Heating costs account for a fairly big chunk of most peoples’ winter budgets. The average person pays between $500 and $1,500 to keep their home comfortable in the winter. Although many factors influence costs, problems with the heating system can cause heating expenses to skyrocket.
Annual professional inspections will ensure that equipment is in good shape and routine maintenance often prevents breakdowns. But even with good care, systems sometimes develop problems. There are various signs that a unit may be failing. If any of the following occur, it is critical to have an HVAC professional inspect equipment immediately:
1. A Noisy Heating Unit
When homeowners hear unusual noises coming from a heating system, it is critical to get professional help immediately because it usually indicates a serious issue. For instance, a malfunctioning blower or motor will cause a heating system to produce metallic, scraping sounds. The blower wheel could be out of balance or disconnect from the shaft, leading to shaft damage.
Home Advisor experts say that it can cost between $150 and $2,000 to replace an HVAC blower motor, so it is not a minor problem. With that in mind, many homeowners invest in a home warranty plan that covers HVAC systems.
2. HVAC System Produces Strange Smells
When homeowners notice odd smells throughout their home, the HVAC system could be the culprit. Overheating parts may cause the issue, so it is important to shut down the system immediately and call professionals as soon an unusual smell becomes evident.
Moisture in ducts can lead to mold, which causes an HVAC system to emit an unpleasant, musty odor. The professionals at Interior Design Tours caution that the problem is also a health hazard that can irritate allergies and other breathing problems.
If a heating system produces a rotten egg smell, there could be a natural gas leak. Any time homeowners suspect this problem, it is critical to immediately leave the house and call an HVAC professional to inspect the system.
3. Increased Energy Bills
Higher winter electric bills can signal heating system issues. If homeowners routinely monitor their energy use and notice that it begins to climb when the heat is turned on, they could be dealing with a malfunctioning furnace.
Per writers for Homer Project, a furnace with problems must work harder to keep the home comfortable, which requires more energy. Fortunately, an HVAC technician can quickly identify the source of the problem.
4. Heating System Constantly Runs
Home heating systems, like A/C, are designed to turn off when they reach the temperature set on the thermostat. However, some issues can cause units to run continuously.
In most cases, professional maintenance resolves the problem. An HVAC technician can determine whether there are also issues like compressor problems. A heater or ductwork that is undersized for the home can also overwork equipment.
5. The Pilot Light Is Not Blue
A weak pilot not only signals a heating system issue but can also lead to a deadly situation. The pilot light is supposed to be blue and strong. When it becomes weak and yellow, it could indicate the presence of deadly carbon monoxide. Any time homeowners notice a yellow pilot light, they should evacuate immediately and call an HVAC professional for help.
Home heating systems can break down during the winter when they are working the hardest, but there are ways to anticipate and prevent many problems. The simplest method is to be aware of tell-tale signs that point to trouble. For example, if the system makes odd noises, emits unpleasant odors, or constantly runs, a professional should inspect equipment. A yellow pilot light or increased energy bills also indicate system issues that require attention.