Winter is here. We’ve already had some freezing temperatures and precipitation, so here’s hoping you’ve had your HVAC system serviced and you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature brings. To be sure, there are certain common problems that occur with heating systems, and since we tend to use ours more in our longer, colder winters, just be prepared.
Here are some tips for winter HVAC troubleshooting that will help you spot potential problems and have them fixed before you have a breakdown.
- Uneven heating. Uneven heating in your home can occur for a number of reasons. Typically, the heating may be adequate in one part of the house but leave something to be desired elsewhere in the home. It may be due to poor ductwork design, or ducts may be damaged or otherwise inadequate to deliver heated air. Sometimes the problem can be corrected by installing a zoned system that allows people in different zones of the house to call for more or less heating as needed. Other winter HVAC troubleshooting issues that may cause inadequate heating are a dirty air filter that is impeding airflow; a broken blower fan in the air handler; the house being poorly insulated; the furnace being sized incorrectly for the house; or the furnace aging and thus no longer delivering adequate heating.
- A crack in the heat exchanger. One important reason for having a furnace inspection every year is to see if any cracks are appearing in the heat exchanger. It’s possible that carbon monoxide could be leaking from a crack. While this is not a common winter HVAC troubleshooting problem, it’s good to have a properly working CO monitor in your home to ensure you know if there are dangerous levels of CO.
- The heat pump frosts up. As heat pumps generate heat, the refrigerant turns to gas. It then condenses when the gas meets the outdoor coil and freezes when it meets cold air. The defrosting function should take care of any ice buildup. If it doesn’t, you need service.
For more tips on winter HVAC troubleshooting, contact Detmer and Sons of Dayton.