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As the winter season sets in, the nights start to get chilly, and heating becomes more and more of a necessity. It’s during this time of the year that your heating system becomes an integral part of your home. As your heater is put to constant use, however, it is subjected to tremendous pressure. Though it worked perfectly the previous year doesn’t mean that it’ll work the same way the next. That said, one of your biggest priorities should be keeping it in good condition.
When the temperature drops to very low levels, you’ll want to make sure that you can rely on your heating system to contribute to a comfortable night indoors. There are a variety of things that can go wrong with your heater, but some of them are more common and easier to address than others. So, while you’re preparing to put your new AC unit system to rest, you should also check on your home’s heating mechanism to avoid any major breakdowns when you least expect them.
Common Home Heating Problems You Might Encounter
As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to inspect your heater for any problems well before the colder months of the year approach. If your heater is not functioning as well as it used to or if it’s costing you more than usual, it may be because of one or a couple of these various heating issues:
Gradual wear and tear
After being put to continuous use during last year’s winter season, your heating system can become less efficient. The heater is made up of many tiny parts that can eventually affect its performance once they’re worn out.
Dirty air filters may shorten the lifespan of your heater and reduce its efficiency. Grubby filters hamper airflow; thus, the unit has to work extra hard to supply and circulate warm air around the room.
Your heater turning on and off more than usual is a sign of heat cycling. It’s easy to overlook this problem at times, primarily if your heater still produces enough heat. Heat cycling, however, makes your heating system uneconomical. Detecting the problem sooner will help you save loads on your utility bills.
Carbon monoxide leaks
Inhaling excessive amounts of carbon dioxide can endanger your health. Since carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, you cannot detect it with senses alone. Therefore, it should be a wise move on your part to install a carbon monoxide detector at home, regardless of how old or new your heater is.
Inconsistent or lack of heating
When you notice that your house is not evenly heated throughout, it may be because of a number of issues. While many heating problems are due to pilot control or system malfunction, it can also be because of cracks and holes in the room or improper insulation.
Tips on Preventing Heating Issues During the Winter Season
Taking necessary steps to ensure that your heating system is in excellent condition helps prevent troublesome glitches and reduces operational costs. Here are some tips and tricks that will save you from most heating system dilemmas during the coldest time of the year:
Avoid cranking up the thermostat
Many people assume that turning up the thermostat will heat the room faster. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The thermostat does nothing to control the intensity of the heat. What cranking it up does is put excessive stress and pressure on the unit, which may cause it to run inefficiently and use up more energy. It’s best to gradually adjust the thermostat until the optimal temperature is reached.
Learn the basics
While not everyone is good at understanding the technical and mechanical aspects of their heating and cooling systems, learning the basic repairs can come in handy at opportune times.
Some heater problems and maintenance tasks are relatively easy to do on your own. Replacing and cleaning the furnace filter monthly, for example, is simple enough to do by yourself. Other issues like fixing the pilot light when it’s out or cold air discharge may be addressed by following the instructions in the manual.
Insulate your home
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As mentioned, some heating problems may not be because of system failure; rather, they are due to poor home insulation. Proper home insulation keeps in the warm air. It is also one of the most effective ways to ensure that both your heating and cooling systems will work as efficiently as possible all year round.
Perform an energy audit
An energy audit is a set of tests that assess the efficiency of your home’s energy consumption by collecting detailed information about your energy usage and thoroughly analyzing your energy costs. It makes use of specialized techniques and equipment to determine air leaks, potential safety issues, and how effective your home’s insulation is. The process will set you back a few hundred dollars, but the findings may result in more savings in utility costs.
Be wary of odd noises and unusual smells
Paying attention to the normal sound that your heater makes will help you detect any changes. Groans, creaks, and squeals coming from your heating system is a telltale sign that there is something wrong within.
Moreover, unusual odors coming from the vents could also indicate that there is leakage in the lines. As your heating system releases dangerous gases, leaks can potentially escalate into dangerous situations. For your safety, call your emergency repair service company once you detect weird and rotten smells coming off your heating system.
Make regular maintenance a habit
Just because your heating system seems like it’s running fine does not always mean that it’s working properly. There may be issues inside that need attention, and putting off work will only give rise to more expensive and complex problems in the future.
Arranging regular system maintenance with a reliable heating system company is the best way to avoid any heating problems, not just in the winter but throughout the year.