We know, we know. The heating season has barely even gotten started. And here we are, already talking about the things that could go wrong. Well, it may not be the most fun topic in the world, but it’s one of the most important. After all, thinking about these warning signs now will help you to get out ahead of any heating problems during the coldest time of the year.
And trust us, you’ll run into heating problems eventually. Boy, we really aren’t all sunshine today, are we? Sometimes you just have to speak practically, though. Even the best heaters, and even those that are properly maintained, are going to require professional heating repairs in Loveland, CO, from time to time. So keep this info in mind—and our phone number handy!
Your Heater Runs in Short Bursts
When you heat your home, your heater should run in even, effective cycles. It should bring the temperature up consistently and will keep air moving through the house. What it definitely should not do is start up, run for a few minutes, shut down, start up again after a few minutes, and fall into this “short cycling,” well, cycle. If your heater is short cycling, it could be a sign of a serious problem—or a very simple one that you can resolve on your own. This is where things get tricky.
If your heater is short cycling, first check the air filter in a forced-air system. It could be that your filter is dirty enough that it is causing the system to overheat, leading to the short cycling. If that isn’t the case, and your thermostat is set correctly, then you may have a problem with the electrical controls. You could even have a refrigerant leak in a heat pump, if you use one. Rule out the filter, then call for professional service.
Strange Noises or Odors
It’s not all about “spotting” problems when it comes to recognizing operational issues. Sometimes, it is about hearing them or even smelling them! Depending on the type of heater that you use to keep your home warm, you may be used to different levels of noise. A boiler/radiant system may make a bit of sound as it cycles on, but will otherwise be pretty silent. With a furnace or a heat pump, you may get a bit more noise with air being forced through ducts by the fan.
However, you know what normal operating sounds are like. That means that you should be able to recognize abnormal sounds, too. Any brand new sounds suddenly developing, or louder than usual sounds, should be checked out promptly. Same with odors. If you smell a little burning dust when the system first comes on, but it goes right away, that’s normal. If you smell a burning plastic odor, or you ever smell gas in your home, that’s not! Schedule service immediately.
Shocking Operational Costs
We’ll keep this short—keep your eye on your utility bills. If you notice a major spike in costs when you start running your heater, despite not using it any differently than you have previously, don’t just write that off. It could be that you’re overpaying to heat your home due to a problem cutting down energy efficiency.