Four Common Winter Heating Issues & Repairs

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Winter brings with it holiday cheer but also a host of heating problems that can befall your HVAC system, especially if the unit wasn’t maintained in the off-seasons. Here are a few of the most common heating issues we encounter in our customers’ homes. We also explain the causes for these problems and how you can address (and prevent) them. Contact our HVAC repair company for all your heating needs this winter!

Heater Cycles On & Off

Your heater cycles on and off based on an automatic setting and the temperature you set. Let’s say you wanted your home to be a balmy 80 degrees. You’d set the thermostat to the “Auto” and “Heat” modes and then turn the dial to the number “80.” The heater would proceed to turn on and blow warm air until the area where the thermostat is located reached the conditions you set. At this point, the furnace would turn off. Then, when the temperature in the room dropped below 80, the heater would reboot. This process is called “cycling.”

In Bloomington, heating problems in winter can include when a heater cycles incorrectly, such as if it turns on and off quickly and repeatedly. Not only is this annoying, but it wastes energy and doesn’t heat the house adequately. The cause of a cycling problem, in most cases, is either the air filter or thermostat.

Air Filter Is Dirty Or Clogged

Furnaces use air filters to stop debris from harming the internal components of the system. The filters also catch allergens, mold spores, and particulates that degrade indoor air quality. For a heater to operate effectively, its filter should be changed out every three months.

Dirty air filters restrict air flow and interrupt the cycling process. While clogged filters are easy to address, they can be responsible for more extensive heating repairs in Bloomington. To avoid these issues, you should replace your HVAC air filter regularly.

Faulty Electronics In The Thermostat

Whether a thermostat is analog or digital, hardwired or WiFi-enabled, it can create cycling problems for an HVAC system. The source of the problem is usually an interruption to the communications between the thermostat and heating system. This can result from a wiring error or network disruption. But when the thermostat reports spotty temperature readings to the HVAC unit, the latter cycles oddly as a result.

Sometimes, the problem is isolated to the thermostat. Analog thermostats use electrical connections to provide readings. If the wires bend or short, the readings sent to the heater are interrupted, causing cycling problems. During routine HVAC maintenance and repairs, a technician inspects the thermostat. Many homeowners also take this opportunity to install new thermostats for more precise readings.

Cold Spots Indoors & Rising Utility Bills

Cold spots and high energy bills may appear to be unrelated issues, but their causes overlap. Cold spots are rooms or areas of a home that feel chilly relative to the rest of the house. In practice, a heater should distribute warm air evenly throughout a home, but this doesn’t always happen. Furthermore, the issues that cause cold spots, namely faulty ductwork and air leaks, also waste energy and hike utility bills.

Ductwork Issues

Ductwork is like a highway system that transports warm air from a furnace to individual rooms in a home. One common furnace repair Bloomington, MN, residents often need is for a leaky duct. Either from corrosion, puncture, or a disconnected portion of the duct, leaks in the ductwork can form and allow hot air to escape. In such a case, the air doesn’t reach its destination, which results in one room being cooler than surrounding ones. The thermostat also has to work harder to bring the room up to the desired temperature. This wastes energy and spikes utility costs. The remedy for ductwork issues is a planned HVAC inspection, where a technician looks for and repairs duct leaks.

Indoor-Outdoor Air Leaks

Issues unrelated to the HVAC system can cause cold spots, and such is the case with air leaks. Air leaks are spots in a house, usually around the edges of windows and doors, where air enters and exits outside. Although not an HVAC issue, air leaks do affect the heating system. If warm air is escaping outdoors, the furnace must work harder to heat the home. This wastes energy and puts undue stress on the heater’s internal components. The results are higher utility costs and a potential need for heating repairs in the future. A home energy audit by an HVAC technician can help to identify air leaks. Most of them are fixable with weather stripping or another form of indoor/outdoor insulation.

Schedule Heating Maintenance & Repairs In Bloomington

For all your winter heating needs, trust Bloomington Heating & Air. We perform heating repair services on-the-spot, and we work around your schedule. You can also count on us in a pinch, as we offer 24-hour emergency heating repairs. Meanwhile, the easiest way to avoid heating repairs is to stay up-to-date on HVAC maintenance with our Comfort Savings Plan Agreement. Throughout the year, this comprehensive plan ensures your heating and cooling system is efficient and reliable. The agreement also includes discounts on HVAC repairs and products. To schedule heating maintenance, contact Bloomington Heating & Air today!

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