When the cold season begins approaching, homeowners all over the Katy, TX, area switch on their heaters to combat the unpredictable cold fronts and frigid nights we associate with the fall. Your heat pump or furnace can make all the difference between having a warm, cozy environment to relax in and spending the cold months wrapped in blankets, shivering in your home. When the time comes to boot up your heater for the year, heating problems may arise that you’re not ready for and don’t know how to handle.
At BVS, Richmond’s HVAC experts, we don’t want to see anybody stuck without heat when the cold creeps in. That’s why we’ve put together this list of heating problems that can occur in your home so you can spot them in the early stages and fix them before they worsen. Remember, if your heater isn’t working, our HVAC professionals are on call 24/7 to help you with any heating or cooling issues.
1. Your Furnace Won’t Start
The months that go by when you don’t use your furnace can cause it to malfunction for several reasons, which is why we recommend having your heating system serviced every year right before the fall. If you have an older model gas furnace, the first thing to check is the pilot light.
The pilot light is a flame that ignites the burners near the bottom of the furnace. If the pilot light is out, the furnace can’t produce heat. Follow these steps to reignite the pilot light:
- Turn off the gas valve connected to the pilot light and wait three minutes for the gas to clear.
- Point the indicator on the valve to the “pilot” option and hold a lit match over the pilot while pressing the reset button on the control panel.
- Once the flame is burning brightly, turn the valve from the “pilot” setting to the “on” setting.
- Make sure the pilot light stays on. If it keeps going out, either the valve opening has a blockage or the thermocouple isn’t working. Call an HVAC professional to inspect and repair the furnace.
Newer gas furnaces (models made after 2010) have electronic ignition systems that don’t require a pilot light. If you have an electric furnace or a new gas furnace that isn’t working, BVS will arrive quickly to get it up and running as soon as possible.
2. Your Furnace Makes Unusual Noises
If your furnace makes strange sounds whenever it’s on, turn it off and call a professional immediately. These sounds mean that something is disrupting the furnace’s operation, and the longer you let it run, the more damage it will cause. An experienced technician can inspect the furnace, diagnose the problem, and repair it before the whole unit needs replacing.
3. Dirty Air Filter
If you haven’t cleaned or replaced the air filters in your HVAC system for a while, they’re probably doing more harm than good. We recommend changing your air filters every two to three months. If you have cats or dogs, you might want to change them even more frequently.
If your furnace doesn’t seem to be adequately heating your home, check your air filters. Clogged air filters significantly reduce the efficiency of your heating system, damage your heating unit, and increase your monthly energy costs. Dirty air filters are one of the most common domestic heating problems and one of the cheapest and easiest to fix.
4. Your Thermostat Isn’t Working
If your heater isn’t doing what it should be, it may not be getting the right signals from your thermostat. If the thermostat isn’t reading your house’s temperature correctly, it can throw off the whole system. Your thermostat can malfunction for the following reasons:
- Bad wiring
- The buildup of dust or dirt inside
- Improper settings
- Needs new batteries
If you suspect your thermostat is causing your heating problem, the following can help you determine and solve the problem:
- Make sure your thermostat setting is on “heat.”
- Check the screen for a “low battery indicator.” Replace the batteries if needed.
The best way to ensure your thermostat is working correctly is to install a programmable model with higher accuracy and more convenience than older models.
5. Your Ductwork Is Leaking
If your heater seems to be working normally, but your house isn’t getting warm enough, the culprit may be your ductwork. If there are cracks or leaks in the ducts, the air that should be circulating through your living spaces will simply sit in your attic or basement. Leaky ducts are terrible for your home’s energy efficiency and can shorten your heater’s lifespan due to the excessive workload.
Feel around the outside of your ductwork for spots where it’s leaking. You can use mastic or foil tape to seal up the leaks. If you don’t think you can access all the ductwork and find all the leak spots, call an experienced HVAC professional.
6. You Have the Wrong Heating Unit
Sometimes the problem is just that your heater isn’t powerful enough to sufficiently heat your home. If you moved into a house where the previous owner tried to save some money by purchasing a smaller heater, the unit is struggling and wasting energy to get your home to the desired temperature. You may have bought a heater yourself without realizing how much living space your home has, and now your paying your energy company to run a heat pump or furnace that isn’t doing the job
If you think this may be your situation, our HVAC technicians can help you find a heating unit that works for your home and your budget.
Call BVS Home Experts Today
If you’re having a heating problem, it’s best to fix it before the weather gets colder and repair bills start piling up. At BVS, we work for the people of the Katy, TX, area because we care about our community and want everyone to be comfortable and safe. Click the link to learn why your furnace makes a knocking sound, and call us at (281) 916-8699 to schedule an appointment today.
Ronald is one of the key contributors to BVS Home Experts, a family-owned and operated full-service air conditioning and heating company serving the Katy and West Houston areas. With a deep understanding of air conditioning and heating concerns, Ronald brings a wealth of knowledge to our readers.