Look Out For These Common HVAC Issues During Winter

In most parts of Maryland, our HVAC systems really take a beating throughout the year. In summer, they have to keep our homes cool. And during the winter months, they often work even harder to keep us warm. Be on the lookout for these common issues:

Heating that’s not the same from room to room

There can be quite a few causes for heating that varies from one room to the next. The list includes dirty filters, clogged ductwork, and inadequate insulation around doors and windows. Another possible cause is a thermostat that’s no longer doing its job properly. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause an increase in room temperature even if the HVAC system itself is fine.

Thermostat problems can often be traced back to issues such as faulty wiring or batteries that need to be replaced. The thermostat might also have to be re-calibrated.

Frozen pipes

With the sharp drop in temperature during the winter months, ice often accumulates around pipes, freezing the water inside. Steam radiators and water heaters will then fail because frozen water isn’t likely to flow anywhere. The next risk is that these frozen pipes might actually burst.

The heat pump isn’t working properly

Many homes use exterior heat pumps for heating purposes during winter. Icy winds and even more icy snowfalls can easily cause damage to these and negatively impact their performance. Some of the most common issues with heat pumps include coil blockages and broken fan motors. That’s why it’s important for the fan to always be clear of frost.

Heater filters that are clogged

When heaters are heavily used, their filters often get clogged with debris such as dirt and dust. This results in reduced airflow, which eventually leads to a reduction in the air temperature. If the fan and the motor are both working properly, the next culprit to look for should automatically be the filter. There should be no obstructions around it. If it’s bent or badly discolored, it will most likely have to be replaced.

The pilot light failing

Certain types of heaters will only ignite fully once the pilot light goes on. This little blue flame typically remains on to ensure easy access to quick heat. But if it doesn’t burn, or it doesn’t burn brightly enough, you can be sure that the room temperature will be lower than it should be.

The most common reason why a pilot light might not work properly is because of a damaged or dirty flame sensor. The problem will persist until the latter has been cleaned or replaced.

Carbon monoxide escaping from the system

The vast majority of homeowners do everything they can to make sure their homes are comfortable and safe during the colder months. But how many of us realize the extreme danger a carbon monoxide leak can pose to our health? It’s nearly impossible to detect this tasteless, odorless gas until it’s too late. The problem will be exacerbated if there are obstructions in the top-range vent or the chimney so the gas gets trapped inside your home.

Many carbon dioxide leaks happen because of rusted or cracked heaters, more specifically because the heat exchanger inside the heater developed a crack.

The bottom line…

Most of these problems above can be prevented by having your HVAC system inspected, cleaned, and serviced before the winter months. The benefits of prevention definitely outweigh the potential costs. Worried about your system working properly? Let Hoot help! Give us a call or text today to schedule! 443-309-8420