We’re firing up our heaters more often these days, as the weather grows cooler and fall slowly turns to winter. If you have a problem with your heating system, now is the time to do something about it: when you still have several weeks before the cold temperatures really hit and you can schedule a repair session to deal with the issue at your leisure. That beats waiting for the problem to cause a breakdown – usually in the midst of a cold front – forcing you to scramble for repairs and possibly costing you a great deal more in the process.
Laymen should never attempt to diagnose a problem with their heaters, let alone attempt repairs. It requires proper training and licensing to handle the issue, and poking at a faulty heater is apt to make things work. That doesn’t mean you can’t watch for signs that something is wrong however: it’s easy enough to detect signs that your heater isn’t functioning the way it normally does. Technically speaking, anything out of the ordinary is usually cause for concern. More specifically, look for the following signs of a problem:
- Strange noises. All heaters make noises when they run and you’ve likely become quite accustomed to them. If you detect a noise that isn’t a part of the system’s normal functioning, however, it probably merits a look from a professional. In most cases, the strange noise will start and stop with the starting and stopping of the air conditioner.
- Reduced heating levels. If the system blows cool air, you probably know that there’s a problem. But the same holds true if the air is warm, just not quite as warm as you expected. It could be caused by clogged burners or problems in the fuel line, or possible a breach in the ducts. Regardless, it forces the heater to work harder than it should, which increases both the monthly cost of running the system and the strain on the rest of the system.
- Reduced air flow. In the case of furnaces, a problem with the fan or fan motor can reduce the flow of heated air through your home. The same thing can happen with a clogged filter or a blockage in the system. It causes the same problems as reduced heating levels do, and it can be even worse if the hot air remains trapped in the system. In such cases, the chances of a major breakdown go up.
- Higher bills. There might not be any overt sign of a heating problem in your system, but if a component is struggling, it will drive up the monthly costs by forcing the system to use more fuel. If your heating bill takes an unexpected spike, you should get it looked at by a professional.
When you detect these signs, turn the heater off and call in a repair service as soon as possible.
Here in Salt Lake City, UT, heating repairs can be conducted by the trained pros of At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.