I had some problems with my gas furnace last winter.
The outside temperature dropped very early in the season, and I needed to start up the heater in mid September.
I had not yet had the opportunity to have the furnace professionally serviced. Since I’m usually quite good about maintenance and I conscientiously replace the air filter, I figured the furnace would be fine. I planned to schedule a tune-up later in the season, but I simply forgot. Unfortunately, the performance of the furnace gradually worsened. It began running for longer cycles and making some strange noises. It was definitely putting out less warm air, because the house started to feel a bit chilly. I ended up bumping up the thermostat, which simply put a greater strain on the heating system. When I opened my energy bill for the month of January, I was shocked by the cost. I finally hired a local HVAC contractor to take a look at the furnace. When he took the unit apart, he showed me the inner workings. There was a tremendous amount of dust and debris accumulated and hindering performance. This buildup of contaminants was restricting the functionality of moving parts and blocking airflow. Plus, every time the furnace operated, it was adding allergens to the indoor air and causing health issues. I was fortunate that there was no extensive damage or broken parts. A simple cleaning by the HVAC technician solved all of the problems. I will no longer neglect the annual tuning and cleaning of the heating system. I’ve enrolled in a maintenance program with the HVAC company which includes yearly inspection of both the furnace and air conditioner. The HVAC contractor will even give me a call as a reminder to arrange a time for proactive service.