Established Quality. New Energy.
Service Hotline: 913.851.3399
A Quote

What Your 5 Senses Can Tell You about Your Furnace’s Health

Posted on December 9, 2015 by Chris Lancaster

hear_your_furnace_imageOur technicians are trained to diagnose and fix malfunctioning heating and cooling appliances – but they only know there’s a problem when you call in! Fortunately, you don’t need a special tool kit to tell when your furnace is acting up. Your five senses are enough to let you know when you have a problem, and this guide from Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling can help you figure out how to fix your furnace woes, and when to call in backup.


It’s not uncommon for a perfectly healthy furnace to emit a musty odor when you first fire it up, as the furnace burns off dust that has collected since last season. However, persistent smells could be cause for concern. If you smell something like burning dirt, your filter might be clogged and in need of replacement. If your filter is clear, but the smoky odor continues, other parts of your heating system, like your air ducts, may need to be cleaned. However, if the smell is more akin to burning plastic or gas, turn off your furnace immediately and call a trained heating and cooling professional to address the problem. If at all possible, leave your home until your technician gives you the all clear.

Worried about other smells you’ve noticed around your home? Learn more about indoor air quality and how to improve the air in your home.


When you hear excessively loud sounds coming from your furnace, something’s probably wrong. Some furnaces will make noise when they’re in good condition, but they’re designed to work inside your home without creating too much of a ruckus. Loud popping, banging, or grinding sounds probably mean your furnace will need repairs soon. Each kind of sound indicates a different problem with your furnace – luckily, experienced technicians can speak this ‘furnace language,’ and fix your furnace.


It’s a bit of a no brainer – your furnace should be warming up your house. If your furnace is on, but you’re still feeling cold, chances are you have a problem. Check your breakers and make sure the controls on your furnace are set to where they should be. All signs are go, but still no heat? Call a professional to come check it out. The inner workings of a furnace can be tricky, and troubleshooting your furnace isn’t a good do-it-yourself project.

Related Read: Having Heating Trouble? How to Tell When It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace


Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and poisonous; and it could be produced by any gas appliance. Any home with gas appliances should also have a carbon monoxide detector. If you see the alarm on your carbon monoxide detector going off, immediately turn off all gas appliances, open your windows to ventilate the house, and call for a heating and cooling professional to test all of your gas appliances – including your furnace – to ensure they’re not allowing dangerous gases to seep into  your home.


Ok, we’re not suggesting you lick your furnace. However, if you’ve started stocking up on ramen noodles to make up for a sudden spike in your utility bill, your furnace might be to blame. Check your statement – if your rate is staying the same and you’re not experiencing exceptionally cold weather, your furnace may be struggling to keep up and drawing more fuel to keep putting out the same amount of heat. Review the other four senses to see if you notice any other changes, then call for an inspection.

If any of your senses are telling you it’s time for a tune-up or inspection, give Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling a call at (913) 837-2000. We’ll be happy to help you figure out what’s going wrong and the best way to fix it. Whether you need a simple fix or a new appliance installed, our technicians are trained to handle it.


Share This:

Request a Service