Common Heating Unit Issues

by Chris Long - September 28, 2017

Fixing your furnace may be easier than you think.

When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.

That was Dr. Theodore Woodward of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the 1940s, advising his students to look for simple explanations before turning to more outlandish answers.

The same holds true when it comes to diagnosing heating unit issues: While there are any number of reasons why your furnace might be malfunctioning, some problems are more common than others.

In this week’s blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common heating unit issues:

Air filters need to be changed every few months.1. Clogged – or dirty – filters

If the filter in your heating system is dirty/clogged, it will stifle the flow of air, meaning your unit will have to work much harder to heat your home. This puts a strain on your unit, makes you and your family less comfortable, and adds to your energy bill.

2. Wear and tear

There are several mechanical parts that are crucial to your furnace functioning properly. When any of these parts begin to deteriorate, it can cause problems for your heating system, whether it’s furnace overheating or poor heating control.

sometimes the simple solution of replacing a malfunctioning thermostats is all that's needed to fix a furnace.3. Malfunctioning thermostats

The thermostat controls the amount of heat coming into your home, or in the case of newer units, allows you to schedule when your heat comes on. A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to your home not getting enough heat, or intermittent heat.

4. A noisy furnace

If your furnace is rumbling and rattling, it could be a sign of a few different heating unit issues, including a clogged burner, airflow reductions or other mechanical problems.  

5. Frequent cycling

If your heating unit cycles between its on and off modes, you may be dealing with a clogged filter, a bad thermostat setting or improper airflow.

If your furnace blower is running constantly you may have a broken limit switch.6. Blower runs non-stop

If your blower runs continuously, you may be dealing with a broken limit switch, something an HVAC professional will have to replace.

7. Pilot control problems

Modern heating units typically use one of two ignition systems:

  • A hot surface ignition system, which uses a resistance heating element (think of the filament in a light bulb) to light the gas burner.
  • An intermittent pilot system, which uses a high-voltage speak to ignite the gas pilot, and then the main burners.

If your furnace’s ignition control malfunctions, it could cause intermittent or no heat to come into your home. 

8. Lack of maintenance

Proper maintenance is crucial to keeping your heating unit functioning properly. If you don’t have your system checked on a regular basis, it’s more likely smaller problems can turn into more serious heating unit issues.

Regular maintenance is the ideal way to keep your HVAC system running longer and to make sure that it is operating at the peak of efficiency and safety.

If you’re interested in getting this work taken care of before winter comes, contact All Seasons Comfort Control. Our experts will be happy to work with you to make sure your system is functioning at its best now, so you aren’t facing a severe problem in the dead of winter.

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