Tag Archives: Furnace

Telltale Signs of Furnace Damage

11 Nov

Generally speaking, a furnace that is more than 16 years old is bound to have some defects, although even a furnace that’s reasonably new can still break down if the conditions are right. Cracks and signs of corrosion throughout the furnace body (and especially in the pipes) are obvious indicators, but you also need to watch out for less subtle symptoms like distinct changes in the “aroma” of the flame.

Similarly, huge amounts of soot around the furnace isn’t exactly what experts would call “normal” even though furnaces and other heating devices regularly accumulate dirt and grime. These dark traces of carbon buildup may actually indicate damage to the furnace’s heat exchanger or a malfunction in the burners. What constitutes a “normal” accumulation of soot may vary from one furnace model to another, so it’s best to treat any soot buildup with suspicion.

Flickering flames are also possible symptoms of a faulty burner and/or heat exchanger, although such a sign could also mean that the furnace simply needs to be cleaned. However, if any member of your household suffers from nausea, headaches, or disorientation, take it as a sign that the furnace might be emitting harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide via the cracks in the heat exchanger.