To everything there is a season, and certain common HVAC issues are also more likely to come up at particular times of the year. As temperatures drop and weather patterns shift, the heating system and associated components become the most likely source of issues that may impact comfort, efficiency, and safety. Here are five common HVAC issues that might come to your attention this winter.
1. Low airflow. If warm airflow from the furnace isn’t keeping all the rooms in your home comfortable, it may be simply a dirty system air filter. Check the filter every month for accumulation of dust and dirt and replace it with a new filter at least every other month all winter along.
2. Duct leakage. Loss of warm air into unconditioned zones like the attic or crawl space due to leaky ductwork — or worse, disconnected duct segments — is associated with stubbornly cold rooms in winter, as well as with high heating expenses. Suspected duct leakage should be checked out by an HVAC professional. If leakage exceeds a specific maximum, ducts should be sealed to restore optimum airflow.
3. Pilot light or ignition problems. If the furnace burner fails to light when signaled by the thermostat, issues including important safety concerns must be diagnosed by a qualified HVAC service technician. Furnace-ignition issues could result from a defective pilot light sensor or electronic igniter, a bad thermocouple (a safety device that shuts off the gas if the burner goes out), or interruption of gas flow to the furnace.
4. Insufficient insulation. If your home insulation hasn’t been upgraded in years, it probably doesn’t meet current recommendations. Insufficient attic insulation is noticeable in winter, as rising heat in living spaces is rapidly lost through the ceiling. The good news is, insulation can be upgraded by simply adding more atop the existing layer.
5. Thermostat issues. Have you checked your programmable thermostat to confirm that scheduled daily temperatures meet your current needs? Don’t assume that last winter’s programmed heat settings are also preferable for this winter, as household patterns and outdoor weather change.
For professional service to resolve common HVAC issues this winter, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing.