Common Winter Heating Problems and How to Fix Them

Source: emergency air

During the winter months, there are instances when the weather can get surprisingly chilly, with the average lows dipping to the 30s. Understandably, the last thing you want is a malfunctioning heating system that leaves everyone huddled up in a mound of blankets on the couch.

Fortunately, HVAC repair contractors can quickly resolve heating system issues. Also, similar concerns can be easily prevented with a routine inspection. Unfortunately, many homeowners lose track of time and forget to schedule regular heating system maintenance.

Resolving the Most Prevalent Winter Heating Problems

Your House is Freezing

In the dead of winter, the last thing you want is a frosty home. Unless you enjoy walking around in a puffy winter coat, you need to get in touch with an HVAC technician right away to resolve the issues. Often, total heat loss can be attributed to any of the following:

  • Faulty thermostat. Your heating system can’t turn on if it won’t register that your house is cold. In line with this, you need to double-check the battery. If it’s not the problem, you might need to call a professional who can install a functioning thermostat.
  • Lack of power. Ensure your heating system is getting electricity by checking if the circuit breakers are on and the wiring near the unit’s components is not frayed.
  • Ineffective ignition system or pilot light. The flame that ignites the fuel in the furnace is called the pilot light. If the sensor is dirty or the pilot light is not on, your furnace might not work accordingly. This is an issue that is best left in the hands of professionals.
  • Frosted heat pump. During winter, it is typical for the coils of the heat pump to freeze. A heat pump that’s functioning switches to defrost mode to clear the ice away. Any malfunction in the defrosting process can render the pump ineffective.

You have the option to manually remove the ice buildup on your own, or you can pour warm water over the coils. If the issue is still not resolved, calling an HVAC technician is your best recourse.

Your System Cycles On and Off

Typically, your system cycles between three and eight times each hour. If it cycles more than that and only produces heat for a short amount of time, the unit may be “short cycling.” Left unattended, this can lead to spikes in your energy bill.

Short cycling has two common causes:

  • Dirty blower or air filter. The air filter is responsible for keeping the inside of the heating system clean. The blower distributes warm air throughout your home. If your air filter or blower is clogged, the warm air won’t make it to the home. Once the heating senses it’s overheating, it will shut off. During high use periods, keep your system running as smoothly as possible. You will need the help of a professional to maintain the blower.
  • Faulty thermostat. If you have an old battery or a broken thermostat, your heating system won’t be able to get an accurate reading of your home’s temperature. As a result, it won’t be able to deliver the appropriate amount of heat. You either have to install a new thermostat or replace the battery.

You Wake Up with Dry Skin and a Scratchy Throat

An arid home interior can dry out your throat and skin, worsen asthma and allergy symptoms, and cause nosebleeds. Humidity levels that are below 30 percent might cause damage to your home. Wood, for instance, will require moisture. Otherwise, it will crack.

This means furniture and hardwood floors can become unsafe when the environment is overly dry.

In similar scenarios, installing a humidifier that integrates directly with the HVAC system. Once the humidifier has been installed, it pulls water straight from the plumbing system to help ensure you are comfortable all year round.

Wrap Up

The best way to prevent the most prevalent heating problems is to have your system checked on a routine basis. Routine checks are also crucial so you can resolve minor issues before they become massive breakdowns.

About The Author

Sara Olsen is the Content Marketing Manager of Emergency Air, Arizona’s premier HVAC repair and service company with NATE-certified technicians and the best HVAC service in the quickest time. When not writing articles, she makes the most of her time with her family and gives back to the community.