How to Recognize a Problem with Your Heater

A woman sitting on a couch with her feet up on a radiator.

Giving Your Heater the Right Care

Maintaining your heater is one of the best ways to ensure it works properly and has a long life. Despite your maintenance efforts, problems will arise with your heater. Here are some common issues that may come up that you should keep in mind.

Loud Noises

Furnaces will make some noise, which is normal. This would be the system clicking on, a slight hum while it runs, or the sound of the blower spinning. But if your furnace is making “knocking” noises, or you hear the system rattling, you should call a local professional for a repair.

These noises could mean that pieces inside the furnace are loose or air is not properly flowing.

Inefficient Performance

The most obvious indicator that your heater is malfunctioning is when it doesn’t provide heat. If this is the case, look at your thermostat to make sure it has the right settings in place. Turn the fan to auto and adjust the temperature. Then, make sure the thermostat is set to warm and not just “fan.” A lack of heat could be a variety of problems, so it’s essential to call in a local HVAC technician to diagnose and solve the problem.

If your furnace isn’t turning on, always start by checking your circuit breaker. The breaker will automatically turn the power to the unit off if there is an overload of electricity.

Airflow Issues

If you notice inconsistencies or general weakness in the typical airflow from your vents, there may be an issue with the blower or the parts surrounding it. Weak airflow could also be an indication of ductwork that needs repair.

Dirty Filters

One of the most straightforward maintenance items on your heater is the changing or cleaning of its air filters. When the filters are dirty or clogged, they prevent air from flowing properly and the unit from efficiently heating your home. It also means the furnace will work harder to get your home to the desired temperature, which will cost you more money on your monthly energy bill.

A common sign of dirty filters is the furnace “cycling,” meaning it repeatedly turns on and off. A sharp increase in energy costs could also indicate that your filters need cleaning. Another indication that the filters are not working is that dust frequently collects around your home. If you notice an excessive amount of dust in the air, try changing the filter in your furnace.

Pilot Light Issues

For gas furnaces, the pilot light is key to the combustion process, generating warm air for heating. The flame should be a bright blue, which means the gas connection is working properly. If the flame is yellow, there could be a leak of carbon monoxide, a dangerous, odorless gas.

Gas Leak

If you smell gas near your furnace, there may be a leak. Should you notice this, make sure to call 911 right away. If you can, turn off the furnace and the gas supply line. This is a potentially dangerous situation, and you should leave the home immediately.

Frequent Repairs

If you’re experiencing frequent repairs, and your unit is more than 15 years old, it may be time for a replacement. Once a furnace reaches a certain age, repairs become less effective, and upgrading to a new system makes more financial sense.

Somerset County Heating Specialists

Valairco is the premier servicer of heating and cooling in Somerset County. Our expert team is well-equipped for all furnace issues and can make recommendations for your unit. Call us today at (855) 661-3300 to schedule an appointment.