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Home Heating Problems

A challenge that many of us face within the cozy quarters of our homes during the winter is unexpected home heating issues. Whether it’s an unexpected drop in temperature, strange noises emanating from the furnace, dirty air filters, or rooms that just won’t heat up to your liking, home heating challenges can turn the season of warmth and comfort into one filled with frustration.

If you’re currently dealing with a recurring heating malfunction, you’re not alone. Join the team from 360 Comfort Systems to learn more about these types of heating system issues below.

What are common heating problems?

The causes of heating issues can vary, so finding the source of the problem is crucial to finding an effective remedy quickly, so you can prevent further damage to your heating systems. Here are a few typical problems that homeowners frequently run into:

1. Cool air or no heat:

Thermostat problems

A common heating issue homeowners experience is a malfunctioning thermostat. A thermostat that isn’t working correctly due to dead batteries that need to be replaced or incorrect settings can cause a lack of heat in your home or lead to your equipment blowing cold air into your living area instead of warmth.

Make sure that you have your thermostat programmed to its “heat” mode. Once you do so, wait a couple minutes to see if your heating system is able to circulate air that is warm throughout your home.

Issues with the pilot light, ignition system, or gas valve

A lack of heat coming from your gas furnace can be caused by problems with the ignition system or pilot light. The pilot light is responsible for igniting the heating fuel, which in this gas is natural gas, that is fed into the heater to start the heating cycle.

However, if the pilot light is burnt out, there are issues with the gas valve, or other important parts in the overall ignition system can prevent your gas furnace from generating the heated air in the first place. Problems with the ignition and pilot light will need to be repaired by an HVAC professional given that working with any components related to your home’s gas supply like the gas valve and direct gas line is dangerous.

2. Inconsistent heating from your heating system

Closed or blocked air vents

The distribution of heat can be obstructed by furniture or other obstacles blocking air vents. Your duct system, much like your furnace or heat pump air filters are prone to collecting dust, hair, dirt, and other debris that can prevent the air vents from allowing the warm air throughout your home.

Other obstructions could include curtains and furniture, which block the air vents from blowing air into your rooms. To fix this, go around your home and make sure there are no visible obstacles in the way of the vents in each room.

Problems with the duct system

Uneven heating throughout your home may be caused by leaks, obstructions, or inadequate insulation in the duct system. The duct system is responsible for transferring the heated from your heating equipment. As such, if there is an issue with your ducting, it will be difficult for your HVAC system from achieving and maintaining a comfortable temperature indoors.

Further, because the heating equipment will struggle to maintain a comfortable interior throughout your interior, more wear and tear will occur, which in turn, will lead to inefficiency and more expensive heating bills.

3. Unusual Sounds

Loud noises

Sounds such as rattling, clanking, or whistling may be signs of problems with the heating system, such as a broken or loose component, air leaking into the system, or a broken blower. Mechanical components in furnaces and heat pumps that can experience damage include a cracked heat exchanger, blower fan, blower motor, limit switch, gas valve, and more.

Again, an HVAC professional will need to inspect your furnace, boiler, or heat pump to diagnose any mechanical problems and conduct any necessary repairs.

4. Short cycling

Incorrect thermostat controls

An incorrect thermostat setting can result in short cycling. Short cycling occurs when your furnace, boiler, or heat pump operates continuously throughout the day in short cycles. This process of your equipment turning on and off frequently can cause your heating equipment to deteriorate quickly and lead to damages within the system that need to be replaced or repaired.

Clogged or dirty air filter

Another common heating issue that homeowners can experience is a dirty air filter which can have a significant impact on your indoor air quality. A blocked or dirty air filter can impede airflow from your heating system and even cause cold air from going into your home.

Dirty air filters can also cause the heating system to work overtime to transfer warm air into your home, leading to deterioration and other heating problems that affect your indoor air supply.

As such, dirty air filters need to be replaced in your boiler, furnace or heat pump every one to three months. A clean air filter will ensure the air you breathe is free from airborne contaminants and that your HVAC system is heating properly.

5. Excessive heating bills

Ineffective heating system

Older or inefficient heating systems use more energy, which overtime, can increase your energy bills and cause more frequent breakdowns. As such, when your heating system approaches or has reached the end of its service life, it may be worth looking into purchasing a new boiler, furnace or heat pump for your home.

6. Weird smells

Odd odours

Weird smells coming from your heating system can be caused by mould and mildew development in the system itself, the air filters, or throughout your home’s air ducts.

It’s best to speak with a qualified HVAC professional about each of these issues so they can be properly diagnosed and fixed in a timely manner. They will be able to correctly sanitize and stop the growth of mould and mildew from spreading further into your heating system.

Why is my heat coming out cold in my house?

If the air coming from your heating system is cold rather than warm, there could be a number of possible problems. The following are some typical causes: 

Thermostat settings

Occasionally, the “cool” or “fan only” settings on the thermostat may be accidentally selected. Other times, the batteries in your thermostat need to be replaced.

Issues with the pilot light or ignition

Warm air cannot be produced by gas-powered heating systems if the pilot light or ignition process isn’t working correctly as it will directly hinder the heating cycle.

