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Riley Heating & Air Blog

Warning Signs You Need Gas Furnace Repair


As we get into the heating season and settle into winter with our homes keeping us warm, it’s a good time to remind people to keep a watch for any signs that their furnace is malfunctioning. Some malfunctions are obvious, such as when the furnace won’t turn on at all or if it shuts off suddenly and won’t come back on. But other malfunctions create less obvious signs and may not even affect the warmth in your home—at least at first. Any furnace malfunction will worsen if left unchecked, and with gas furnaces, there’s the potential for faults to become hazardous. It pays to know when to call for heating repair in Columbus, OH so you can get ahead of bigger problems.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways your furnace can tell you it’s time to call the Riley team to check on it.

Strange noises

You’re probably accustomed to the sound of your furnace running in the winter. Gas furnaces don’t make much noise: you’ll hear the quiet whoosh of air as the burners come on and the low whirr of the blower as it pushes air into the ventilation system. The furnace will make a few clicking noises as it comes on and turns off. If you hear any unfamiliar sounds coming from the furnace, it often means something is wrong.

Common warning noises include clanging, mechanical shrieking and grinding, buzzing, hissing, loud and consistent clicking, rattling, and booming. We recommend turning off the heater at the furnace switch and calling for assistance when you hear these sounds.

Unusual odors

Your furnace will give off a dusty smell when it first comes on for the season, but this is normal and will vanish after an hour. Any other odors you detect from the furnace are a big red flag—especially a rotten-egg smell that warns of escaping gas. You may also notice acrid burning smells and even moldy odors. 

Unexpectedly high heating bills

If you get your monthly heating bill and find that it’s much higher than you expected based on your history of use, this often means something isn’t working right in the furnace. Most repair issues in a furnace will force the heater to expend more energy than necessary to work, raising energy bills. Our technicians can pinpoint the problem and have it corrected.


This is when your furnace shuts off its heating cycle early on just to turn back on again a short time later and repeat the process. This constant stop-start cycle not only places extra wear on the furnace, but it’s also usually a sign of a bigger, more serious problem.

Uneven heating

One of the earliest signs that a furnace is losing its heating capacity is when it creates cold spots around the house. The center of your home may still be warm, but some of the rooms are turning cold. Don’t try to overcome this by turning the thermostat higher—your furnace may be headed for a full breakdown! 

Contact Riley Heating & Air today to fix any problem with your furnace. You can Rely on Riley! 

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