The Most Common Problems With Heating
April 13, 2015
Sometimes we try to scrimp, save, and avoid certain tasks as simple as a home heating system check-up. However, in the long run, our “thriftiness” comes back to bite us in the rear, and we end up spending more because of trying to save.
Some of the negative results of not regularly keeping tabs on your heating system:
1) an increase in energy cost
2) poorly performing appliance
3) discomfort of too much or little heat
4) a whole lot of frustration.
So what are some of these potential problems that you could run into? How are they caused? And most importantly, how can you prevent them from happening to you?
1) Infrequent Or Improper Maintenance
Cause: Problems with your heating system are often gradual. It is the worst when you unsuspectingly experience discomfort and increased energy cost without realizing it until quite some time has passed. The cause of this issue is your own stinginess, laziness, or ignorance.
Prevent: Simply enough, have an annual check-up. Make it regular; don’t be cheap. Find a deal if you must. Perhaps it seems like a hassle, but there are plenty of professionals out there who know the tricks of the trade and can give you peace of mind concerning your home heating condition.
2) Clogged Or Dirty Filter
Cause: Again, if these are not checked often, the dirt and dust will build up causing reduced air flow and strained furnace effort. Additionally, your filter will require more frequent replacement when your house is undergoing construction or remodeling or you own pets.
Prevent: Nobody wants that kind of stuffy air or to over-exhaust your furnace’s capabilities. First, double-check that the filters you are using really are the correct size for your house and furnace. Second, be conscientious and set up a schedule for regular checking, at least monthly. There are even options of reusable, washable filters depending on the size and age of your furnace..
3) Air Flow Issues
Cause: Your heating system often has lots of knick knacks including belts, bearings, fans, and motors. Through time, these mechanics suffer wear and tear, then become the culprits of overheating furnaces and poor heating control with little or no airflow.
Prevent: If you begin to notice some air restriction, then that’s a warning sign. Checking for blockages of leaves or snow around your outside vents on a normal basis is one of the simplest methods of prevention. However, if there seems to be no other reason for diminished airflow, consulting with a professional is your best bet.
4) Ignition Malfunction
Cause: There is always a possibility that your furnace or heating system pilot or ignition control will have problems, resulting in irregular or no heat. Modern furnace systems are generally one of two main types although some older houses have different systems.
Prevent: When your furnace doesn’t turn on, don’t jump to immediate conclusions. Although not something you can prevent, there are several items to check out before recruiting professional help. Simply take a look around your furnace and view that everything is in working condition: the control setting, fuse or circuit breaker, no loose wires or burn scars, and an open gas valve. With older furnaces, a standing pilot light indicates that the thermocouple is still functioning. With newer furnaces, rapid, clicking sounds as you turn the furnace on indicate a functioning electronic ignition. If something indeed appears wrong, then now is the time to bring in the professionals.
5) Seasonal Transitions
Cause: Most commonly, furnaces have issues when adjusting from warmer to colder weather. All of a sudden, the furnace that you haven’t needed for several months is in high demand. But oftentimes, it won’t start up like you want it to because of the long period of unuse.
Prevent: The best solution is to turn on your furnace at regular intervals during summer so that it is not rusty once the chilly weather returns. Otherwise, if your house remains cold even after you’ve turned the furnace on, you will probably need to “bleed” your radiator of that excess cold air.
6) Thermostat Malfunctions
Cause: You begin to notice problems with the thermostat because there is no heat or fan, resulting in discomfort. There are several possibilities as to the cause: aging wiring, transformers that need to be replaced, wrong batteries, dirty contacts, etc.
Prevent: Again, first check that it is turned on to the correct setting. Carefully clean off any accumulated dust. Try replacing the programmable batteries or testing the terminals to see if your thermostat really does need to be replaced. In that case, call in the technicians to repair or replace.
Now several of these heating issues won’t necessarily be tasks that you will be able to tackle by yourself. You may not even notice them until a lot later in the game. That is why you need to be willing to trust someone who does actually know what is going on (or can figure it out at least). Jim Lavallee Plumbing & Heating is someone you can trust – with check-ups, repairs, and replacements. You’re not throwing your pennies away, you’re actually saving them. Call us today: (888) 884-4122