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HVAC Emergency: Identifying the Severity of a Furnace Issue

A working furnace is imperative to keeping your home warm and comfortable during cold weather. Unfortunately, even with regular maintenance, you may come across an issue every now and then. Many HVAC repair companies offer emergency services so that you can get a repairman as soon as possible. However, it can be difficult to discern whether or not you have an HVAC emergency.    If you are ready to schedule emergency heating repair Corona, CA, give our team at Dynamic Air Services a call at (949) 979-4599. Continue reading for the primary ways to identify a furnace emergency.

Identifying a Severe Furnace Issue

While furnaces are relatively safe when they are in great condition, when they are damaged they can cause safety hazards if not taken care of right away. This is mostly due to the fact that furnaces are producing heat at a high volume. If something goes wrong, the furnace could cause a fire or gas leak. To understand what to look for when it comes to HVAC emergencies, consider these three identifiers:

1. Visual Damage

One of the easier ways to tell if you have a furnace emergency to look for visual damage. Completing a visual inspection of your furnace will help you to discern whether or not you have a severe furnace issue.    Take a look at some of the visual signs that you may have a furnace emergency:  
  • Lights flicker when you turn the system on: this is a sign that you may be experiencing electrical issues which should always be handled by professionals.
  • Pilot light discoloration: burners should be blue, not red or yellow.
  • Cracked heat exchanger: read more about the dangers of cracked heat exchangers below.
  Be sure to call your technician if you see any of these issues or others. 

Cracked Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is the component that transfers heat from one part of your furnace to the other. It is most common in gas furnaces. As the heat exchanger contracts and expands, the metal can become worn. In some older models, the heat exchanger may eventually crack due to all of the wear and tear.    A cracked heat exchanger is a major safety issue. Often, carbon monoxide will leak through the cracks of the heat exchanger. This is because carbon monoxide is a byproduct of combustion. Typically, the carbon monoxide would be able to escape through the flue. But, if the heat exchanger develops cracks then the carbon monoxide will leak into the home.    It is highly recommended to install a carbon monoxide detector next to your furnace and inside of your home. Installing one next to the furnace allows you to be alerted to a leak as soon as it happens. Be sure to inspect your heat exchanger every once in a while, if it begins to develop cracks then you need to call a technician right away.

2. Strange Smells

Another way to tell if you have a severe furnace issue is through smell. There are many different smells that you may come across with a furnace issue. By identifying the smell, you may also be able to identify the problem. Here are some smells that indicate a bigger issue:   
  • Smoke: just as the smell of smoke should be concerning in any situation, it is no different for your furnace. If you notice a smokey smell coming from your furnace, you should immediately turn it off and call a technician. This issue is especially alarming if you can also see smoke coming from the system. 
  • Rotten Egg: gas companies add a sulfuric or rotten egg smell to their gas so that you can be alerted in the case of a leak. As soon as you smell a gas leak you need to open doors and windows and then evacuate the building. Once you have evacuated, you need to call the gas company or fire department to shut off your gas. Once the threat of an explosion has passed, you should call a technician to assess the issue.
  • Metallic Burning: if you notice the smell of burning metal, then your furnace may be encountering an electrical issue. If you see smoke coming from your electrical box, be sure to turn off your power through other means and call an electrician right away. Later, a furnace specialist can fix the problem. 
  • Chemicals: the smell of chemicals could mean that you have a cracked heat exchanger. Be sure to double check your heat exchanger and then call a technician to check out the problem.

3. Abnormal Sounds

Most furnaces run loudly, which is to be expected. Typical whirring or operating sounds are to be expected from your system. In many cases, they don’t warrant an emergency visit but rather just a regular maintenance or repair call. Take a look at some sounds that may emit from your heating system:  
  • Popping: when metal is heated, it expands, and then contracts when it is cooled. Sometimes, when this happens a system may make a popping sound. This is a completely normal noise and is nothing to be concerned about. 
  • Rattling: this noise typically means that a nut, bolt, panel or other small part is loose. Scheduling maintenance will help to get rid of this noise.
  • Squealing: this kind of noise usually means that there is an issue with the belt. It may have slipped off the track or have been damaged. This is an easy repair for technicians to complete.
  • Grinding: a grinding noise typically means that there is something going on with your motor or ball bearings. You should call a technician right away if you hear this sound.

Reliable Heating Repair Corona, CA

When it comes to furnace repair, you want to be sure you are getting the best service possible. This is why so many Corona, California residents choose Dynamic Air Services. Our team is prepared to handle all kinds of heating and cooling issues. From emergency repairs to basic maintenance or replacements, we have got you covered.    To schedule an appointment with one of our incredible technicians, give us a call at (949) 979-4599 or contact us online. 
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