If you live in a place where winter rears its ugly head every year, then you likely know how important it is to have a heater that you can rely on. One of the worst things that can happen is to wake up in the middle of a cold winter’s night to a busted heater. Be proactive and know what common signs to look for that your heater may need to be serviced.
If you notice your heater kicking on and off over and over without actually feeling any heat in your home, this may be an indication of a heater that’s in its last life stages. You should have this issues addressed immediately to prevent high energy bills and inefficient heating.
Do you notice that your heater’s blower runs constantly without ever shutting off? A healthy heater shuts off periodically to give your blower a break, and if it’s constantly running it could be a sign of a malfunctioning limit switch. This should be looked at as soon as possible to keep your heater functioning properly.
Grating or Grinding
Have you noticed that your furnace suddenly makes a grating or grinding noise? Not only is a noisy furnace irritating to listen to, but this sudden issue could be the result of a damaged blower wheel or other piece of loose equipment in your furnace. If this happens, you should shut your furnace off immediately to keep damage to a minimum and call an hvac professional to assess the damage and provide a solution. You can prevent costly blower maintenance by periodically cleaning and lubricating the system.
Air Flow Issues
A properly functioning furnace should have a strong air flow so that warm air reaches your home. If you notice your blower isn’t working like it used to, it could be the result of a dirty or clogged filter and, if left unattended, could cause further damage to your limit switch. To prevent this costly repair, make sure you change out your air filter once a month to keep air flowing freely. If you have an electrostatic filter, you should be able to wash and reuse it every couple months to keep your furnace running at optimal efficiency. Taking care of your filters not only increases your furnace’s efficiency, but can even prolong its life.
Have you done everything you can for your heater and notice that it’s still not working properly? You may want to check your thermostat. Try resetting it to see how it responds to your commands. If it’s working properly, it should start up immediately. A bad thermostat won’t signal to your heater that it needs turned on and could need to be replaced. Upgrading to a smart thermostat could save you money on your monthly energy bills by allowing you to control your home’s temperature from your phone while you’re away.
A Few Tips
Aside from watching for these signs of a malfunctioning heater, there are a few other things you can do to ensure your heater stays in good shape. You should clean out your furnace burners each year to clear away any dust or debris that may have built up over the summer. Your heating vents should also be cleared of dust, hair, and other debris that’s built up to prevent blockages and allow for easy air flow. A professional should also clean out your heat exchanger and test your igniter switch so that your furnace is ready for cold weather.
If you take the time to schedule routine maintenance on your heater, you can help keep it running in good condition and prevent costly repairs down the road. Most furnaces should last the life of your home and should be treated with care to ensure proper efficiency and a warm home.