As you prepare to use your furnace for another season or you continue to crank up the thermostat as stubborn weather refuses to warm up, you may need to think about having your furnace and air ducts cleaned out. The more you use your system, the more dirt and other debris can get caught in it, which can cause a few annoying problems. Here are signs you need to call your HVAC contractor and schedule a cleaning appointment.
You smell something burning
When a furnace is dirty it can emit a burning smell, such as heated dirt, warm mud, or even a burning hair scent. This is due to the heating element getting very warm and causing dander, hair, and dirt to warm up along with it. The dirtier the furnace, the more noticeable this smell can be. Cleaning your furnace and ducts can keep your home's air smelling fresh and inviting.
If you smell actual smoke or see flames when you turn your furnace on, turn the unit off right away and call your local emergency fire department. If there is smoke but no fire, or the unit is very hot to the touch, turn it off and call your HVAC contractor for assistance as the issue may be very serious.
You see debris
You're not imagining things if you think you see a puff of dirt or a blast of hair shoot out of your vents every time you turn your furnace on. Hair, dirt, and other items can build up in your heating ducts and blast out whenever the unit it turned on, particularly at the beginning of the season when it is first in use. Collected debris that bypasses the filter, or a filter that is clogged, can result in debris filling the air as you try to warm your home up. A cleaning by your HVAC contractor or heating specialist can make your furnace run comfortably again.
If you haven't used your furnace in a few years or for a very long time, then you will want to have your appliance inspected prior to use. An inspection often includes replacing filters, checking wires and fuses, and a cleaning to make your furnace safe for seasonal use. An HVAC specialist at companies like Moore Heating & Air Conditioning Inc can explain to you the many things to look for to make sure your unit works as it should all season long so you can have warm, clean air.