The weather is cooling down, and residents across the country are turning up their heating systems. Unfortunately, turning on the heat and running the furnace can reveal problems you weren’t aware of previously. Don’t get too worked up if your furnace breaks out. Instead of replacing it, you might be able to repair it. Repairing a broken furnace is far less expensive than purchasing a new one. A new furnace costs between $2,700 and $6,800 on average, depending on numerous criteria, although furnace repairs are generally only a few hundred dollars.
With winter storms on the way, it’s critical to have your furnace up and operating properly so you don’t have any major problems during the season. Nothing is more unpleasant than a broken furnace in the middle of a snowfall. In this article, we will go through the most common heating repairs.
1. Your Heating System Won’t Turn Off
If your heating system continues to run and blow hot air, first double-check that it is set to “auto” rather than “on.” Your heating system will turn off when it reaches the set temperature if you set it to “auto.”
If it still runs after you’ve done this, your thermostat may be damaged or wired incorrectly. It could be a problem with the blower in your heating system. The first step is to double-check that the thermostat’s wiring is properly connected, then reset it to the manufacturer’s settings to see how the system operates. If this doesn’t work, it means your thermostat has to be replaced.
If the problem is with the blower, you should call a heating repair specialist to diagnose and fix it.
2. Areas of Your House Aren’t Heating Properly
If your home isn’t evenly heated throughout, it could be due to a dirty air filter, faulty ductwork, or problems with the heating system’s fan motor, bearings, or belts. It’s simple to replace your air filter, but if you have issues with your ductwork or system, you should contact a heating repair professional.
3. Cool Air Is Coming Out of the Vents
Whether you have a heat pump or a furnace, your home’s central heating system distributes heat through a network of connected air ducts. Although leaking ducts may alter the temperature of the air flowing from your vents, you should first address a couple of quick fixes.
Thermostat – First, double-check that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature. If you did, try raising it a notch to see if you can detect a temperature difference. Furthermore, rather than “fan on,” the thermostat should be set to “auto,” as the fan will just blow non-heated air. If everything is fine then you should go on to the air filter.
Air Filter – Because air filters collect a lot of dirt and dust, they should be changed every one to three months. As a result, your heating system may have a harder time performing effectively, which could be why it’s spewing cool air.
Pilot Light – Check your heating system’s pilot light to determine if it’s turned on. It’s possible that there isn’t any gas flowing to it if it isn’t turned on. This could be the issue if the gas valve is turned off. Otherwise, you should consult with a heating system expert to diagnose the issue.
Fuel – Whether you have an electric, gas, or oil heating system, it requires adequate power to function effectively and will not work if it does not have sufficient fuel.
Leaky ducts – As previously said, leaky ducts could be the source of the problem. Turning on your fan and then walking up to your crawl space or attic is an easy way to check. Feel for any blowing air by walking along with your ducting. If nothing appears to be wrong, gently light a piece of incense and hold it near one of the junction point joints (do this for each) to check if the smoke drifts away from the ducting, suggesting a leak.
4. Your Heating System Won’t Light Or Stay Lit
If your heater is modern, it is likely to have electrical ignition and an intermittent pilot light instead of a standing pilot light. The sensors that ensure that gas does not flow when the heater is turned off become dirty over time and must be cleaned or replaced.
5. The Thermostat Controls Aren’t Working
If you’re having trouble setting the temperature or changing the system controls, it’s possible that your thermostat is to blame. Follow the above-mentioned troubleshooting steps. Then, if your thermostat is digital, replace the batteries. If none of those options work, you can try resetting it to factory defaults again.
If that doesn’t work, look for a tripped circuit that could be the source of the problem. If you can’t find the reason then we recommend you contact an experienced HVAC expert.
6. Your Heating System’s Fan Isn’t Working
If the fan on your heating system isn’t operating, check the thermostat to see if it’s set to the correct temperature. Next, check your air filter to make sure it’s not clogged; a clogged air filter can cause your fan to stop working.
Finally, make sure your circuit breakers are turned on; if they aren’t, turn them on; however, don’t turn them on and off continuously, as this could trigger an electrical fire. Contact a qualified heating system technician if none of these troubleshooting options work.
7. There’s Mold in Your Heating System
Because Texas has a humid environment, moisture buildup in your home’s heating system can be a problem, especially if you have poor insulation or broken ducting. Mold can grow in your heating system if this is the case.
The best answer is to have a qualified Texas heating system professional clean your system and, if necessary, properly insulate and seal your ducts to prevent moisture from accumulating.
As previously said, changing your air filters every one to three months and having your air ducts professionally cleaned every few years are also recommended.
8. There’s a Burning Smell Coming From Your Heating System
There could be a burning smell when you switch on your heating system for the first time in the winter because the heating system is burning away any dust and debris that has gathered since the last time you used it.
