Staying warm in the cold winter months means relying on your heating system to do its job. In order to keep it running properly, you should perform regular maintenance on the unit. A good rule of thumb is to do one complete maintenance check at the beginning of the cold seasons as well as one at the end. If the unit does break down or show signs of malfunctioning, you will need to troubleshoot it yourself or hire an HVAC contractor to handle it. This guide goes over some of the common problems that a heating unit has and how to fix them.
1. Heating System Doesn't Blow Hot Air
A big problem for a heating system is when it will not blow hot air. You may hear the motor running, but nothing comes out. This is usually a result of a broken belt inside the unit. You can check the status of the belt by opening the door of the unit and locating the belt. If it is broken or loose, remove it so you can replace it. Check the serial number on the belt so you can buy the correct one at a home improvement store. Always check the belt's condition during future maintenance checks. If it starts to show signs of wear or cracks, replace it right away.
2. Heating System Runs Constantly
Another huge issue with the unit is if it is constantly running. The heating system is designed to run for a certain amount of time. It is not designed to run nonstop. This issue may be related to the filter being too dirty. Locate your filter inside the heating system and remove it. You will notice that it is covered with dust and grime. Take a damp washcloth and clean both sides of the filter until you can see that all the dust is gone. Place the filter back inside the unit. You may have a unit that requires new filters each time the old one is too dirty. Check with your user manual to make sure which kind you have. If yours needs to be replaced, write down the correct number located on the old filter so that you can be sure to buy the right one.
3. Heating System Doesn't Run At All
When the unit doesn't work at all, it points to a problem with the power. Sometimes the unit can overload, and a breaker will trip. Locate your breaker box and see if the breaker for the heating unit is in the "on" position. If not, flip it on and try the system again.
Any issue that you cannot fix by yourself requires an HVAC contractor. Contact your local heating services, and they will diagnose the issue for you and repair or replace the unit depending on how severe it is.