During cold seasons, we rely on our furnaces to heat the air inside our homes. Furnaces are subjected to the inevitable process of wear and tear so they can malfunction any time. Many people call electricians to come and fix their furnaces when they feel the internal environment isn’t warming as expected.

When your furnace isn’t working at all, know that the problem has been there for a while and it escalated to precipitate the complete failure of your furnace. Here are some of the common signs you could observe on a furnace to make you call an HVAC professional in Ottawa.


Prolonged Furnace Smells or Odor

Furnaces dissipate smell when they start functioning. This is especially if the furnace has stayed for long without working.  Such a smell is supposed to subside some minutes after the furnace stops to work. If you notice that the smell is persistent and does not end even after you switch off your furnace, know that something is wrong.


Gas leaks, excessive accumulation of dust, molds or old ducts could be one of the causes of such a problem. An HVAC professional can asses the origin of that smell and fix it perfectly to restore the efficiency of your Furnace.


Delaying Starting of the Unit


A new furnace will always start immediately after the push of the start button. As your furnace ages, it may start problems in starting. Sometimes you may be forced to push the start button several times for it to pick up.


This starting difficulty indicates something is not well with your machine and immediate repairs are needed to restore its efficiency. Some of the possible causes include disconnected wires and damaged thermostat. The damaged thermostat is a critical problem because your set temperatures may not be attained. Let the HVAC professional come and fix the problem.

An Abnormal Pilot Light Color

The typical pilot color is supposed to be blue. During gas leaks, carbon monoxide dissemination or any ventilation problem, the pilot color changes to yellow. As long as it is not a blue color, you need to know something is not perfect.


An HVAC professional in Ottawa can examine your system and identify the exact problem. Ventilation problems could cause oxygen poisoning and lead to complete suffocation. Switching off your furnace can momentarily help but you need an HVAC professional to asses it and fix the problem.  


Inadequate Heating or No Heating at All


Furnaces can fail to heat air to the set temperatures. This could either be a problem of your thermostat or ductwork. Sometimes the thermostat does not communicate with the furnace as required. This means your set temperatures would not be reached making the internal environment to be cold. Until the thermostat is repaired or replaced, the problem may persist and it could escalate to cause furnace failure.


Ducts that have accumulated dust or any debris could make your internal environment cool faster than anticipated. The debris and dust absorb heat from the surrounding. Your electricity bills could also go up because of regular heating of your internal air as you want to keep your internal air warm.


Strange Loud Noises in Your Furnace


Every furnace, old or new, produces noise but it is normally moderate noises of the running of the machine. If you hear abnormal loud noises such as Squealing and whistling, know that something is wrong.


The furnace belt and fan are the parts that normally produces these two sounds when compromised so your HVAC contractor should check them. Some bolts, nuts parts may loosen inside the furnace and if this happens, you will hear banging or groaning.


Carbon Monoxide Detector Turns Off


Every modern furnace has a carbon monoxide detector incorporated in it. The device is meant to alert you in the event there is a presence of carbon monoxide or any kind of strange gases in your houses. Carbon monoxide is poisonous so you need to be quick to switch off the furnace and open your windows to enhance ventilation.  


If your carbon monoxide detector turns off after you switch on your furnace, make sure you call HVAC professional to come and assess your machine. Turn off the furnace the moment you realize the detector has gone off and open your windows to enhance ventilation.




Other signs that could indicate your furnace needs repairs is if you experience a lot of allergies. This means air purification is not happening well so contaminated air and dust from outside are entering your home.


The average life expectancy of a furnace is estimated to be between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is nearing the upper age limit, it is good to replace it completely because even repairs would not restore its competency. The HVAC contractor may recommend repair and maintenance schedules to ensure your furnace is serviced before it malfunctions or breaks down.

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