You come home from a weekend out-of-town in the dead of winter and your house is freezing. You start to toy around with the thermostat and that’s when you realize that something is very wrong. Keep reading for 5 common heating problems and find out when you should call for heating repair.
Heating and cooling costs can add up to 50% or more of a household’s energy bill, so you want to make sure that everything is working correctly. Let’s be honest – there’s never a good time to need furnace repair, but most of us do not feel savvy enough to attempt it ourselves.
- Dirty Filters
The air filter for your furnace works just like any other air filter – it prevents dirt and dust from entering your heating system. When the filter itself gets clogged, it’s time for a new one.
If you notice that your furnace is running more often than normal, or you notice a strange smell or a burning smell near your furnace, find the filter and pull it out. The outer rim of it is visible from the outside of the furnace. If it’s covered in dirt and dust, it’s time for a new one.
Filters should last anywhere between three months to a year, depending on the thickness. If you’re only changing your filter once every year (or less), you’re going to shorten the lifespan of your furnace.
If you have pets or smokers in your home, this will shorten the lifespan of the filter itself, so check it often, especially if your furnace isn’t running efficiently. Sometimes, it’s an easy fix like a filter and there’s no need to call HVAC repair.
- A Broken Thermostat Can Result in the Need for Heating Repair
Sometimes, the problem is not with the furnace itself, but with the thermostat. The thermostat is the “brains” of the operation, so if it’s not functioning properly (just like the human brain), neither will the furnace.
The thermostat sends commands to your furnace and, just like your furnace, can malfunction and/or need replacement. Problems can range from a low or dead battery to incompatibility with your furnace.
And yes, even smart thermostats can be faulty.
Your Thermostat May Be Faulty if:
- the furnace keeps turning on and off frequently
- your energy bills are higher than normal
- the temperature reading is incorrect
- the furnace doesn’t respond immediately to temperature setting changes
- your thermostat is an older model
If you suspect that the problem is with your thermostat and not the furnace but you can’t be sure, it’s best to call for heating and cooling repair.
Replace your thermostat with a programmable or smart model to save money on your energy bill. And if you have no basic electrical knowledge, call a heating repair specialist to replace it.
- Lack of Regular Maintenance
Your furnace is just as important, if not more important, than other parts of your house. And part of being a homeowner is taking care of your property, so make sure that you’re taking care of your HVAC system.
It’s best to plan on yearly maintenance to avoid any problems, and a primetime for this is in the fall when the temperatures start to drop.
Annual Furnace Cleaning Consists of:
- shutting down the system
- cleaning the combustion chamber
- checking the flue pipe for holes and damage
- cleaning vents in the floor
- cleaning and/or changing the oil filter
- testing the burner efficiency
This can be a daunting task to take on yourself, so don’t hesitate to call heat repair companies for quotes on service. It’s a once-per-year cost and will not only prolong the life of your furnace but help to keep you and your family safe.
Don’t wait until something goes wrong to realize that you should’ve been conducting regular maintenance on your HVAC system all along.
- Leaky Duct Work
The heating ducts that transport warm air throughout your house are just as important to your HVAC system as the furnace itself, and can also become a reason to call a professional for heating repair.
If you notice that your furnace is staying on longer than normal to heat your home, it’s possible that there’s a leak in one or more of your air ducts. The furnace is working overtime to make up for the air that is leaking out, which results in a more costly energy bill.
You can plug the leak yourself, that is if you can find it. Locating an air duct leak can be tricky and it’s a good reason to call a professional for heater repair.
- Circulation Problems
Another common cause for heating repair is bad circulation. Think of your HVAC system as you think of the human body – the human body can’t function without good circulation, and the same is true for your heating and cooling system.
Components like belts, bearings, and fan motors will age over time and stop working efficiently, thus not circulating warm air throughout your house per normal. When this happens, it’s possible for your furnace to overheat, which will cause even more problems.
Maintaining the circulation components of your furnace is another important reason to call a specialist for heating repair.
Finally, Stay Warm!
Not only is the heating system in your house important for your health; it also protects your water pipes from freezing up. It’s an integral part of the functioning of your home, and the people and pets inside. Treat it with as much TLC as you do the rest of your home.
Regular maintenance will extend the life of your HVAC system, but it’s up to you to know when something isn’t right. It’s also up to you to know when to attempt a repair yourself, or to call for heating and cooling repair.
Don’t ever be afraid to call an expert, especially when it comes to heating repairs.
If you found this article to be helpful, make sure to read more about home repairs and maintenance in our “For The Home” section.