While you may not like the idea of having to pay for an HVAC technician to come to your house when the heater is still working, it would be a much bigger inconvenience and bill if you wait until it is not working. Luckily, there are some signs that let you know something is not quite right with the system. If you are hoping to have a quick fix that is going to be at a reasonable price, contact the professional at the first sign of trouble. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem is going to get. Here are some early signs that something is wrong.
As the system pulls air in to heat, it also filters it. If you notice dust is poofing out of your heating vents or there is a build-up of dust around the vents, there is a problem. Luckily, this problem may only require changing or cleaning the filters in the return air vent. While this may not seem like a big issue, if the system is not getting sufficient airflow, it is going to work harder, This will not only reduce the life of the system, it will also cause an increase in your utility bill. If after you change/clean the filters there is still a dust issue, contact a professional to figure out the problem and repair it.
Of course, as winter progresses, it is going to get colder outside, meaning your heating system is going to run more often, causing your bill to go up. However, unless the weather changes drastically overnight, the increase should be gradual and appropriate to the temperature change. If your bill increases significantly and the weather hasn't dropped much, there is a problem with the heater.
The pilot inside the heater should have a blue flame. If it is yellow, there could be a valve that needs to be cleaned. It could also mean there is a carbon monoxide leak in the system. Carbon monoxide is deadly. Don't wait around, get everyone out of the house and have the heating repair technician inspect the situation and take care of the problem.
A loose screw or nut inside the heater may not seem like a big deal. However, the more it tumbles around inside the system, the more damage it can cause. There are many issues similar to that when it comes to your HVAC. The best advice any repair technician will give you is to have the system serviced at the first sign of trouble. To learn more about heating repair, speak with a professional.