Is your heating system ready for the winter months? If it isn’t, you may encounter common problems when you are ready to heat your home. Fortunately, many of these problems can be prevented by having a trained HVAC technician from Paradise Home Services perform maintenance on your heating system. If you live in Florida, here are some common problems you may experience with your heating system during the winter.

1. Dirty Filter

When your heating system is in use, its furnace filter can accumulate dirt and grime that it picks up from circulating air. Once its filter is full, the dirt and grime can cause blockages inside the heating system itself. Using a furnace with a dirty filter can result in overheating, which forces your system to work harder and damages components. This additional effort can increase wear and tear on your heat pump or furnace and cause energy to be wasted. Since air movement is severely restricted by the blockage, your living areas may go without adequate heat.

You can avoid such problems by regularly changing your air filters. Filters can accumulate more dirt than you expect during the winter due to their increased use, so it is often best to examine your filters at least once a month when temperatures start to drop. Many manufacturers of air filters recommend replacing your filters every three months (90 days), but by checking your filter periodically, you can find out just how fast it fills up and needs to be changed.

2. Mold

Although the winter months are usually drier, a moist or humid indoor environment can cause problems with your heating system. If your home’s air is saturated with moisture, mold can grow in your ducts once the saturated air comes in contact with the cold metal your ducts are manufactured from. Dirt, moisture, and dust can accumulate in your damp ducts. Such an environment is ideal for mold growth.

Issues such as clogged ducts, dirty ductwork, or a malfunctioning humidifier can cause mold growth. To ensure these issues don’t damage your heating system, you should reach out to an HVAC company that can examine and periodically clean your ducts. Regularly cleaning your ducts can remove mold and other types of debris, which can prevent blockages.

3. Short Cycling

Does your heat pump or furnace turn on and off again within just a few minutes? Do you notice your system running more than it usually does without circulating any heat? If you answered yes to either of these questions, your heating system may be short-cycling. Short cycling is a common issue that can be caused by a number of issues. It can cause wear and tear, prevent your home from heating sufficiently, and waste a significant amount of energy.

Short cycling is often caused by blocked airflow and it is often accompanied by system overheating, malfunctioning sensors, and inaccurate thermostat readings. It can also be the result of a system that is too large for your home. If you are experiencing short cycling troubles, you may need to call in a professional or replace your current system with one that fits your home.

4. Constant Fan Blowing

If your heating system’s blower fan runs non-stop, you may have a problem with your fan limit switch or your thermostat may not be working properly. If the fan switch on your thermostat is not set correctly, the thermostat can send the wrong signals to your heating system. This can result in your blower running non-stop. The most common reason for this problem is improper blower fan settings. Be sure your thermostat’s fan switch is set to AUTO and not ON. The AUTO setting makes sure the blower only operates when the furnace cycles. The ON option allows the blower to run around the clock.

Your furnace also features a fan limit switch that allows it to control how your blower operates. If the switch is not properly set in the manual position, the blower will run constantly. If your thermostat or fan limit switch is hooked up to faulty wiring, you will need to contact an HVAC professional to switch out the damaged components.

5. High Energy Bills

No one wants an energy bill that spikes without a clear cause. Unfortunately, if you find your energy bill constantly going up and down, the culprit could be your heating system. Air leaks, a dirty air filter, duct system obstructions, and leaky ductwork can all cause your energy bill to rise and fall frequently.

6. Faulty Thermostat

A faulty thermostat can give false readings, which can cause problems with your heating system and result in serious cold spots. Most thermostats only last about 10 years, so if you notice yours is not working properly, you may also notice changes in your heating system’s overall performance. By upgrading to a newer, smart thermostat, you can prevent cold spots and make using your thermostat more pleasurable and convenient. Depending on the state of your thermostat, an HVAC professional may be able to repair it.

7. Unusual Noises

Your furnace may make some noise while in operation which is normal. Other noises, however, can be a sign of a serious mechanical issue. Squealing or whining coming from your system’s motor can be a sign that your blower or inducer motor is failing. If a motor is failing, you will need to call an HVAC professional to repair it before your entire furnace fails to work properly. Less serious noises can be signs of dirty burners or airflow issues. In short, if you hear unusual or loud noises coming from your heating system, you shouldn’t put off calling a professional.

8. Circuit Breaker Trips

If your blower is overworking, it can cause a trip in your circuit breaker. A circuit breaker trip caused by your heating system may be the cause of an airflow blockage, which can cause your blower to work harder than normal. The most common cause, however, is a dirty air filter, which makes your blower use more energy to force air through the filter. This increase in energy can result in a higher electric bill, and it may trip the circuit breaker from time to time. Dirty coils, blocked air registers, and duct leaks can also make your blower work overtime and cause trips.

9. Dirty Evaporator Coils

If you haven’t scheduled regular HVAC system maintenance, your system may not heat as well as it should. As previously mentioned, dirt and debris can clog your system’s coils, which can in turn cause it to work harder and experience more wear and tear. The indoor evaporator coil can also accumulate dirt, especially if you don’t regularly change your furnace filters. Coils that are caked with dirt or debris will probably need to be cleaned by a service technician from an HVAC company.

Keep Your Heating System in Prime Condition This Winter

Keeping your heating system in prime condition is a must if you want it to operate at maximum efficiency during the winter season. With the help of a trusted Florida HVAC company, you can do this with relative ease. By scheduling regular maintenance and contacting a professional at the first sign of a problem, you can make sure your system remains functional during the colder months. We offer heating system services and deal with issues related to indoor air quality, AC repair and installation, plumbing repairs, and water heater installation. Reach out to Paradise Home Services today if you have a question or concern about your heating system in Navarre or Panama City Beach.

company icon