Natural gas furnaces offer an efficient and cost-effective alternative to electric heat, but the gas isn't free. Anything that causes your furnace to run more inefficiently means more gas usage and higher utility bills. If you notice a sudden spike in your heating costs, it's time to investigate the source of the problem.
In many cases, increased gas usage doesn't mean that your furnace is on its last legs. Determining the underlying cause and addressing it can help return your furnace's efficiency and bring your utility bills back down. Below are three typical (and repairable) reasons your furnace might be burning more gas than you expect.
1. Thermostat Issues
If your furnace runs more than it needs to, then you'll also use more gas than you would otherwise. Your thermostats are the eyes and ears of your HVAC system. These simple devices monitor air temperature and send a signal to the furnace to run when the temperature falls below a preset level known as the setpoint.
A faulty thermostat can cause your furnace to run when it is needed or cause it to turn on and off rapidly. When operating correctly, you should be able to choose a thermostat setpoint and leave it alone. If you're constantly adjusting your thermostat to find a comfortable temperature, then a device fault may be causing your furnace to run inefficiently.
2. Ductwork Problems
Forced air furnaces rely on your home's ductwork to distribute warm air evenly. If you have old, damaged, or leaky ducts, you may be losing a significant amount of heat. These problems can cause your furnace to run continuously and waste much of its energy in unconditioned spaces. Hot and cold spots throughout your home are one common symptom of a ductwork problem.
An HVAC technician can check airflow through your ducts to determine if you are losing an unacceptable amount of heated air. Addressing ductwork issues may be one of the best repairs you can make for your heating system's overall efficiency.
3. Incomplete Combustion
Like any combustion burner, your furnace relies on an exact ratio of air and fuel to burn completely and efficiently. Signs of incomplete combustion include orange or red flames, popping noises, and excessive soot build-up in the combustion chamber. These problems reduce your furnace's efficiency and may even create safety hazards.
If you notice these problems, contact a heating repair technician right away. Incomplete combustion can have many potential causes, so you'll need an expert to diagnose and repair your furnace.Share
2 August 2021
Can furnace repairs be made by the average DIYer? If you know a little about what you are doing, is it possible to avoid the expense of having a professional come out to take care of any problems that you are having? My blog is all about furnace safety and repair. You will learn a few things that you can do on your own and advice for when to call in the professional repair technician to assist with the repairs. By the time you reach the end, you will have a better understanding of what you can and should not do on your own.