Owning a home comes along with a lot of positives, including freedom and independence. However, it also comes with lots of responsibilities and dealing with unexpected issues. When it comes to your home heating system, you’ll likely face some of the common problems below.
Cracked Heat Exchanger
Inside of your heating system, there’s a component known as a heat exchanger. This works to separate the flame of your furnace from the rest of the air inside of your home. Whenever the heat exchanger cracks, usually from overheating, it can allow the fumes from the flame to escape. This issue is one that should be addressed immediately by an HVAC professional.
Bad Limit Switch
Your heating system has a limit switch that helps to measure the temperature of the air inside of your home. Its job is to signal to the thermostat when your indoor air temperature has reached the temperature that you have set.
Unfortunately, this limit switch can go bad over time. If you notice that your heating system is running non-stop even though the temperature is well above what you’ve set, it’s likely that your limit switch has gone bad. It’s best to call in an expert to verify that problem and replace your limit switch.
Oddly Colored Pilot Light
If your furnace uses a pilot light, it should be a solid blue color. If you notice that the pilot light has changed to an orange or yellow hue, it’s an indication of a problem. In most cases, the pilot light is emitting harmful carbon monoxide. As soon as you notice an oddly colored pilot flame, it’s time to turn off your system. Carbon monoxide can be deadly when it’s breathed in. You should contact a professional right away.
Access Panel Safety Switch
The access panel that you open when you’re going to perform maintenance on your furnace likely has a safety switch. Anytime the door is ajar, the safety switch will prevent the furnace from turning on. So if your heating system isn’t turning on, it could be that your access panel wasn’t shut properly. Or the safety switch may have gone bad and needs to be replaced by an HVAC professional.
Your thermostat is responsible for telling your heating system when to turn on and when to shut off. One of the most common thermostat issues that you’ll deal with is dead batteries. Most newer thermostats will alert you when the batteries are getting low so that you can replace them before they die.
If replacing the batteries doesn’t fix the problem, it could be the thermostat itself. In most cases, you’ll know you have a thermostat issue when the display doesn’t turn on, you can’t change any of the settings, or it won’t turn on your heating system. It’s best to call in an expert to verify the issue and get your thermostat replaced.
If you notice that your heating system doesn’t seem to be heating your home as well as it used to, it’s likely an issue with airflow. The most common culprit of restricted airflow in your heating system is your air filter. As this filter does its job of collecting harmful airborne particles, it will become clogged. This is an easy fix as you just need to replace the dirty filter with a brand-new one.
Worn Fan Belt
In order to power the fan in your heating system, it’s connected to a belt that connects to a pully on the fan motor. As the belt is used over time, it will start to wear out and require replacement. You’ll notice that the belt is reaching the end of its lifespan when your heating system squeals while it’s running.
Worn Ball Bearings
Just as the fan belt wears out over time, so does the fan motor. More specifically, the ball bearings inside of the fan motor will wear out. You’ll be alerted of this issue whenever you start to hear a loud scraping noise when your heating system is on. It’s best to shut your system off right away to prevent any further damage to other system components.