The odor could be caused by a filthy air filter, but it could also indicate a more serious issue. If the odor persists, turn off and unplug your heating equipment as soon as possible. Clean any dust or debris that has gathered after unplugging it, and change your air filter if necessary.
If this does not resolve the issue, you should seek the assistance of a heating repair expert.
9. Your Energy Bills Are Running High
Heat pumps, rather than furnaces, are used by many Floridians, and energy bills can skyrocket during the winter due to a variety of minor concerns, such as a filthy air filter or a tripped circuit. However, there’s a chance the issue is more serious, such as a faulty compressor or a refrigerant leak. If troubleshooting the previous problems doesn’t solve the problem, you should seek the help of a heating repair expert.
10. Not Maintaining Your Heating System
Maintenance of your heating system is sometimes overlooked, but if it isn’t done regularly, problems such as higher energy bills and premature repairs might develop. Scheduling a heating system service will guarantee that any minor concerns are addressed before they become major issues.
11. Heating equipment needs frequent repairs lately
While you may be used to ordering maintenance for appliances throughout your home regularly, a system that requires far more repairs than in previous years could indicate a failing furnace. Here are a few reasons why your heating system could need more work this year:
- Failure to keep up with routine maintenance – Annual expert tune-ups are required to inspect components for damages, clean the interior of the system, and look for serious issues such as heat exchanger cracks. Filters should be replaced regularly, and homeowners should be aware of any new problems that may arise. If you don’t maintain your furnace, it may develop other emergency issues. Schedule professional furnace and air conditioner tune-ups in the fall and spring, respectively.
- A new furnace is required – Furnaces, like all other home appliances, have a limited lifespan. Heat pumps last roughly 12 years on average, while traditional furnaces endure between 15 and 20 years. In the last two years of your furnace’s life, breakdowns are substantially more prevalent. Take persistent issues as an indication that you may need a new heating system soon and seek professional advice.
OTHER FURNACE ISSUES
If you hear loud banging noises inside your vents, a screw, nut, bolt, or other pieces of equipment may have fallen free. Noises can also be caused by a filthy filter or a filter that is installed incorrectly, which commonly occurs when the system is turned on and off.
Dusty, dirty coils, and other systems in your furnace can, believe it or not, cause major problems. Dust accumulation can cause your heating system to work overtime, resulting in increased monthly energy expenditures.
The benefits of routine furnace tune-ups
A skilled HVAC technician can detect furnace issues early on, saving you money and avoiding chilly nights at home. While a furnace problem is a good reason to bring in the specialists, furnace tune-ups and inspections have several other benefits, including:
- When you keep your furnace in good working order, it uses less energy and lowers your monthly heating expenses.
- Regular furnace tune-ups from a professional HVAC technician will help you maintain vital components while also extending the life of your heating system (and reducing the chance of permanent damage).
- During your furnace tune-up service, your HVAC professional will detect and repair any small faults that are identified. They’ll also take care of any major issues, such as heating system repairs or replacement.
- House fires and other hazards, such as toxic gas fumes or even deadly carbon monoxide leaks, can be avoided with routine maintenance.
Taking care of your furnace between tune-ups
Follow these tips to keep your furnace functioning smoothly in between professional furnace tune-ups.
- Maintain the lubrication of your blower motor bearings throughout the season. If your heating system has oil cups, you should lubricate them once a year with around 3 drops of oil. (However, many new motors come with permanently sealed bearings that don’t require oiling.)
- Check your blower unit regularly for dirt and clean it out. Vacuuming the furnace regularly can help with this. Make sure the circuit breaker is turned off before proceeding.
- Along with cleaning your furnace, you should check for air leaks in any exposed ducting joints. Holding a burning stick of incense to the joints while the furnace is operating is one method for doing so. You should be able to follow the smoke to the source of any leaks. When you find them, use metal tape to seal the areas.
- Another thing you may do is double-check the accuracy of your thermostat. Place an outdoor thermometer next to the thermostat on the wall. Run the furnace for a few minutes, then check the thermometer’s reading against the room temperature. Schedule an appointment with one of our licensed HVAC technicians or contact your technician at your next tune-up appointment if you detect any anomalies.
Preventing the Most Common Heating Problems
While many heating issues are caused by an old, inefficient system, others are simple to avoid. Professional home heating system maintenance can help you avoid emergency system failures by reducing the wear and tear your system experiences while it runs throughout the winter. Heating pumps require two annual tune-ups because they heat and cool your home. Furnace tune-ups should be performed once a year. Fall is an excellent time to perform routine maintenance, but don’t worry if you missed your window. Even in the cold, having an HVAC professional do preventative maintenance can help you avoid issues.