As winter’s chill settles in, it’s essential that your home remains comfortable. Cozy sweaters, fluffy blankets, and flickering fireplaces provide great warmth — however, your heating system will be necessary to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Heating system breakdowns can be an immense hassle. Today’s post will help identify and address the seven most prevalent heating issues quickly.
Keep your home cozy this winter! Check out this guide to identify and fix common heating issues and for professional heating repair in Phoenix, AZ.
1. Frozen Pipes
Pipes may freeze if temperatures drop too far below their insulation thresholds and don’t provide sufficient heating in your home, leading to flooding, water damage, mold growth and mildew formation.
To prevent frozen pipes, keep the heat on and open cabinet doors to circulate warm air around them. Also, keep faucets running with just enough trickle water so as not to increase your bill.
Moving water doesn’t freeze as easily as stationary water and can help lower pressure, often contributing to burst pipes. If the problem continues, contact a plumber, as their services tend to be safer and more effective in defrosting pipes than trying it yourself.
2. Air Leaks & Drafts
Air leaks around windows, doors and walls are one of the leading sources of high energy bills. These gaps allow cold air into your home during winter and force your heating system to work harder during summer — increasing energy costs significantly.
Examine for signs of leakage such as bare spots on your roofline or attic floor, leaking skylights or crawl spaces as an indicator that insulation levels may not be adequate.
Try lighting a candle and using fans that release air outside (such as bathroom and kitchen exhaust vents) to check for drafts in your home. If the flame flickers or gets pulled inward, that indicates a draft. Adding additional insulation can stop these energy-wasting leaks in your attic, basement and wall cavities and potentially save on energy costs.
3. Furnace Malfunctions
Homes with no heat can be among the most frustrating heating issues they encounter during winter, yet thankfully, it’s also one of the simplest to resolve. Once your thermostat is powered on, ensure its display shows “on.” If this isn’t the case, change batteries and make sure your circuit breaker panel hasn’t tripped — reset as necessary.
Ensure your thermostat system setting is set to heat mode — this may have been accidentally changed to cool mode. If all checks out, contact an HVAC technician immediately to ascertain why your furnace keeps shutting off; they can identify and address any potential issues as soon as they appear.
4. Low Thermostat Settings
Homeowners must carefully consider the temperature setting on the thermostat in their home. Optimal settings vary depending on individual family comfort preferences and energy-saving goals.
The US Department of Energy states that while families are home and active, 68 degrees is the ideal thermostat setting since it will result in much lower heating expenses. Reducing the thermostat will save money but can cause cold zones in the house.
These cold zones should be addressed by repairing or replacing the ductwork and installing new insulation; additionally, checking that your condensate drain system has a float switch that trips when too much condensation has formed could also help.
5. Dirty Filters
Filters that become clogged impede airflow to your HVAC system and lead to an overtaxed blower, which, over time, may result in equipment failure.
Filters become dirtier more quickly during cold weather as your heating system runs more frequently, while any dirt build-up around return air vents could introduce contaminants into your filter — especially if they’re located near plants or other dust-prone spots.
Dirty filters will require more energy to match the settings on your thermostat, leading to higher energy bills and potentially leading to malfunctions such as limit switches that prevent furnace ignition. The best defense against these circumstances is to maintain a clean filter.
6. Burning Smells
Though the smell of burning dust may be typical when turning on your heater for the first time in a season, other odors could indicate serious problems with its components or even require professional help to correct. A burning or electrical smell usually indicates overheated components and could require professional services for resolution.
Burning plastic or electrical smells could indicate damaged wiring that requires immediate repairs by a technician to avoid house fires. This issue must be handled quickly to minimize risk to residents and firefighters.
7. Carbon Monoxide Leaks
All heaters that use fuel produce carbon monoxide, an odorless and invisible gas that can come into your home through leaks. Mild exposure may result in headaches and dizziness, while more serious poisoning could result in brain or heart damage or even lead to death through suffocation.
Make sure that a professional service worker services your furnace, gas water heater, and any other gas-fueled equipment once a year for the safety of you and your family.
An unpleasant sulfurous or rotten egg smell usually indicates a gas leak. Natural gas companies utilize this odor to detect gas leaks more quickly; turn off your furnace immediately.
CO leaks are caused by insufficient ventilation, blocked chimneys and vent pipes, cracked heat exchangers and outdated furnaces — so it is best to contact a heating and plumbing company as soon as possible for repairs and purchase a portable CO detector for added peace of mind.
In conclusion, maintaining the efficiency and safety of your home’s heating system is a critical aspect of responsible homeownership, especially during the colder months. By being vigilant for signs of malfunctions and performing regular maintenance, homeowners can prevent costly repairs, conserve energy, and ensure a warm and safe living environment for their families.