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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Furnace Symptoms You Don’t Want to Ignore


The last thing we want any of our customers to do is sit around worried that their heating system is going to break down at any given moment. However, unless that system has never had professional maintenance done, this is unlikely to happen. It’s also a great idea for homeowners to know the signs of a system that’s in disrepair.

What are those signs? We’re here to share them!

First off, we want to mention maintenance again–we really cannot understate the importance of this service. Whether it’s a gas-powered furnace or an electric heater, professional tune-ups are the single most important thing folks can do to keep their systems working as efficiently, and effectively, as possible, for as long as possible. Maintenance can also help prevent up to 85% of the repair needs a system may ever need in its lifespan!

This doesn’t mean that well-maintained heaters will never need repairs, of course–there is that other 15% after all. These repair needs usually crop up due to natural wear and tear, and in rare cases due to manufacturer defects. Read on to learn what the signs are of a furnace in disrepair!

Loud/Unfamiliar Noises

Sometimes, it can be difficult to spot heating system issues if those issues aren’t immediately getting in the way of your comfort. For example, a strange noise from the cabinet of a furnace might be something a homeowner would brush off at first. If it’s not impacting how warm the air coming through the vents is (yet), why bother addressing it?

Well, this can be the sign of something that could quickly grow into a much bigger problem. For example, a buzzing noise can be the sign of something going wrong with the electrical connections, which could potentially lead to a fire hazard. A screeching sound can signal a worn-out fan belt that could break at any moment. Banging or popping can be an indication of a dangerous issue with the burners.

Higher-Than-Average Utility Bills

When monthly utility bills begin spiking, despite no real change in electrical use from year to year, it’s typically a sign that something is working inefficiently, and it could very well be the furnace to blame. After all, HVAC systems account for half of all the energy used in the average home.


Short-cycling is the name given to the process where a heater (or air conditioner) cycles on and off in rapid succession, never actually completing a full heating (or cooling) cycle. HVAC systems are designed to run 2-3 times an hour, in 15-minute increments. If a system is cycling on and off much more often than this, it’s not only the symptom of a problem, but it will exacerbate wear and tear and cause even more problems.

An HVAC system uses the most power cycling on, so this is definitely a top priority repair when it comes to furnace problems.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment in the Cedar Rapids area, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online for professional furnace services.

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