Problems with a furnace or heating system become noticeable as winter arrives in Northern Kentucky – Cincinnati, OH. The cold temperatures cause furnaces to kick on for the first time. As furnaces and heaters are turned on across the tri-state, any heating system that no longer adequately warms a house or building becomes an urgent problem. An hvac system that begins to make odd noises is also an issue that should be addressed. If you are dealing with a problematic heating system it may be time to call a professional Cincinnati hvac contractor.
How one cares for, maintains, and protects their heating system depends on the type of system they have. Most homes have a furnace (forced air distribution system) powered by either electric or gas. Some older homes have a boiler and radiator system. Others may have a heat pump, radial heating, or baseboard heating.
Below is a list of some common furnace and heating system problems…
Possible consequences from heater and furnace problems:
Sometimes the issue is a result of the problem…
- High energy bills – an hvac system working harder than it should and/or not working optimally can cause energy bills to spike.
- Home being cold – As the winter progresses and temperatures drop, a system failure becomes more dangerous. If a residential hvac system fails and temperatures drop, a family may need to find another place to stay until repairs are made. BE AWARE: If a building is without heat…water pipes can freeze and burst causing significant water damage.
- Carbon Monoxide leak in the home – Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause extreme illness and even death from suffocation. This concern is specific to homes with gas furnaces. A furnace has a flue pipe that exports Carbon Monoxide (CO) from the home. A crack in the flue pipe can cause gas to leak into a home. 2 common signs of carbon monoxide leaks are the pilot light going out frequently or yellowish soot forming around the unit. All homes with a gas furnace should have a CO detector that is properly working. Learn more about Carbon Monoxide poisoning: https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm One can schedule an annual inspection to check for any gas leaks.
Common problems with furnace and duct work systems:
Some Rooms are Colder than Others (unequal heat distribution)
If the problem is new, have an hvac company check the system to diagnose the problem…
- May have a leak or blockage in the duct system.
- Or the blower motor on furnace may have quit working and is not forcing the air through the system.
If the problem has always existed in the home, it may not be the hvac system at all…
- Check the windows and doors for cracks letting in cold air.
- Poor insulation or no insulation may also be the cause of cold spots in a house.
Install heavy curtains and check/replace weather stripping around doors and windows to help.
Furnace turns ON & OFF frequently without properly warming the house
- Change the furnace filter– Build up of dust causes the unit to shut down prematurely and then the thermostat forces it to turn back on after a short period of time. Filters should be changed once a month during high use seasons.
- Broken thermostat– Make sure the thermostat displays an accurate room temperature and it responds when adjusting the controls. It may need to be repaired, calibrated, or replaced.
Furnace fails to turn on at all, or turns off and doesn’t come back on
Make sure the pilot light is on:
- Locate the front cover panel on the furnace and open it.
- If the pilot light is on, it should be easy to see – one’s eyes will be drawn to the little flame.
- If there is a flame, check the color. Pilot lights should always be blue. If the flame is not blue, then the burner assembly could be corroded or dirty and thus in need of cleaning.
- If there is no visible flame, the pilot light is out.
If the pilot light is off/out try to light it:
- Look for a switch or knob that has 3 settings: On, Pilot, and Off.
- Turn it to “off,” then wait a few minutes to ensure that all gas has dissipated.
- When ready to relight it, turn the knob to “pilot.”
- Hold down the reset button while lighting the pilot light with a long match or lighter (the reset button can sometimes be the same knob mentioned above). After the flame catches, continue to hold down the reset button for a little while (usually 60 seconds).
- After 60 seconds, release the reset button and observe the pilot light. If it continues to burn, congratulations! Turn the knob to “on.”
If the pilot light fails to come on or goes right back out after lighting it, call a technician. The flame sensor may need to be cleaned or replaced. A pilot light that constantly goes out could also be a result of a carbon monoxide leak in the system.
Is Your Furnace or Heater Making Unusual Noises?
Loud Bang or Pop Upon Powering Up
If there is a startling, loud bang or pop when turning on the furnace…the furnace’s burners may be dirty causing a delayed ignition. This happens as a result of gas buildup, which eventually causes a tiny explosion. If this happens frequently, the furnace’s heat exchanger could suffer cracks and cause a carbon monoxide leak.
Scraping or squealing noise
If a furnace is making a scraping or squealing noise, it likely has a broken blower motor or blower belt. This means the unit will not be able to heat all areas of a home and if left unrepaired, it may damage other components in the furnace.
AnyWeather Heating & Air is here to help
AnyWeather Heating & Air offers expert heating system and furnace contractor services in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, OH. As a family owned, local hvac company we are ready to help with any residential or commercial heating and cooling needs.