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5 Signs It’s Time To Repair Your Oil Furnace

Maintaining your furnace can keep your family safe during the long winter. While neglected furnaces can break down and lead to expensive repairs, catching the problems sooner can result in lower repair bills. 

Here are five signs that it is time to have your oil furnace checked by an HVAC-certified technician and when to call for emergency HVAC repair service.

1. Strange noises

Furnace noises are telltale signs that they need repair. Possible reasons for a noisy furnace include:

  • Clicking: The heat exchanger has cracks.
  • Grinding: Shut it down for safety reasons, as it is a motor bearings problem.
  • Growling: The motor bearings are starting to wear out.
  • Knocking: Air is in the lines or bleeding.
  • Rattling/Clattering: An access panel is loose.
  • Rumbling: The burner is dirty, or the pilot light is malfunctioning or set incorrectly.
  • Screeching/Squealing: The belt is worn, damaged, or slipped and needs replacing, or it is the blower motor.
  • Whistling: There is an air leak in the duct system, or the air filter is blocked from dust or debris.  

2. Excessive smoke

If your oil furnace has a burning smell or you see smoke, it might be a soot buildup from the heat exchanger. 

It could also be that the system's components, like your register grill, blower fan compartment, or supply duct, are coming too close to a flame.

3. Uneven heating

If rooms have different temperatures and some areas stay extremely cold, your furnace might need to be fixed. 

While these are usually simple fixes, consider a furnace replacement if the furnace is 10 years or older and your repair bills total 50% of the cost of a new furnace.

4. Short-cycling

Normal furnace durations cycle on and off three to eight times each hour. Powering on and off after only a few seconds means your furnace is not working correctly. Other signs of a short cycle include a cold house and room and thermostat temperature differences. 

When your furnace functions in short cycles, it runs intermittently and will start and stop several times but never reach the desired temperature setting. You may need to clean the heat sensor to stop your furnace from running in short cycles. It might also be:  

  • A dirty air filter
  • Dirty flame sensor
  • Clogged flue
  • Defective fan limit switch
  • Faulty thermostat 

5. Rising energy bills

When you see sudden energy bill increases or bills much higher than last winter, it is usually a sign that your furnace is no longer working efficiently and needs repair or replacement. Similar to a car, over time, the components will wear out. 

Scheduling routine furnace maintenance can help, but an upgrade to an energy-efficient model is recommended if you call for repairs more than once every year. 

Schedule With AAA Service Network for Your Oil Furnace Tune-Ups and Repairs

Michigan winters can be brutally cold and unpredictable, and you do not want an unexpected heating emergency. If your furnace displays the signs above or experiencing other problems, let us know. 

Founded in 1976, AAA Service Network offers reliable same-day appointments and 24/7 emergency furnace repair, and we repair, service, and install most brands for HVAC. Let our certified and licensed technicians quickly and efficiently restore your home's comfort. 

With flexible financing available, get a free estimate on your oil furnace tune-up or repair today. Contact AAA Service Network online or call (517) 548-5040 for service in Southeast Michigan.

Schedule Service TODAY!


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Proudly Servicing
Livingston, Washtenaw,
W Wayne, SW Oakland and
S Genesee Counties

Howell   |   Brighton   |   Plymouth   |   Ann Arbor
Novi   |   Fenton   |   Northville  |   Canton
South Lyon   |   Pinckney   |   Hartland
Milford   |   Whitmore Lake   |   Dexter