Clogged air filter

When an air filter becomes dirty or obstructed, airflow is restricted, which can lead to overheating and the heating system shutting down as a safety precuation.

Faulty heating element or burner

Cold air might be produced in electric furnaces due to a heating element that isn’t working correctly.

Problems with the electronic control board

Heating issues might arise from malfunctions in the electronic control board, which controls a number of system operations.

Issues with the ductwork

Heat loss can be caused by leaks, obstructions, or insufficient insulation in the ductwork, which allows cold air to enter the vents.

How do you check for heat loss in a house?

In order to keep your home at an ideal indoor temperature and increase your energy efficiency, it is essential to check your home for any heat loss. Here are a couple of methods you can do:

Thermal imaging

By identifying temperature variations across a range of surfaces, thermal cameras can help locate heat-leaking regions. Heat loss may be indicated by cooler areas on the camera. When performing energy audits, experts frequently utilize thermal imaging.

Roof and attic inspection

Make sure your attic has enough ventilation and insulation. Heat loss may arise due to inadequate insulation or gaps. To ensure that no heat escapes, check the roof for any broken or missing shingles.

Inspect your doors and windows

Another common way heat can escape your home is through the windows and doors. Make sure you have adequate seals along the edges to prevent this from happening.

Perform an energy audit

To get a thorough evaluation of the energy efficiency of your house, think about working with a qualified energy inspector. They are able to offer customized advice on how to decrease heat loss in your home based on its unique characteristics. 

How many hours a day should my heating be on?

The number of hours per day that your heating system should operate depends on a variety of variables, including your comfort level, the outside temperature, the efficiency and insulation of your house, and the climate where you live. Let’s take a closer look:

Comfort preferences: While some people feel comfortable in somewhat colder temps, others would rather be in a warmer indoor setting. You can modify your heating system to suit your needs.

Outside temperature: In order to keep your home warm during the winter, you’ll probably need to run your heating system longer when it’s colder outside compared to when the temperatures are above freezing. 

Programmable thermostat: Use the functions on your programmable thermostat to set various temperature levels for different periods of the day. When you’re not at home or asleep, turn the temperature down; when you are awake and at home, turn it up.

How can I prevent heating problems in my home?

Heating problems can happen at any time. However, when you take proper care of your system, you can prevent the common problems we mentioned above, from happening in the first place. So, what can you do as a homeowner to ensure you have uninterrupted heating throughout your interior?

Routine maintenance

It goes without saying that routine maintenance on your furnace, heat pumps, and boilers is one of the best way to prevent issues with your heating appliances. Homeowners should aim to have routine maintenance performed on their heaters at least once a year by a certified technician.

We suggest booking an appointment with a certified HVAC company in the early fall. This will ensure your furnace, heat pump, or boiler unit is ready to perform optimally for you throughout the wintertime. It also provides you the opportunity to have any issues repaired before they become more damaging.

Change dirty air filters regularly

Like we briefly touched on earlier, homeowners should change their dirty or clogged air filters at least every couple of months. Air filters are responsible for maintaining the indoor air quality throughout your home. When clogged, the heated air will have difficulties circulating indoors. It can also lead to your furnace, boiler, or heat pump blowing cold air into your interior.

In most cases, homeowners can change their air filters by themselves. However, if you’ve never done so, or don’t feel comfortable changing air filters, a professional technician from 360 Comfort Systems would be more than happy to help you.

Book prompt repairs

Homeowners need to be aware of the signs and symptoms that could indicate they are experiencing a common heating issue in their home. By knowing what red flags to look out for, they’ll be able to reach out to a professional as soon as possible to book a repair appointment.

Prompt repair appointments are key to preventing further damage and problems from developing.

By doing these important preventative tasks, homeowners can have peace of mind knowing they’ll be able to maintain a comfortable home interior throughout the wintertime for their families.

Issues with your heating system? Book a Repair with an HVAC Professional from 360 Comfort Systems Today!

Dealing with a home heating problem? If so, book a repair appointment with the 360 Comfort Systems team! We’re available 24/7/365 days a year, including after-hours, weekends, and holidays at no extra cost. Our certified technicians are also available for same-day repairs.

In the event that your heating system is deemed irreparable by one of our technicians, they’ll be more than happy to help you schedule a consultation appointment with a home comfort advisor so you can upgrade your inefficient heating equipment with a brand-new HVAC system.

Whether you’re looking for a conventional furnace system, high efficiency condensing furnaces, boilers, or heat pump, 360 Comfort Systems offers an extensive selection of units we can customize to your unique needs and budget. If the cost of a new HVAC system is a concern, we also offer various discounts and financing options that can help you save big on your new equipment.

360 Comfort Systems is pleased to operate throughout Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Coombs, Cowichan Bay, Crofton, Honeymoon Bay, Duncan, Koksilah, Ladysmith, Lantzville, Mill Bay, Nanaimo, Parksville, Victoria, and the surrounding areas.

If you live in any of these communities, contact us over the phone or use our online booking form to reserve heating system service today! All consultations with an HVAC professional from our team include a complimentary estimate when you purchase a new heating system!

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