When it gets cold, most people call it the “cold season,” or they simply call it fall and winter. In the HVAC industry, we call it the “heating season.” It sounds a little backward, but it makes sense when you think that the “heating season” is the season for turning on your heater.
Of course, we’re talking about the heating season because we’ve just entered it! It’s been half a year since most homeowners have turned on their heaters, so now’s the perfect time to pay attention to how they’re performing. We’ll give you a few tips on how to do that down below.
Furnace Air Filter
Furnaces are what’s called forced air heating systems, and good airflow is key to their performance. Any obstructions that block the airflow can cause the unit to malfunction. Air filters were installed specifically for this purpose, made to capture any dust or dirt that might float into the system and cause damage. However, an air filter won’t last forever, so it’s vital that it be changed regularly.
A neglected air filter can cause problems like short-cycling, overheating, and even carbon monoxide leaks. Double-check that your air filter is in good working order before letting the furnace run for the rest of the heating season.
Boilers are great alternatives to furnaces. They’re efficient and last much longer, but of course, they come with a heftier price tag for installation. It’s well worth it, however, because they actually don’t run into problems all that often. Less moving parts mean fewer accidents. However, that doesn’t mean they’re invincible, so you’ll want to stay alert for:
- Leaks: Whether your boiler uses steam or hot water, they’re both capable of leaking. A leak can cause serious water damage to your home.
- Weird Noises: Clunking, banging, whistling, gurgling… Any strange noises from your boiler is not a good sign. Problems can range from trapped air to sediment buildup. We recommend having all possibilities covered with a quick maintenance check.
- Changing Temperatures: No, it’s not normal for your boiler to fluctuate between high and low temperatures. A couple degrees, give or take, isn’t a huge concern, but you should call in for repairs if you notice the fluctuations are becoming excessive.
Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air
Heat pumps work by moving warm air from one place to another. Their functions are also reversible, so they can be set to heating mode to warm your home through the heating season. If you’ve made sure your heat pump is on heat mode but find that it’s blowing cold air into your home, there could be a few things wrong with it.
We recommend calling in for help from an HVAC contractor in Grand Rapids, MI since it could range from anything to a valve problem, a refrigerant charge issue, or a compressor problem. The compressor is an expensive part of the machine to replace, so it’s better to have it looked at immediately before waiting for it to break down completely.