Common Heating Issues and How to Solve Them

When the temperature drops, your heating system comes to your rescue. It works round the clock to keep your home warm. Your heating system can run into problems and stop working. The last thing you need on a chilly night is a malfunctioning heating system. If your heating system is acting up, try to get to the root of the problem while waiting for your HVAC contractor to arrive. If you are successful, you can provide the professional with important inputs, helping them diagnose the problem swiftly.

Here are some common heating problems and their solutions.

Heating System Won’t Switch On

When your heating system does not turn on, you may think it is failing or has already died; however, this heating problem does not necessarily mean your heating system is doomed. If your heating system won’t come on, check your thermostat to make sure it is receiving power.

Sometimes, a tripped circuit breaker can cause starting problems. If you have a tripped circuit breaker, reset it and see if your heating system comes on. Your thermostat should be set to the ‘Heat’ setting. As a safety precaution, many furnaces won’t turn on if the blower compartment door is open. Check the panels on your unit’s exterior to ensure they’re closed properly.

Your Vents Are Blowing Cold Air

If cool air blows from your vents while your furnace operates, make sure the blower motor is set to “AUTO.” You will also want to check your air filters to ensure they are not clogged with dirt and are working properly. Some other problems that can cause cool air to come out of vents include duct leaks, malfunctioning ignition, and clogs in the condensate line. If you have tried everything, and the problem persists, schedule residential heating repair in El Dorado Hills.

Short Cycling

When a furnace or heater frequently turns on and off, it is short cycling. Short cycling can be extremely frustrating. It can waste a lot of energy and reduce the lifespan of your system. Here are some things you can try if your furnace short cycles:

  • Make sure the flame sensor is working properly. If you have a bad flame rod, clean or replace it.
  • Overheating is a common cause of short cycling. If your system overheats, have a professional inspect it.
  • Check your air filters to make sure they are clean.
  • Make sure the windows in your furnace are sealed tight.
  • Check the exhaust flue line and remove any debris, such as leaves and remnants of birds’ nests, stuck in it.
  • Check the heat grates for any blockage.

Short cycling can also occur if your heating system is too large. Unfortunately, if your heating system is too big, replacing it is your only option.

Weird Noises

It is not unusual for a heating system to produce some noise when it is in operation; however, loud, weird noises can indicate a problem. Some potential causes include a loose panel, motor bearing problems, fan belt problems, and delayed ignition. Check all panels to make sure they are sitting flush. Inspect your motor bearing and lubricate the unlubricated ones. If the problem is caused by a loose or faulty fan belt, tighten or replace it.

Your Heating System Stays On

If your heating system runs constantly, check the thermostat to make sure it is working properly. Tighten any loose wires and ensure you are using the correct setting. Check your furnace’s limit switch to make sure it isn’t stuck. If your system’s fan is on, turn it to “off” mode or “auto.” Make sure your air filters are clean and working properly.

Cold Spots in Your House

Cold spots in your home can cause indoor comfort issues. It is a sign your heating system isn’t heating effectively. The sooner you address the underlying problem, the better. Here are some probable reasons why a heating system heats unevenly:

  • It is too large or small. If you have an oversized or undersized system, replace it.
  • Your furnace filters are clogged with dirt. To address the problem, clean your filters. If your filters are badly clogged, or you do not remember the last time you changed them, now is a good time to get rid of them.
  • There are leaks in your ductwork. Leaks can be caused by loose joints, physical damage, and collapsed runs. Regardless of the reason, have a professional inspect your ductwork as soon as possible.
  • Furniture or other items are blocking your air returns, due to which your supply ducts are not working properly. Make sure areas around your air returns are free of obstructions. Vacuum dirt out of your air vents regularly.
  • Your heating dampers are closed. If you have manual dampers, make sure all units are in their position. An automatic damper system will need to be checked by a technician who will make sure it is responding to thermostat instructions.
  • Uninsulated ductwork can cause heat loss to occur, resulting in cold spots. Have a professional add insulation to your ductwork.

A Burning Smell 

A burning smell from your furnace could mean that your motor is overheating. Faulty wiring and dirty or damaged air filters can also cause your heating system to produce a burning smell. Sometimes, a burning odor is produced when the dust accumulated on a heating system burns when it is switched on after a long time. Before switching your furnace on at the start of the heating season, clean it. If the problem persists, call a technician. South Placer Heating and Air specializes in residential heating repair in El Dorado Hills. No matter how complex your heating problem is, our team will come up with a cost-effective solution. To schedule a system inspection, call (916) 246-2089.