6 Common Winter HVAC Problems

It might be the most wonderful time of the year or a Winter Wonderland according to the songs, but the winter can take a major toll on your HVAC system. Common HVAC problems can wreak havoc on your home, necessitating costly repairs, or simply making your home too cold to live in! Fortunately, most of the common problems are preventable, and by keeping an eye out for these warning signs, you can be confident that your HVAC system will keep you warm through those long winter nights.

1. Dirty Air Filters

If you’re experiencing a decrease in airflow or air that doesn’t feel effectively heated, a dirty air filter might be to blame. Dirty air filters can easily accumulate dirt and grime that restrict the airflow to your home and place more strain on your system for both heating and cooling. The best way to prevent this is to change your filter regularly. Set a calendar reminder for every month or so to prolong the life of your system and keep your airflow at optimum levels. On a more elementary level, make sure all of your air vents are open!

2. Uneven Heating

If you notice that there are spots in your home that never get warm no matter how high the thermostat is turned up, you’re probably looking at uneven heating issues. These are typically around doors or windows that let in cold winter air or drafts that upset the equilibrium of your heating system. If you think this is the problem, you might need to have some routine maintenance done by professionals to make sure your duct-work is still functioning effectively.

3. Broken Thermostat

Thermostat issues are incredibly common! Most of the time it’s a very easy fix. Thermostats need to be re-calibrated regularly, so that might be an issue. Faulty wiring can also be the culprit of a faulty thermostat, and of course, sometimes it’s just the batteries! A broken or faulty thermostat can easily cause fluctuations in the temperature of your home which can cost you in electric or gas bills, but fortunately, there’s nothing actually wrong with your HVAC- just the control system!

4. Heat Pump Won’t Turn On

When the temperature drops, the heat pump connected to your system can fall down on the job. The fans inside your outdoor unit and the coils have to be cleared of frost or they’ll freeze and sooner or later so will you! A lot of times, heat pumps just fail to defrost during the winter and they build up layers of frost that eventually cause a breakdown. That’s why it’s critical that you call licensed HVAC experts to look at your system before the winter. This is a preventable problem, but it’s harder to fix once it’s frozen solid!

5. Frozen Pipes

This is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. If your HVAC coils freeze, the pressure will cause them to burst, resulting in flooding or damage. You’ll want to immediately turn off your water and call in the professionals if this happens!

6. Pilot Light Problems

Some heaters only fully ignite when the pilot light is on. This blue flame should be lit at all times for easier access to the heating system. If you’re noticing that it doesn’t burn brightly enough, it’s likely that you’ll also notice that your home is quite chilly! The usual cause for a pilot light problem is a dirty or damaged flame sensor. It’s a good idea to clean the sensor to eliminate that possibility first. If the problem persists, you’ll want to talk to a professional!

There’s nothing better than a cozy house in the dead of winter! But heating problems can easily turn your home into an ice palace! Keep an eye on your HVAC all year round and you’ll enjoy the winter season the way Andy Williams intended!