Heating season is officially here, and with your furnace or boiler running pretty much every day, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to check your heating system for signs it needs repair. Doing so now is very important. With winter on its way, you need your heating system to function without a problem, and if there are any issues in your heater, it’s a good idea to find out about them now. It gives you several weeks before the cold weather hits to get them properly addressed.
What to Look for
Every heating system is different, and yours is likely as unique as the home it keeps warm. That means you’re likely quite familiar with its operating sights and sounds. If anything changes in the way it runs, you can likely pick up on the specifics of it immediately.
That’s not the same as a formal diagnosis, which requires a professional. Heaters often contain dangerous components like gas feeds, and it takes proper training and licensing to properly pinpoint a given issue. The good news is that you don’t have to diagnose a problem to detect one. Anything out of the ordinary in your heater’s ability to function is cause for concern. More specifically, look for any of the following signs of trouble.
- Strange noises, which include anything you don’t normally recognize as part of your system’s normal running: clangs, hums, whistles, groans or the like. In most cases (though not all), they will start and stop with the starting and the stopping of the heater itself.
- Low heat levels or low air flow. The first is heat that isn’t as hot as you expected, or in some cases flat-out cool air. It can stem from anything from a clogged burner to a breach in the ducts. The second is reduced flow of air coming out of your vents. This can be caused by clogged filters or perhaps a problem with the fan motor. Both issues have the same result, however: the air in your home takes longer to warm up, which increases both the monthly cost of running the system and the strain on individual components.
- Short cycling, which is the tendency to turn on and off many times throughout the day. In some cases, it can stem from a faulty component, but others stem from a heating system that is too powerful for the space in question. Regardless, it is a huge drain on your monthly bills, since the heater spends much more energy staring up and shutting down than it does simply running.
- Failure to turn on. This rarely requires an explanation, since most people can deduce that something is wrong if the heater won’t turn on. It’s usually a safety issue: a faulty ignition switch or a last in the gas lines, for instance, will keep the system turned off to prevent an explosion or toxic gas from leaking into your home. The good news is that you don’t need to guess if there’s a problem. The bad news is that you still need to get it addressed if you want your heater to work.
Bell Plumbing and Heating provides heater repair service in Denver, CO.