It’s that time of year! Temperatures are regularly dipping below freezing at night, even as the daytimes can be mild. Amidst the colder temperatures, you may even start to notice that your heating system isn’t working as well as you think it should.
Some common winter heating problems are an easy fix—and most are very preventable with regular maintenance. Check out our guide for a cozier and more comfortable winter season:
Do you notice your heater turning on and off more often than usual? It’s called heat cycling, and it reduces your system’s efficiency and increases your heating costs because your equipment is working harder than it should to get the job done.
The most common cause is a dirty blower or filter. If changing the filter doesn’t solve the problem, check your thermostat—usually it’s set higher than it should be.
If your heating system isn’t warming your home at all, it could be due to several potential problems. Start by checking your thermostat to make sure it’s working and has fresh batteries.
Heat pumps can have trouble in very cold temperatures. Icy wind and snow can create a layer of frost on your unit, which can keep it from working properly. Use your heat pump’s defrost settings to keep the ice and frost at bay. If it doesn’t have the right settings, you’ll have to clear the ice yourself with a soft brush as well as by hand as not to damage any of the surrounding parts and pieces.
If you have a furnace, check the pilot light. If your pilot light isn’t on, check to see if it has a steady power source. If not, there may be a bit of gunk and grime in the assembly, and you should call an HVAC service pro to clean it out for you. Likewise, if your pilot light is on but your furnace isn’t producing heat, you may have a problem with the main burners, gas valves, control board, or flame sensor. Contact a professional heating tech so they can get you and your family comfortable again.
Dry air feels cooler than humid air—so it may take more for your home to be comfortable and cozy. To remedy this problem, use a humidifier. You can place individual humidifiers in different rooms, or you can install a humidifier in your HVAC system and achieve more consistent moisture levels throughout your home. Not only will this make the air in your home feel warmer, but it will also prevent dry, itchy-feeling skin and protect your wood furniture.
Sometimes, rooms or spaces that are colder than other areas are the result of a faulty heating system. Additions and converted spaces may not be included in the main ductwork, so the heat just isn’t reaching those rooms. In these instances, a space heater can be a great solution.
If your upper stories are warm while the lower floors are cold, consider closing the upstairs vents to direct warm air to the downstairs rooms. Because heat rises, the heat will eventually drift upwards, but not as quickly.
Another culprit could be your air handler. The air handler helps circulate air throughout your home, and if you hear a grinding sound while the heat is on, you may need to call for a repair.
A cheerful fire on a chilly evening is a great solution to the winter blues. Propane-fueled fireplaces add ambiance and efficient supplemental heat without the mess. Let Midway Gas help you amp up the charm of your home with a natural-looking propane fireplace, hearth, or stove.
Contact Midway Gas today to learn more about what we offer and how we can keep your Southern Virginia residence comfortable all year long.