When your furnace malfunctions, it may not produce heat or it might not blow air. These are obvious signs your furnace is in need of repairs. Other times, the only sign you might have is when your heating bill suddenly skyrockets. That could mean your furnace is working, but something is wrong that's making it much less efficient.
Consider calling a furnace repair service when you suddenly get a high gas or electric bill and you don't know why. If something is wrong with your furnace, repairs should be done promptly before the equipment is damaged worse than it already is. Here are a few reasons your furnace can unexpectedly drive up your power bill.
The Blower Isn't Putting Out Enough Air
If the blower isn't putting out a strong stream of warm air, your home is much more difficult to heat. The furnace has to run longer, and that increases your heating costs. Your blower may not put out enough air if it's coated with dust. When the parts are matted with dust, they can't operate efficiently because the blower fan can't turn very well. This not only increases your operating costs but also puts strain on the motor causing it to burn out.
Another reason the blower fails to push out air is due to airflow to the furnace is restricted. This could happen when the filter is blocked with dust or when something is blocking airflow in the furnace. Proper airflow is essential for a furnace to work efficiently.
The furnace repair service can correct the situation, but once they leave, you'll need to change the filter on time and keep furniture, curtains, clutter, and other things from blocking the furnace, vents, and ducts.
The Limit Switch Isn't Working
The fan limit switch turns off the blower so if the switch is bad, or if the wiring to the switch is loose or faulty, the switch won't turn the blower off and the furnace fan runs longer than it's supposed to. You might notice your home is warmer than it should be too. The longer your furnace runs, the more power it uses, and that can make your energy bill higher. This problem is solved when the technician replaces the bad switch.
The Furnace Short Cycles
Short cycling is when your furnace comes on and then quickly goes back off. Your furnace should run for several minutes at a time, but if it stops after a couple of minutes, that's a sign something in your furnace is malfunctioning. The constant starting of your furnace can drive up your power bill, and it also wears out parts like the blower motor.
Short cycling is sometimes caused by a dirty furnace or by a faulty part that causes the furnace to shut down due to overheating. Your furnace repair technician may have to test different parts to figure out why your furnace short cycles so repairs can be done.
The Thermostat Is Bad
If the thermostat is bad, your furnace may be erratic. It may not turn on or it might not shut off. It might also short cycle. Since the thermostat controls the furnace, if the thermostat is bad, your furnace won't be able to operate properly, and if the furnace runs longer than it needs to, that drives up your power bill. A furnace repair service can inspect the thermostat and repair it if possible. However, putting in a new thermostat might be the best action.