The HVAC Experts in Lebanon, OH

Hidden Dangers of an Old Furnace

Hidden Dangers of an Old Furnace

Furnace | 0 comments

Because most homeowners know how furnaces truly are built to last, the temptation to keep an older, outdated system in use might seem like a good idea at first. However, like almost any HVAC expert will tell you, this might not only be dangerous, it can also end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

Among the risks involved with keeping an old furnace in use, many of them are magnified when a unit isn’t properly maintained over time.

To help you identify some of the more serious risks and the warning signs to keep an eye out for, our technicians at Lebanon Heating & Cooling put together the following:

Top 3 Dangers of Old Heating Equipment

Fire Hazards

All furnaces are designed to safely use fuel of some sort to heat our homes during the cold months of the year. And while fail-safe systems are built in to prevent fires from arising, a lot of these features become unreliable over time, becoming ineffective and useless. For this reason and many others, any sort of estimate regarding how long a heating system will last must be understood to be solely based on averages. These are ballpark figures at best. They don’t take into account how older systems have outdated safety mechanisms. As such, we should keep in mind these safety features are present for a reason —  to ensure safety. Because heating sources are a leading cause of house fires worldwide, furnaces continue to improve in safety and performance as technology advances.

Carbon Monoxide 

Although heating systems utilize fail-safe features to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming a problem, over time these become unreliable. When this happens, it can put everyone in the home at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Furthermore, older heating systems lose efficiency with time and this can cause smaller levels of carbon monoxide to be released. Because these lower levels don’t usually trip a furnace’s fail-safe sensors right away, over time health problems can arise as a result.

Gas Leaks

If your furnace burns natural gas to provide heat, remember that natural gas leakage can cause all kinds of health issues. Older, outdated furnaces are far more susceptible to this, as opposed to newer models that are much more efficient and safer. When gas furnaces get older, they begin to corrode and smaller leaks become more and more likely. Again here, while most furnaces have sensors and fail-safe features designed to warn you, if you have an older system you should not rely on them exclusively. Oil furnaces are no exception either, as they are prone to leakages that can damage the home itself and become fire hazards. In all of this, having preventative maintenance performed regularly by a professional makes these risks far less of a threat.

Common Warning Signs

There’s no question about it: The hidden dangers of older heating devices are serious. As such, it’s imperative homeowners know some of the signs of trouble and keep an eye out for them. Safety should always come first. A few of the more common warning signs of trouble include:

  • Yellow or Flickering Flame: The burner flame and pilot light on your furnace should always be blue and it should never flicker. If the flame is flickering, or if it’s yellow, you should give us a call right away, as there could be carbon monoxide or gas leaking.
  • Increasing Energy Consumption: If your heating costs are rising or if they seem higher than usual, your furnace might need to be repaired or replaced. Regardless, moving forward it’s good to monitor your energy bills as this could be a sign of something amiss.
  • Flu-Like Symptoms: Because carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, it can be difficult for humans to know when there is a leak. As such, if you or your loved ones are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it could be a carbon monoxide leak.
  • 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 constantly running blower. 

What can I do to avoid furnace problems?

Understanding the hidden dangers of an old furnace, a homeowner might ask themself: What can I do to avoid these kinds of problems during the winter?

The answer is simple, and revolves around replacement, repairs and maintenance. Having said that, the most essential thing you can do to avoid the hidden dangers of an old heating system is to have a professional perform preventative maintenance regularly. Maintenance not only helps us detect these kinds of problems, 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 Lebanon Heating & Cooling today at (513) 540-1773, or schedule an appointment now by clicking here!