Did you know that winter temperatures in Maryland average around 34 degrees? As winter approaches, it is critical to have a properly functioning heating system. 

You don’t want to wait until the cold months hit before realizing something is amiss with your heater. For that reason, keep an eye out for the most common heating issues. 

Keep reading on to learn more about heating systems and problems to watch out for. 

Heating System

What is the difference between an HVAC system and a heating system? An HVAC system includes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This is an all-in-one system and relatively common to see. 

An HVAC system works to both cool and heat your home. Along those lines, there are a couple of different kinds of heating systems. Some homes have a furnace, while others have a heating pump.

In general, a heating pump is typically found in milder climates. Heat pumps work by taking in outside air and redistributing it throughout the house. Even if it is colder outside, a heat pump still works to heat your home. 

These heat pumps are mostly recommended for southern regions and parts of California. For colder temperatures, most HVAC experts recommend a furnace. A furnace works better in colder temperatures that hover around freezing or below. 

While they tend to cost more, they will keep your home warmer when it needs it the most. Depending on the type of furnace you have, it will either burn gas to generate warmer air or run on electricity. 

1. No Heat

One of the central heating problems is no heat coming from the HVAC system. If this is occurring, the first step that you can take is to check the thermostat. Next, check the power and try resetting it. 

If you have a gas furnace, then make sure you have lit the pilot. Sometimes the filter also gets clogged and can block the heater from working. If none of these strategies work, then make sure you contact an expert for your HVAC problems.  

2. Less Heat

Another similar problem is that your heater isn’t producing enough heat. Typically, this is solved by cleaning your filters and removing any debris or dirt that could be blocking your heater. 

Make sure that when you are checking your heater, you look at the vents and ductwork. The more significant problem is that your house is not insulated enough. The hot air escapes out of your home faster than it warms up the inside when this happens. 

Finally, your thermostat can also be the cause of less heat distributed in your house. If the thermostat is in direct sunlight, it can cause inaccurate temperature readings.

When this happens, the furnace shuts off prematurely. Try moving your thermostat or double-checking that it is working correctly before calling an expert. 

3. Loud Noises

All furnaces make noises. However, a lot of HVAC issues are recognizable by odd sounds. These could be things such as rattling or grinding noises. 

Rattling is sometimes indicative of problems with the blower. If the blower is loose or dirty, you will likely hear loud noises coming from your heater. 

If your heater is making a grinding noise, you should call a mechanic to come and inspect it. Your motor could need repairing or a replacement. Other rattling noises might indicate something is blocking the heater or furnace. 

Since it is sometimes difficult to determine what is causing the noise, it is helpful to have a reliable company to call that will quickly determine what is causing the problem with your heater. 

4. Furnace Constantly Runs

Sometimes your furnace doesn’t shut off. In this case, there are likely parts of the furnace that are clogged. First, check the thermostat settings to ensure that you have it scheduled to shut off and not run continuously. 

Next, check the air filter and make sure it is clean. Lastly, look towards the blower as a source of the problem. If it is dirty or clogged, it is most likely the source of the problem. 

Spend some time cleaning it before giving your furnace another shot. 

5. No Longer Blowing Air

If the blower is no longer working, then check the area around your furnace. If it is dirty or there is debris in the area, then clear the area. Next, find the circuit breakers to check and see that they are correctly working. 

Another cause of the blower no longer working could be the air filters. If those look clean, then contact an expert for your HVAC issues. 

6. Pilot Light Not Working

If the pilot light has gone out, you can try relighting it. Sometimes the light will change colors, and that is indicative of repair. If the pilot light keeps going out, it is likely time to call a technician to take a look at it. 

It is also important to note that different furnaces will have different colored pilot lights. For instance, a natural gas furnace has a blue flame with a yellow tip. Propane has a green flame with a yellow tip. 

7. Odd Smells

If your furnace smells like it is burning, then you should shut it off immediately. More specifically, if it smells like burning plastic, it is usually a problem with the motor and requires the attention of a specialized mechanic.

However, sometimes the heater smells dusty. This often happens towards the beginning of winter when the dust has collected in the furnace over the summertime months. This smell is standard and usually disappears after you start to use it more consistently. 

Heating Problems

Your heating system is a necessary component of your house. If you suspect problems with your HVAC system but aren’t sure where to start – look at contacting a qualified technician.

If you have had your HVAC system for years and want to ensure it is adequately maintained before using it, contact us today. Let one of our skilled technicians come to take a look at your HVAC system to make sure you are all set for the upcoming winter months.