Web re in full-on heating season now, and that means that itb s time to be extra-vigilant for any warning signs that your heater is having issues. Youb re probably using your heating system on a daily basis to keep your home warm. That means more strain on the system, which means a greater chance for parts of the system to break down. The faster you can identify problems with your heater, the faster you can have them repaired and the more damage you can prevent. Have a look at some of the most common heating problems youb re likely to deal with this winter, and how to identify them.
One of the most obvious signs that your heating system is struggling is, well, when itb s just not heating. This could be in the form of not blowing enough air or blowing air that is not as warm as it should be. There are a lot of different factors that could result in this symptom, which vary depending on the system youb re using.
If youb re using a heat pump, which relies on refrigerant to heat the home, you might have a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system. The lower the refrigerant level in the system, the less ability the heat pump has to heat the home. If youb re using a combustion heater like a furnace, the dropping output might be due to a problem with the burner assembly. Regardless of the kind of heater youb re using, air handler issues can cause the system to circulate less air than it should. Call a professional, if you notice this sign.
If youb ve had your heater for a while, you should know what it sounds like while itb s operating. If you start to hear the system making unusual sounds while itb s running, it would be a good idea to call a professional to have a look at it. Strange noises tend to mean that something is wrong with the system. It could be delayed ignition, in the case of a furnace. That often results in a loud booming sound every time the system starts up. If youb re using a boiler, youb re going to want to be careful of a sound like a large kettle boiling over. That means the system is having a problem with its heat exchanger, one that should be addressed right away. If you notice that your heater is making weird noises at all, you should have it looked at right away.
Short cycling is when the heater turns itself off before it can complete a full heating cycle. This usually manifests as the system cycling on and off every couple of minutes. Short cycling puts a massive amount of strain on the heater, increasing the frequency and severity of breakdowns. Short cycling can also limit the lifespan of the system, if allowed to continue for long enough. Make sure that you call for repairs if you hear your heater doing this.