With colder months upon us here in the greater Houston area, many homeowners will be turning on their heating systems for the first time after many months of running the air conditioner. Is your HVAC system ready for this change?
There are warning signs to pay attention to that indicate your heating system or HVAC system needs repair. We’ve outlined them below so you can take action if you notice any of these signs.
Being stuck with a malfunctioning heating system on a cold day can be miserable. By taking care of any problems beforehand, you’ll be ready for the colder days of winter with a heating system that’s ready to respond to your household’s indoor climate needs.
Expect to hear the sound of a fan blowing when your heating system is actively on. Other sounds, however, may be suspect. If you hear any of the following, it could be a sign that heating repairs are needed:
- Rattling, a possible indication that parts have come loose
- Whistling or hissing, which may point to holes or gaps in ducts
- Squealing or grinding, a sign that parts need to be adjusted or replaced
- Banging, clanking, popping, or any other noises that get your attention
When you first switch over from AC usage to heating, there may be a faint smell of burning dust. This odor typically dissipates and you soon stop noticing it. But if it does linger or worsen, you may need routine HVAC maintenance.
What about other smells? Be aware that a heating system that’s operating normally does not emit these odors:
- Mustiness or mildew smell, a sign of dirty filters or ductwork
- Burning electrical odor, which points to a defective unit or electrical problems that require immediate attention
- Rotten eggs, a huge warning of a possible gas leak (get out of the house and call the gas company)
- Dirty socks, likely due to bacteria buildup
- Oily smell, usually resulting from an oil leak
Higher Energy Bills
Another telltale sign that something’s off with your heating system is the sudden presence of high utility bills. A spike in your monthly charges unrelated to increased rates or unusual cold spells could point to a problem with your heating system.
If you feel your usage hasn’t gone up but your bills have increased noticeably, it could be that:
- Your HVAC system is working too hard and needs maintenance
- Something is off with your thermostat and needs adjusting
- Clogged filters are blocking airflow
- A broken heater is not working properly or efficiently
If you suddenly notice cold areas in your house even when your heater is running, something is preventing the heated air from reaching those spots.
Check to see if air vents in these regions are closed or blocked by furniture or other items. If that’s not the problem, then cold spots could be due to:
- Air is not flowing well through clogged filters
- The heat pump is too small to effectively heat the entire house
- Windows may not be sealed properly
- Leaks may be present in the HVAC duct system
With a heating system designed to handle the heating requirements of a house the size of yours, airflow into every room should be good.
If you’re noticing poor airflow, the cause of this problem could be related to any of the following:
- Dirty, clogged air filters
- Blocked ducts or leaks in the duct system
- Issues with the blower
- Motors that need adjusting
- Fans that need cleaning
When to Call a Heating Repair Specialist
If your heating system is functioning correctly, you will hardly notice it. Your indoor air will feel comfortable, temperatures in your home will be just right, and your HVAC system will operate quietly in the background.
But if you become aware of any of the telltale signs of problems with your heating system, it’s time to call an HVAC specialist to troubleshoot the issue and make the necessary corrections.
You don’t have to put up with any of the following when routine HVAC maintenance or simple heating repairs can easily fix the problem:
- Unpleasant smells emanating from your home’s HVAC system
- Annoying and even scary sounds from your furnace or heating system
- Uncomfortable cold areas or places where there is a lack of proper airflow
- Utility bills that are spiking for no apparent reason
To resolve these issues, call American Comfort Experts to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment. Our heating and cooling technicians can zero in on the problem based on the symptoms present and efficiently perform the necessary heating repairs or maintenance. Give us a call today to set up your appointment.