5 Signs You Need to Have Your Home Heating System Repaired
Repairing or replacing a home heating system in the middle of a cold winter isn’t fun. Additionally, if the repairs are being done on an emergency basis, it will cost more than if they’d been scheduled in advance. By looking out for the signs listed in this guide, you’ll know when to schedule repairs and how to tell if it’s a routine repair and an emergency.
The average lifespan of a heating system that’s been correctly installed and well maintained is about 12 to 15 years. As a system age, it will undoubtedly need repairs more often and its efficiency will decrease. If your home’s heating system needs repairs and replacement parts on a recurring basis, it may simply be past its prime.
Not only will aging home heating systems need frequent repairs, but they may also pose several safety risks. Home fires caused by poor ventilation, faulty pilot lights, and leaky gas lines are some of the biggest hazards to consider. If you’re experiencing any of these trouble signs, call to schedule repairs right away.
Heating Bills Are Increasing
Multiple factors contribute to an increase in a family’s annual heating bills. Fuel costs sometimes rise, which can’t really be stopped. As most people likely know, propane, oil, and gas prices change by the month, week, or day. Another factor that may lead to a higher bill is a decline in the heating system’s efficiency. All systems, no matter how well they’re maintained, lose efficiency as they get older. Instead of putting on another sweater to fight rising heating bills, consider scheduling timely repairs and heating system upgrades.
A heater that’s in poor shape will struggle to do its job because it is forced to work against the additional strain being placed on it, diminishing efficiency and increasing wear. Using an inefficient system will surely cause your monthly bills to increase. However, prompt repairs will restore the system’s efficiency and keep bills as low as possible.
A Yellow Pilot Light
On gas-fueled heating systems, the pilot light should be bright blue in color. If the flame is yellowish and flickering, it indicates that the fuel isn’t burning efficiently. It also shows that the heating system may be producing too much carbon monoxide. Other signs of the presence of carbon monoxide include:
- Visible streaks of soot around the unit
- No upward drafts in the chimney
- The presence of moisture on outside walls and windows
- Water accumulation at the bottom of the flue pipe or chimney
- Rust on vent pipes
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that’s hard to detect, but lethal in high quantities. If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak, schedule an emergency heating repair.
Loud, Strange Noises Coming From the Unit
Another indicator of the need for heating repair is excessive noise. If your boiler or furnace is beginning to make odd banging, rattling, squeaking, popping, clicking, or hissing noises, it’s time to make a repair call. Something that requires immediate attention is a blower fan that’s always on and making noise. When these sorts of noises increase in frequency, it generally indicates the need for extensive repairs or a furnace replacement.
Though pipes groan and creak as they expand and contract, certain noises shouldn’t be ignored. When noises get loud, annoying, and distracting, it usually means that there’s a serious problem within the heating system. By scheduling repairs now, you and your family can enjoy more peace and quiet during a long winter.
Ice Accumulation or Cold Spots
If you’re noticing that some of the home’s rooms just don’t stay warm, the heating system may not be getting hot enough to do its job. An aging furnace or boiler gradually loses its ability to heat a home efficiently. Though repairs or a room heater will offer a temporary fix, installing a new, properly sized heating system is more cost-effective in the long term.
Another troubling sign is the presence of ice dams on the roof near the furnace’s exhaust vent. This may indicate the leakage of heat from attic ductwork. Whether you’re dealing with inconsistent heating or rooftop ice, it’s a good idea to call a local HVAC expert for an inspection of the home’s vents, ductwork, and heating unit.
Is It An Emergency, Or Can It Wait?
Though it’s never a good time to experience a heating system malfunction, some problems are worse than others. Whether you’re going to attempt a DIY fix or call a pro, certain heating system repairs don’t require emergency attention. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, simply call for service the next business day.
- An unresponsive thermostat: If there’s an issue with the thermostat, your furnace won’t turn on. However, it’s not a problem with the unit itself. Most times, a non-functional thermostat can be revived by changing the battery. If this fix doesn’t work, call the professionals for help.
- Power outages: If the home’s heating unit causes the power to shut off, it’s probably due to an excessive load on the system. This problem is quite common in homes where the electrical wiring and hardware are starting to show signs of age. Try unplugging a few appliances that are sharing a circuit with the heating system, then reset the breaker to get the system working again. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to make the call.
Many homeowners avoid routine HVAC maintenance because they feel that it’s expensive and unnecessary. Because of these beliefs, some wait until there’s a serious problem before calling for help. Most system issues, whether they’re large or small, can be prevented with regular maintenance. Furthermore, it’s more expensive to repair a broken system than it is to maintain a functional unit.
Many take their heating systems for granted until there’s a problem, and not all can tell the difference between a routine repair and a real emergency. By looking for these signs and scheduling repairs when necessary, you’ll find it easier to keep the heating system working well throughout its lifespan. Call Allen Kelly & Co. to schedule service.