Noticing that your heating system is not running the way that you want it to can be quite a stressful realization, and some issues are much easier to solve than others.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to fix some of the most common heating problems, so that you know whether it might be something you can tackle on your own or whether your furnace needs repairs.
Looking at your thermostat is probably one of the first things that you should do when you’re having problems with the heating in your home. Often, it might simply be a case of having the wrong settings in place, or the thermostat itself not being powered correctly.
First, check to make sure that your settings are correct, and that the time and date are accurate. You should take a look at the manual again to be certain everything is in order.
If the thermostat display is not showing anything at all, then it likely means that it is not powered. In this case, check the circuit breaker and connections, and replace any batteries it might be using.
The next thing to look at when you are experiencing issues with your heating is the air filter, as this is probably the most common cause of reduced efficiency and can even lead to internal damage.
The filter in your heating system is designed to collect dust, debris, and any other particles that would otherwise travel through the ducts and interfere with internal components. Because of this, they will become clogged over time and should be replaced relatively frequently.
Different filters can handle different quantities of particles, and some will need replacing more often than others. This usually depends on their size and efficiency (generally shown through their MERV rating).
No matter how efficient your filter might be, some dirt will inevitably make its way into the system anyway. When your ducts become dirty, this will restrict airflow and force your furnace to work much harder to distribute hot air around your home.
Some of this dirt might be collected around the vents, which can be cleared away relatively easily, but you might need to fully clean the entire duct system. Even if you aren’t noticing any problems yet, it may well be worth investing in a professional HVAC system cleaning service, particularly if:
- You have pets
- You suffer from allergies or asthma
- You smoke
- There has been recent water contamination or damage
- Your home has recently been remodeled or renovated
If you’re noticing that your heating is not providing quite as much warmth as you expect, it might well be a result of leaks within the system. Leaky ducts are an incredibly common problem and can mean hundreds of wasted dollars every year.
To fix leaks in your ducts, then you will need to seal and insulate them properly – which is not always a simple DIY job. You might even want to think about upgrading some older parts of the ductwork to more modern alternatives that provide better sealing and greater efficiency.
Damage or Parts Failures
At the end of the day, heating problems can ultimately be the result of actual damage to component parts, or faults somewhere along the line. Typically, the ignition system, the blower, and the heat pump are where you need repairs or replacements most often, but there are many other things that can go wrong besides.
Generally speaking, any work of this kind is best left to a professional, so that you know it is being handled safely and no further problems are likely to spring up in the future.