The Most Common Problems with Heating Systems

When the cold of winter is too much to bear, there’s nothing in the whole entire world that feels better than the warm blast of air you’ll get from a solid home heating system. No matter how cold it gets outside, these hardworking heaters can keep your home at a comfortable temperature all year round.


That is, until they hit a hitch that keeps them from working properly. Luckily, these types of problems happen to people all over the world, so there are plenty of heating repair professionals who know how to get your system working again. If you’re having problems with your heating system, check out our list of the most common heating problems.


Gas Leak


If you have a gas furnace, you may notice a gas smell leaking from the furnace. This is a huge problem and should not be ignored or placed on the back burner. If you smell a gas leak coming from your furnace, the first thing you should do is shut your furnace off as a preventive measure. Next, you should call a professional to take a look at and repair your furnace. A gas leak is a fire hazard and makes the air unsafe for occupants to breathe.


No Flame


There are two different types of furnaces: those with pilot lights and those with electric ignition. If you notice that your furnace isn’t lighting, the pilot light or electric ignition may be the culprit.


For a pilot light furnace, the problem may be the pilot orifice, the flame setting, the thermocouple, or the safety cutoff valve. These are all relatively hassle-free repairs, so you should be able to tackle them by yourself with a little bit of ambition.


Electric ignition furnaces, on the other hand, work a bit differently. Turn the power switch off and back on again while listening for the sound of a spark to see if your ignitor is working. You can also check the flame sensor, which is a relatively easy 5-minute fix.


Not Enough Heat

Sometimes, a furnace will run but it won’t quite put out enough heat. This is a relatively common problem, and one that can cost you in comfort and on your utility bill. If your furnace isn’t putting out enough heat, the first thing you should do is make sure nothing is blocking airflow. This includes items near the furnace and registers.


You should also make sure the fan is turned on and the thermostat is set to heat. Once you’ve verified this, try bumping the temperature up a bit and see if that helps. A dirty filter can also cause heating problems as it restricts airflow and reduces the efficiency of your heating system.


Lastly, as simple as it sounds, make sure the registers in the rooms are open. These registers won’t allow much warm air through when they’re closed, so that could be the culprit.


No Heat


A furnace that doesn’t provide any heat could be the result of an improper setting, a blown fuse, a power switch that’s turned off, a motor that needs to be reset, a valve or pilot light that needs to be checked, or a faulty thermostat.


Cycling on and Off


Does your furnace provide adequate heat, but seems to cycle on and off all too frequently? This is generally a problem with the thermostat, which can sometimes be fixed using the calibration lever. If the furnace kicks on and off too often, set it closer to “longer.” If it stays on for too long before it kicks off, move the calibration lever one notch away from the “longer” side.

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