UPDATED 1/3/2018 When the temperature drops, heating systems fail due to increased use. Heating problems can happen any day of the winter, though, even on so-called warmer winter days. The five most common heating system problems you can expect as a homeowner, and the steps you can take to prevent them, so you don’t get cold.
Common heating system problems
1. Thermostat issues
Programmable thermostats improve energy efficiency, but they can also be the source of your heating problem. If your furnace doesn’t produce heat, make sure the unit is on and set to “heat,” the fan is set to “auto,” and the time and date are correct. Then, turn the temperature higher than the existing room temperature. Did the unit switch on?
If that doesn’t work, check the circuit breaker or fuse for the heating unit. Make sure it isn’t off or blown. If the system still isn’t working, call a professional like Minnick’s, for Maryland heat repair.
2. Airflow problems
Airflow problems are another common heating issue. Homeowners complain of rooms that are too hot or too cold. If a room is too cold, check the air vent to make sure it’s open.
You should also check the air vents because closed registers cause heating and cooling problems. Closing an air vent in a room that’s too warm or one you don’t use, seems to make sense. However, it’s not a good choice. It makes your system less efficient causing you to use more energy. Here’s why closed air vents cause problems.
Secondly, remove boxes, furniture, and other items from your home’s return and supply vents. Check every room to make sure the vents are clear.
Also, consider an energy audit. BGE and Pepco offer energy audits through approved contractors, like Minnick’s, for just $100. An energy audit finds sources of energy loss, airflow imbalances, and duct leaks.
With incentive programs available, it costs less to make energy-efficient upgrades.
3. Pilot or ignition control problems
Pilot lights go out for a number of reasons. Modern furnaces often use an electronic ignition system. Consult a professional to diagnose and repair the problem if you believe that you have a pilot light or ignition control issue.
4. Dirty air filters
Also, replace clogged or dirty air filters. Leaving these old filters in your furnace, causes your heat exchanger to overheat which may cause your heat to shut off.
Check your air filters monthly, especially if you have pets in your home or you’re remodeling it. It’s easy to remember with smartphone alerts. Replace or clean them upon inspection.
If you notice your filters accumulate dirt quickly, you may have a ductwork issue. It’s possible your ducts are pulling dirt from attics, crawl spaces, or wall cavities.
5. Lack of maintenance
You depend on your heat, but do you give it the TLC it needs? Maryland homes need regular HVAC maintenance. It’s best to do this during the fall but anytime is better than not doing it at all.
The HVAC technician cleans the system and gives it a tune-up. He looks for normal wear and tear, so you can replace parts before they become a problem. Like a car, your HVAC system needs a tuneup to keep it running smoothly.
Dirt is one of the leading causes of premature heating system failure. That’s why Minnick’s heating maintenance includes cleaning the blower and motor system, as well as the pulley and belts to the blower and the filter.
Regular maintenance ensures your system uses less energy, runs less often, and uses heat more efficiently. Also, the HVAC technician performs safety checks. Carbon monoxide is a real threat, caused by a variety of furnace issues. Having a professional check your home’ carbon monoxide levels will keep your family safe.
Heating maintenance prevents problems and saves you money on costly repairs. While it’s best to have an HVAC technician maintain your system, homeowners can also take steps to prevent heating problems in the winter. Remove leaves and debris from the outside of your heat pump, if you have one.
On the inside of your home, remove clutter or debris from around your heating unit. Your furnace gets hot, and can easily catch other material on fire. Don’t store paint cans, household cleaners, and chemicals near your furnace.
How would you like to prevent up to 80-percent of heating and cooling problems? Smart Maintenance offers you that opportunity. Our HVAC technician installs 10 custom sensors on your HVAC system. The smart technology predicts HVAC issues before they happen, prevents costly breakdowns, and protects your system.
It’s perfect for Montgomery County homeowners looking for a “smart” way to maintain their HVAC system.