Fall Frenzy: 3 Signs Your Heating System Isn’t Functioning Properly

In an effort to keep your heating costs to a minimum, you may hold off on the use of the equipment until temperatures fall dramatically. However, waiting for that first chilly day could result in a fall frenzy if your system demonstrates problems. While some issues — like your equipment failing to turn on — may be immediately apparent, others may be more subtle. It’s important to be aware of those subtle signs so that you can do some quick troubleshooting and schedule heating repairs before the problems become more serious.

Not Enough Heat

If you notice that your heater doesn’t increase the temperature at home, you may be dealing with problems with your equipment. The possible explanations can be simple or complicated. For example, a dirty filter could be an issue. An obstruction that prevents adequate air from reaching the combustion chamber might also contribute to inadequate heating. Burners may need to be adjusted, cleaned or replaced, as well. If your system doesn’t deliver any heat, you may have a lack of fuel to the system, an incorrect thermostat setting, or faulty burners or heat exchangers. In either case, you should:

  • Check the thermostat settings to be sure that heating is selected.
  • Check the filter and make a change if appropriate.
  • Verify that there’s a supply of gas in the house by testing a different gas-operated appliance.

If these troubleshooting steps don’t resolve or explain the problem, then heater repairs are probably warranted.

Poor Airflow

Again, the air filter is your primary suspect with an airflow problem. Fortunately, this is an easy fix as a clean filter can cost less than $10 in many cases. Good filter maintenance is a priority during the winter months to ensure that your system doesn’t overheat. Airflow problems can also be attributed to leaky ducts or broken blower parts, making it important to contact your HVAC professional for advice if a filter change doesn’t resolve the low air pressure issues.

Short Cycles

If you notice that your heating equipment doesn’t run very long before shutting off, then you may be dealing with short cycling, especially if the running time is just a few seconds. Air filters could be a problem in this situation. A faulty thermostat could also be the issue. You may have low batteries or faulty electronic components. Check both the filter and the thermostat to verify whether these simple solutions are possible.

Corrosion on the flame sensor could contribute to short cycling, as well. A heating system that’s oversized might turn off quickly, but if your system hasn’t demonstrated this behavior before, this is probably not a concern.

Making HVAC maintenance a priority during the fall months can lessen your chances of system problems because of faulty or dirty parts wearing out during the winter. Your technician can fully inspect your system to ensure that parts in need of replacement are identified and addressed prior to the onset of a chilly Virginia winter. The Assurance Heating & Air Conditioning staff will be happy to schedule this important fall heating service when you call.

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