety first. A few of the more common warning signs of trouble include:

  • Yellow Flame: The burner and pilot light flame on your furnace should always be blue and it should never be flickering. If you notice the flame is flickering, or if it’s yellow, you should immediately call us because there could be carbon monoxide or gas leaking.
  • Flu-Like Symptoms: Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that can be very hard for humans to notice when there is a leak. As such, if you or your loved ones are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it could be resulting from a carbon monoxide leak.
  • Increasing Energy Consumption: If your heating costs are on the rise or if they seem higher than normal, your furnace might need to be repaired or replaced. Regardless, moving forward it’s good to monitor the money you have going out on heating month to month as this could be a sign of something amiss.
  • Strange noises: If you hear any banging, grinding, popping, rattling, or squealing noises coming from your furnace, it’s another sign your system is heading for trouble. Another noise is the sound of a blower running constantly. 

What can be done to avoid furnace problems?

With all the hidden dangers of an old furnace, a homeowner who has had the same system any number of years is likely to wonder: What can I do to avoid these hidden dangers if my furnace is getting older?

The most straightforward answer involves making sure you have a professional HVAC technician perform maintenance every heating season. Maintenance not only allows one of our friendly technicians to detect these sorts of hazards early on, but it also helps us prevent them in the first place — all the while saving you hard-earned money on energy costs and prolonging the lifespan of your heating equipment.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Springfield Heating & Cooling today at 937-350-1881, or schedule an appointment now by clicking here!

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