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How to Avoid the Most Common Winter HVAC Issues

How to Avoid the Most Common Winter HVAC Issues

As winter approaches, it is important to start thinking about getting ready for the cold weather and preparing your furnace for heating season. Temperatures can get down into 20s and 30s in winter in Wilmington, so if you don’t want to get left out in the cold, you’ll want to avoid these common winter HVAC issues.

How to Avoid Common Winter Heating Issues

Here are some of the most common heating issues and how to avoid them this winter:

Heat Cycling

If you notice that your heating system is constantly cycling on and off, this may be a sign of a problem. It could either be a malfunctioning heater component or a faulty thermostat. Call your HVAC technician if you notice heat cycling as failing to fix this problem can lead to even more costly issues as well as increased utility bills.

Lack of Heat

If you are experiencing a sudden loss of heat or your home just doesn’t seem to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat, this may be a sign of a malfunctioning HVAC system or broken thermostat. The best way to avoid this issue is to test your heater before you are ready to turn it on for the season. You should also have your annual furnace tune-up in the fall to ensure that your system is working properly. If you still experience issues, call a professional as it may be a complex heating issue.

Increasing Heat Bills

One of the most common HVAC issues that homeowners experience during the winter is a spike in utility bills. If you notice that your heating bills are higher than last year, this could be do to an issue with your heating system. A malfunctioning or dirty component can cause your heating system to work harder than it should to heat your home, causing a sudden increase in heating bills. This issue may also be a thermostat problem, so homeowners may want to troubleshoot their thermostat before calling in an HVAC technician.

Inconsistent Room Temperatures

Homeowners often report experiencing inconsistent room temperatures in their home. This can make it difficult for you and your family to get comfortable, especially as temperatures start to drop. This may be due to a draft problem, which you can fix by sealing any leaky windows or doors and replacing damaged insulation. However, this issue can also be due to unbalanced airflow, which can often be resolved by manually adjusting the air vents. If this does not work, it could also be due to dirty coils or filters. Ask your HVAC technician to inspect and clean these components during your winter tune-up.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a serious risk to homeowners. This odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas can be deadly to you and your family. If you have an older gas furnace, you may be at increased risk for carbon monoxide leaks. This gas leaks through tiny cracks in the heat exchange that can often be difficult to see and find on your own. The best way to avoid carbon monoxide issues is to install a carbon monoxide detector. You should also have your HVAC technician inspect your system for carbon monoxide leaks when you get your annual furnace tune-up.

Need help handling one of these common heating issues? William G. Day Company is here to help you with all of your heating needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a trained HVAC technician.

7 Tips to Get Your Heater Ready for the Winter Season

As summer winds down, autumn home maintenance tasks may resurface in your calendar. Prepare your furnace before the cold weather hits to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient. You can complete many heater maintenance tasks on your own, but you may need a service professional for complete cold weather readiness.

Why You Should Properly Maintain Your Heater

Northeast winter weather can turn cold quickly. Without proper maintenance, you risk coming home to a cold house or experiencing a furnace problem when it’s least convenient. Besides poor heating, a malfunctioning furnace may lead to dangerous gas leaks and fire hazards. Properly maintained furnaces perform better over time, are safer, and cost less to operate. Proactive maintenance is an investment in physical and financial health.

Tips for Winter Weather Heater Maintenance

Take the time to complete maintenance activities before the first snowfall. Here are some top tips HVAC professionals recommend for every furnace:

  1. Replace furnace filters regularly. Filters can improve air quality throughout the house, but they primarily enhance furnace performance. The filter prevents dust and debris from building up inside the blower fan or causing problems such as fire hazards and poor heat circulation. Look for filters with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating that also allow for maximum airflow within the home. Replace filters as recommended.
  2. Inspect furnace burners. If your HVAC system features a gas burner, inspect the burner before you switch on the heat. Look for dust buildup that may inhibit the burner from working properly or create a fire hazard. Clean the burner thoroughly. Contact a professional if you notice any structural issues.
  3. Change your thermostat settings from cool to heat. When you’ve completed these basic maintenance steps, switch your thermostat settings over to heat. You may notice a slight odor as the system cranks up for the first time. The smell should dissipate quickly as the furnace continues to run.
  4. Schedule an annual tune-up. Keep your system running smoothly with an annual tune-up at the beginning of the fall. A service technician will conduct all the necessary safety and performance diagnostics and provide you with an overview of the health of your system.
  5. Inspect heating registers and air returns. To keep your home evenly heated, remove all barriers from air registers and returns. Keep boxes away from floor and wall vents. Vacuum or wipe away any surface dust accumulated on the registers and grilles.
  6. Look over the outdoor unit. Intermittently check the outdoor unit for debris and snow buildup during the winter season. Keep the unit clean and clear for improved home heating.
  7. Lock in an affordable gas rate (if applicable). If your furnace requires gas, check seasonal gas rates early. Lock in a consistent rate while gas prices are lowest for improved savings all winter long.

Preparing your furnace for winter shouldn’t take a great deal of time. A little prep work will keep you warm and snug this winter. If you need help getting your heating system ready for the winter ahead, give us a call. Our HVAC technicians can test your heater and make any necessary repairs before the cold weather hits.