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Since 1984

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Serving the Lubbock Area

For Faster Service Please Call!



JD's Prompt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Watch for These Signs of Danger from Your Heating System


It’s dangerous to be without a heating system in the dead of winter, especially if this is one of those winters when a polar vortex brings unusually cold temperatures to Texas. But it’s also dangerous to have a faulty heating system, which could risk your health or your home. To stay safe as well as warm, be aware of these signs of danger, so you can address heating system hazards right away. 

Carbon Monoxide Detector Issues

If your carbon monoxide detector gives an alarm, you know you’ve got a serious hazard on your hands. At that point, evacuate your home and call for help from somewhere safe. To make sure you won’t face the risk of breathing toxic gas without being warned, always check your carbon monoxide detectors at the start of the winter. Fresh batteries could save your life.

Strange Smells

While carbon monoxide doesn’t have a noticeable smell, a gas leak does. It smells like sulfur, as though your house is full of hard-boiled eggs. This is another emergency warning sign, which indicates that you should evacuate and call for help. Your natural gas company should have an emergency line and be able to respond promptly, but if they don’t, dial 911.

You’re not safe from strange smells if you have an electric furnace, either. The biggest risk in that case is electrical fire. This can smell like burning plastic or even, strangely, like fish. This is a very urgent issue. If you smell this but don’t see any fire, shut the furnace down and get emergency heating repair in Levelland, TX.

A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Gas furnaces have a component called the heat exchanger which contains the combustion gasses, heating the air that flows around it while keeping the dangerous gasses safely separated from the air. Because it heats and cools, it expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations, and over the course of many years, this can weaken the metal it’s made of, causing cracking.

Signs of a cracked heat exchanger include soot building up in your furnace cabinet, corrosion or rust on the furnace, and pilot problems such as a jumpy or dancing flame or a flame that burns some color other than blue. You may also hear a clicking sound after the heating cycle ends, as the heat exchanger cools down and the edges of the crack contract together. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, get repairs right away.

Circuit Breaker Tripping

If your furnace trips the circuit breaker, the issue may be quite minor. Your first step should be changing the air filter, as reduced airflow can cause this. But if your filter is clean, or if you clean it and the circuit breaker trips again, you need furnace repair. This can be an indicator of a serious electrical issue.

Avoiding Furnace Hazards

The best way to make sure your furnace is operating safely is to have maintenance done annually by a qualified professional. Ensuring your safety is our technicians’ top priority, and maintenance will also improve your furnace’s efficiency and effectiveness, reduce the need for repairs, and extend the working lifetime of the system.

JD’s Prompt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Lubbock area. Contact us for all your heating needs.

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