Sure, a good HVAC company may stay busy during the winter, answering heating service calls. But we still don’t want to see our trusted customers stuck with a heating problem even for a little while.
And, while a South Jersey winter may not be the most freezing in the world, it still gets pretty cold. Temperatures regularly dip below freezing in January and February.
Here, we’ll review three of the most common heating service calls we get. Hopefully, you can use this information to prevent nip the problem in the bud.
But, if it gets to the point where you can’t handle it yourself, give Bovio a call. We’ve served Sicklerville, Washington Township, Medford, and other nearby areas for nearly 60 years. We’ll get your heating system back up and running as soon as possible.
Regular Maintenance Prevents Heating Service Calls
Before we go into these specific problems, it’s important to point out the one strategy that prevents most heating service calls: Regular maintenance.
It’s important to have your test HVAC company send out a tech before the cold weather hits to look over your furnace. A tune-up heads off a lot of problems and helps keep your energy bills down.
The tech inspects the system inside out. Then, they clean off all the components, replace anything that’s worn or broken down, and lubricates the moving parts.
As you read about the various problems you can encounter, you’ll also see how you can prevent a more costly service call by kicking off the season with a tune-up.
Furnace Blows Cold Air
If your furnace blows cold air, there’s too much heat inside the system. That may sound odd since the heater is generating warmth. But, it’s made to distribute that heat, not store it.
Here’s what’s happening: The system generates heat and pushes it through the ductwork. If for some reason, there’s nowhere for the heat to go, it backs up into the furnace.
After a while, high temperature inside the system can damage the inner components. So, it blows cold air to cool down the system.
But, that cold air needs someplace to go, too. So, it continues along the same path as the warm air.
The result? Cold air blowing through your vents when you want to stay warm.
How to Prevent Your Heater From Blowing Cold Air
To prevent your heater from blowing cold air, start by making sure the warm air has a place to go.
The first step is making sure none of your vents are blocked. If the heat can’t travel out of the ductwork, it backs up.
Also, make sure your thermostat is working correctly. If it tells the furnace to stay on when it’s not needed, you end up with too much heat.
The bigger problem is an oversized furnace. If your system is too powerful, you get too much heat at once. That backs up the system.
There’s no way to fix that yourself. You’ll need a professional to do a load calculation to see what size HVAC system you need. From there, you’d have to replace your existing furnace or possibly extend the ductwork, so the heat has a place to go.
Weak Air Circulation
Here’s another call we get a lot: Your heater is working. But, it doesn’t seem like there’s enough air coming through the vents.
Again, there are a few possible causes. Some you can fix yourself. Others require a professional.
Change Your Air Filter
Your air filter traps dust and other small particles as they pass through the ductwork into your HVAC system. But, eventually, it gets clogged and prevents air from flowing through, also.
When that happens, you end up with weak circulation. It’s what happens when the air can’t circulate properly.
To fix this, slide out your old filter and install and a new one. If you left the one that’s in there for more than three months, it’s likely very dirty.
Your Vents are Closed
Most old vents have tabs you can pull to close the vent. Most of the time, they won’t shut it completely. Or, you’ve just left it partially closed.
So, after changing your air filter, make sure all your vents are in the open position. If one is closed or partially shut, you won’t get the airflow you want.
Leaky or Dirty Ductwork
Excess dust and debris in the ducts will prevent the air from flowing the way it should. And, if it isn’t sealed up, the air will escape along the way. That’s less treatment each room gets — plus a loss in air pressure overall.
Finally, there could be a problem with the blower or another component on your furnace. This is where that tune-up comes in handy: A tech can spot the problem and fix it before you experience any comfort loss in your home.
Strange Smells From Your Vents
A wide range of problems can contribute to strange smells coming from the ductwork. The type of scent can clue you into what’s gone wrong.
Dirty Sock Syndrome
A lot of times, the problem is water collecting in or near the system. Standing water plus a dark area — like an unfinished basement, or behind a large appliance — can be a breeding ground for mold spores and similar contaminants.
Likewise, a urine smell can be a sign of especially dangerous, toxic mold.
To prevent this, keep your furnace and the area around it clean. And, watch for signs of leaks near the system or anywhere else.
Rotten Egg Smell
This problem is more often associated with air conditioning, but it’s worth mentioning here. If an animal died in or near the system, you end up with a rotten egg smell in the vents.
Now, odds are you’d notice something dead in your basement. That’s why it’s usually associated with cooling: Something could have died near an outdoor compressor.
But, there’s also the chance a bird or other critter got into a chimney or flue.
Once again, keep the area around the systems clean. And, make sure any openings like chimneys have guards around them.
Heating Service Calls in South Jersey
If you’ve done some troubleshooting but still need a professional for your heating problems, don’t worry! Call Bovio, and we’ll get you back up and running as soon as possible.
With our great reputation over nearly 60 years, and our many great online reviews, you’ll be confident you’re getting the fast, efficient, and effective service you need.