Anyone who has lived in our area for even just a year knows that we are known for our hot weather, not the chilly winters that other parts of the country have a reputation for. Still though, when those temperatures do drop low enough, you’re going to be extremely grateful for a fully functional, efficiently operating, heater.
But, what kind of shape is yours in? Hopefully, you had heating system maintenance done already, or have it on your schedule soon, and you already know the answer to this question. If you were alerted to any repair needs during your heater tune-up, now is the time to take care of them. Those repair needs may include the following, and if these get bad enough or if your heater is old enough, it could very well be time to upgrade to a new heating system.
There Are Strange Sounds Coming From the System
Sometimes it’s hard to detect issues with a heating system when the “problem” isn’t necessarily getting in the way of your comfort (yet). One of these problems is a strange sound here or there.
However, strange or unfamiliar sounds can be the sign of a major issue. For instance, a buzzing noise indicates something electrical is going on, while screeching might signal a worn-our belt that could break at any moment. A pop or bang could also indicate something dangerous, potentially damaging the heat exchanger.
You’re Spending More and More on Heating
It, of course, makes sense that your energy costs will go up the colder it gets and the more you use your heater. After all, your heater is running for longer. However, are those costs comparable to last year? And are they comparable to what your neighbors are paying to heat their homes? If not, then there may be a problem.
You Keep Turning Up the Thermostat to No Avail
If you’re not achieving home comfort no matter how high you turn up the thermostat, then there is a problem. Chances are, it has nothing to do with the thermostat itself (it might, but thermostat problems don’t usually work that way), but rather your heater is running continuously trying to meet your preferred settings when it cannot because of something going awry within the system.
The System Is Short-Cycling
Short-cycling is the name given to the process where an HVAC system cycles on and off rapidly rather than going through regular cycles like it should. The problem is, your heater is using a lot of energy—more than it should have to—to do its job. So this not only raises your heating bills but also puts unnecessary strain on your heating system.
Your Furnace’s Pilot Light is Yellow
“But I thought that was the color it’s supposed to be?” you may be thinking. But no, this is actually an indication that your furnace isn’t operating safely. The light at the burner should instead be blue. If it’s not, then there are likely substances present on the burners that are interfering with its operation and safety, like the buildup of rust.