Common HVAC Problems During The Winter

Common HVAC Problems During The Winter

As the chilly winds start rolling in, marking the start of the winter, along with them come forth unique challenges that we must face to keep our homes warm and cozy. There are some problems with HVAC systems that arise exclusively due to the cold.

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Are you curious about what issues you are likely to encounter in the winter months? Do you want to know how exactly your HVAC system will start acting up? Have a look for yourself. Below we have listed a few common HVAC problems that arise during the winter season.

Frozen Pipes

Extreme cold and freezing temperatures can cause pipes and coils to freeze, which stops them from function properly. Your hydronic systems like steam radiators and hot water can fail as frozen water impedes the pipes’ flow. The heating can break down due to frozen pipes.

Frozen pipes can also burst due to pressure buildup, which will cause property damage and require plumbing repairs.

Uneven Heat Distribution

During winters, you may come to realize that some rooms of your home are colder than others due to uneven temperature and airflow.

If this happens, the first thing you need to do is to check for cracks, gaps, and opening in your floor, walls, doorways, and window sills to identify where the cold air is entering the room from and fill them up. If the problem is still there, check your ducts and vents for debris and blockages that might hinder the airflow, and clear them out.

Dirty Heater Filters

Overuse can cause your heaters’ filters to get clogged with dust, debris, and dirt, which hinders airflow, subsequently reducing the warmth inside your house unless the issue is with the motor or fan.

Clear any obstructions or blockages in or around the filter. And if your filter is permanently bent or discolored, then replace it with a new one for better functionality and performance.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Homes that have a gas heater are at constant risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is impossible to detect as it is odorless and tasteless. Carbon monoxide leaks can occur due to cracked or rusted heaters, particularly a cracked heat exchanger present inside the heater.

Check the heat exchanger for defects, as well as your home’s ventilation. Inspect your top-range vent or chimney for obstructions that might not be letting this gas escape your home.

Faulty Pilot Light

Some heaters have a pilot light, which needs to be on for them to work. The pilot light is a small blue flame that needs to stay lit at all times for easier access to heat. But if it doesn’t burn brightly or fails to burn at all, then your home will be cold.

The most common reason for a faulty pilot light is a damaged or dirty flame sensor, so clean the sensor and ensure that the pilot light has a steady flame.

Broken Thermostat

The issue doesn’t always lie in an appliance’s hardware. There could be an issue with the thermostat, like faulty wiring that needs repair. If your thermostat cannot be repaired, then consider replacing it with a new one and calibrating it with the heater. A new or fixed thermostat will be able to control the air temperature better and boost energy efficiency.

Malfunctioning Heat Pump

If you rely on exterior heat pumps, you are in for a lot of problems. Other than common issues like a broken fan, icy winds and snowfall can also damage them, resulting in a poor performance in winters. Many heat pumps fail to defrost in the cold months, and for this appliance to work efficiently, its fan and coils need to be clear of frost.

Therefore, it is wiser to get a fixture with automatic defrost settings so the ice on your heat pump can melt away before a thick layer can form, which will be harder to melt. If your heat pump’s defrost settings do not work, you need to remove the frost buildup manually.

Bill’s Plumbing & Sewer Inc. offers expert plumbing services in Northbrook, IL. Click here to get your free estimate.