Common Heating Problems You May Encounter This Fall
A quick look at the calendar reminds us that your heating system will soon be back on the job, working hard day and night to keep your family warm and comfortable in your Hudson Valley home.
Sometimes the strain of a long heating season can start to take a toll on your heating oil-fired equipment, leading to problems that could require an expert’s touch to fix. Here are some heating issues you may encounter in the months ahead, and what to do if you find them.
Troubleshooting HVAC Issues
- Dry indoor air – Outdoor air gets increasingly dry as temperatures drop, but HVAC equipment can make the air inside your home even dryer. That can be a problem for people with respiratory issues, and could even spell trouble for wood furniture, artwork, and other fragile items that don’t like over-dry air. The best way to take care of the problem? Have your heating system professionally maintained every year. If you have a forced air system (one with a furnace and vents rather than a boiler and radiators or baseboards), consider adding a whole house humidifier.
- Excessive cycling – If your heating system turns on and off more than it should (this is called “cycling”), it could indicate one of several problems, including a clogged air filter or a faulty thermostat. Check both, changing the filter and swapping out the thermostat if needed. If cycling continues, contact a qualified heating contractor.
- A CO leak – A carbon monoxide (CO) leak can pose risks to everyone in your home. CO leaks are most common in older heating systems, so if your equipment is 10 years old or more, have it professionally serviced every year. It is also critical to install carbon monoxide detectors at every level of your house and test them periodically, replacing batteries at least once per year.
- Hot and cold spots – Inconsistent temperatures from room to room and from floor to ceiling could be caused by drafts, or by a poorly functioning heating system. To take care of the former, try replacing caulking and weather stripping around exterior windows and adding door sweeps, and consider beefing up your insulation if it’s below recommended R-value levels. If these measures don’t do the trick, you could have an issue with a clogged filter, dirty vents, or dirty/ damaged coils. As a first step, check the filter and get your heating system cleaned (a cleaning should be included in your annual tune-up).
- No heat – If your furnace or boiler won’t start at all, try these six steps before calling for professional heating service: it could save you the cost of a service call:
- Check to see if you have enough heating oil
- Make sure all power switches are in the “on” or “start” position, and that your circuit breaker has not been tripped
- Make sure the temperature on your thermostat is set at least five degrees above the current room temperature, and the system switch is on the HEAT or AUTO position. The fan switch should be set to ON for continuous airflow or AUTO.
- Check the pilot light, if your equipment has one.
- If you have a forced air system, check the air filter if airflow from your vent seems low; also make sure that vents are not blocked.
- Only press the red burner switch once; doing it more than once may flood your system with oil.
Keep the heat coming all fall and winter with reliable heating oil deliveries in Dutchess, Columbia, Orange, Sullivan, Delaware, Greene, and Ulster counties from the pros at Economy Oil. Contact us today for the lowest-priced heating oil in the Hudson Valley!