Winter is no longer coming. Winter is here and the weather proves it. In Connecticut, we get to enjoy the snow, but also deal with bitter cold. Fortunately, our homes provide shelter and comfort for our families. However, heating problems do occur throughout the winter.
Does this sound familiar?
“You wake up in the morning, or come home from work, and you can instantly tell something is wrong. The house is cold. You can hear the furnace running, and you can even feel air coming out of the registers. But it’s not hot air coming out, it’s cold! Well, it’s not COLD cold, it’s just room temperature. As if the furnace is just recirculating the air in your house without actually heating it.”
Lack of hot air is one common heating problems that arises in the cold months of the year. To help, here are a few ways to avoid heating problems through knowledge and understanding how HVAC systems work.
Know the Basics to Avoid Heating Problems
Every homeowner has a different understanding of their heating, cooling and air conditioning systems. Some homeowners are technical and mechanical, so these basics are no problem. For others, these tips may help this winter.
Replace Furnace Filter
The furnace filter is essential to a properly running heating system. The good news is checking and changing your furnace filter is simple for any homeowner. Plus, when checking the filter monthly to ensure a clean filter, you’ll save on your utility bills and extend the life of your furnace as well.
Pilot Light is Out
Every homeowner should know how their pilot light works in case it goes out. The good news is this task is not too difficult and the manufacturer should post instructions on the equipment.
Any burning smell is a sign that something is wrong. In particular, if your furnace smells like burning, then shut it off and unplug it because leaving the heater on could be hazardous.
Keep in mind that an unpleasant smell could simply be a sign of a dirty air filter or dust buildup in the furnace. Don’t panic and inspect your heating system (after turning off the furnace) for dust or a blockage to clean accordingly.
If the problem persists, it is time to contact a professional to complete a full inspection.
Heater Blowing Cold Air
Finally, what happens if the furnace is blowing cold air?
Again, turn off the furnace because you’ll want to check if anything is blocking the blower. Look to clear any debris or blockage.
If the problem persists, then there may be a faulty heating element. In this event, the broken heating part will need to be replaced. Depending on the type of heater and your technical comfort and knowledge, you may want to consult an HVAC professional to determine if you’ll need to repair or replace the equipment.
Avoid Heating Problems with Home Maintenance
Winter time is no time to have your heating system quit on you. How to avoid that?
In fact, according to equipment manufacturers an annual tune-up is something your system requires at least once a year to deliver peak performance and maintain manufacture warranties.
Hot Water Heater Maintenance
The Allstate Insurance Company produced a report that summed up the dangers of water damage and concluded that “water heater failures are one of the three most preventable sources of water damage in your home.”
While annual maintenance, including comprehensive review of your plumbing system and water heater, cannot guarantee damage to your home, they can dramatically reduce it as well as offer a action plan to avoid such catastrophes.
To check your hot water heater, then focus on the following items.
– Flush the tank
– Check the Anode Rod
– Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
– Inspect the Expansion Tank
While we recommend that only the more advanced homeowners try to perform water heater maintenance, here is some additional information.
Insulate Your Home
Home insulation is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your heating system does not have to work overtime in the winter. Many times, overuse will cause a problem, so if your home is insulated, the hot air will remain inside your home.
Proper insulation works year round to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer as the savings add up over time.
At SolvIt, we work with our customers to provide solutions, so we are pleased to share this feedback from Brandon P.
“As you know, we had insulation added through Solvit earlier this year. The difference has been amazing! This summer we had a number of scorching hot dry days well into the high 80’s. House temps stayed very comfortably in the low to mid 70’s, so no central A/C was required. Last year, A/C would have definitely been used a lot more. The only time A/C was needed was on days when the outside humidity was high, but even then, the A/C did not have to work nearly as hard to keep the house cool. (i.e. the central A/C wasn’t constantly turning on as had been prior to the added insulation).
Great investment! Thanks again!!!”
Avoid Leaks with an Energy Audit
How do you know if your home is properly insulated?
Have a home energy audit.
The first step to winterizing your home should likely be a home energy checkup because you should understand what needs modifications and/or repairs. An energy checkup helps identify air leakage, which means you’ll understand where money and hot air is seeping through your house.
The initial effort to winterize your home can be quite costly, especially if you have an old home. However, there are government subsidies and financing is available, as well as tax rebates that can offset some of the upfront costs.
Winter is a wonderful season. Many of us really enjoy the snow and outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding or sledding. The only problem at times is the cold. Fortunately, our homes provide shelter to keep our loved ones warm.
If you have any heating problems this winter, then the team at SolvIt can help. We are here 24/7 because we want to keep our customers and communities comfortable all year long. Call SolvIt today with any questions!