Seven Indications That Your HVAC System is Failing

With cooler weather on the horizon, it’s a good time check your HVAC! Suspect you have problems? There are many signs that your heating system may be failing. These include weird noises, poor indoor air quality, and carbon monoxide leaks. You might even find a weird odor in your home.

If you spot any of these symptoms, it is likely time to call a heating maintenance specialist.

Problems With Your Furnace

If you are having trouble with your furnace, the first thing to do is to check its thermostat. A faulty thermostat can cause it to keep cycling on and off or give you inaccurate readings. A professional HVAC Chicago technician will help you fix this issue. In addition, other issues may be causing your furnace not to heat or cool your home properly.

A common problem is the failure of the ignitor. When it fails, your furnace will not turn on. Instead, it may signal something wrong, such as an overloaded motor. To replace the ignitor, you can contact a heating and cooling company. This procedure is relatively inexpensive but could lead to more costly problems in the future.

Weird Noises

If you’re experiencing strange noises when heating, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing a problem with your heating system. While some odd sounds are harmless and can be quickly fixed, others require the help of a professional. If you’re unsure about what’s going on with your system, call a technician for a thorough inspection.

First, check to see if there are any problems with the electrical system. A faulty electrical system can cause a fire. Electrical failures can also cause your heating system to work harder than normal.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

When the air in your home isn’t fresh and clean, you’re more likely to experience the common cold and other respiratory ailments. The problem worsens in enclosed spaces, where dust and other pollutants gather more easily. These particles can lead to various symptoms, including watery eyes, coughing, headaches, and congestion. People with allergies can also be affected by poor air quality. These symptoms can be severe enough to prevent you from performing daily activities and can even lead to hospitalization.

The best way to improve your air quality is to clean it regularly. This includes changing air filters and cleaning vents. You can also invest in air purifiers to filter airborne pollutants.

Carbon monoxide leaks

If you suspect your home’s heating system is leaking carbon monoxide, you must install a carbon monoxide detector. You can install CO detectors on each level of your home, including outside sleeping areas. You should also test them at least twice a year. Replace the batteries in the CO detector every five years, and check for cracks or other damages. A carbon monoxide detector is especially important if you are using natural gas.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced when fossil fuels burn. It’s toxic and can cause serious health problems. Carbon monoxide can be introduced to your home through several sources, including cracks in your furnace’s parts.

Discolored Pilot Light

If you notice a discolored pilot light, it may signify a malfunctioning heating system. A pilot light should be blue, and if the light appears to be a different color, you may need to have your heating system inspected by a professional. For example, a discolored pilot light indicates that the burner assembly is dirty or has become corroded.

Another sign of a problem with your heating and air conditioning system is a yellow pilot light. This means there is a problem with the gas supply, which could lead to a leak. Other signs include soot around the appliance, condensation in the room, or a smoky smell. If you notice these signs, turn off your heating system immediately and contact a qualified heating and air conditioning repair professional.

Weird Smells

If you notice strange smells coming from your heating system, you might need to have your heater checked out. Several things could cause this smell. A buildup of dirt inside the furnace is the first problem. Both a bad smell and breathing issues may result from this. However, this problem usually goes away on its own.

Another common problem is the smell of burning plastic or smoke. While an electrical burning smell may not be dangerous, it may indicate a serious heating problem. For example, a faulty motor or an electrical failure could be to blame. Call a technician immediately if you notice a burning smell coming from your heating system. Otherwise, it could lead to a fire, which is dangerous for anyone.

Uneven Heat Distribution

Uneven heat distribution indicates poor heating, and a few simple fixes can solve the problem. If the air filter is dirty, it slows airflow and limits the amount of warm air delivered. As a result, rooms far from the furnace will receive less warm air than other parts of the house. The ductwork may also have holes or cracks, causing warm air to escape before reaching its intended destination. When this happens, the warm air that reaches the other rooms will be insufficiently heated.

One way to fix uneven heating is to adjust the zoning system, which controls the distribution of heated air. If your heating system is causing uneven heat distribution, the zone control system is probably faulty. For example, it may not be signaling the thermostat correctly or may be blocked by furniture or other obstructions. 

Tags: heating, home repair
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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