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10 Most Common Heating System Problems & How to Fix Them

Yes, it can and does get cold in the Sunshine State. Florida may not have the worst winters, but you still want to be comfortable in your home when the temperatures dip. Although you may not have to run your heating system six months a year as you would in the northern part of the United States, you want to ensure that it’s running efficiently and in tip-top condition as the winter months approach.

That’s why it’s important to have your heating system serviced before the weather turns chilly. Here are 10 of the most common problems you could experience with your heating system and the best ways to address them.

10 Common Heating System Problems

  1. Your Heating System Won’t Turn Off
    If your heating system continues to run and blow hot air, you first need to check to make sure that it’s set on “auto,” rather than “on.” By being on “auto,” your heating system will go off when it reaches its set temperature.

    If it continues to run after you do this, your thermostat could be broken or wired incorrectly. It could also be an issue with your heating system’s blower. The first thing to do is make sure the wiring is plugged in correctly in the thermostat and then reset it to the manufacturer’s settings to see how the system runs. If this doesn’t work, your thermostat may need to be replaced.

    If the issue is with the blower, you should contact a heating repair specialist to identify and fix the problem.

  2. Areas of Your House Aren’t Heating Properly
    If your home is not being uniformly heated throughout, you could have a dirty air filter or issues with your ductwork or the heating system’s fan motor, bearings, or belts. Replacing your air filter is an easy fix, but if there are problems with your ductwork or system, you should contact a Tampa heating repair technician.

  3. Cool Air Is Coming Out of the Vents
    Whether you have a heat pump or furnace, the central heating system in your home disperses heat throughout your home through a chain of connected air ducts. Although leaky ducts could affect the temperature of the air coming from your vents, there are a couple of quick fixes you should address first.

     — First, check the thermostat to ensure that you set it at the right temperature. If you did, try turning it up a bit to find out if you can tell the difference in temperature. In addition, the thermostat should be set on “auto,” rather than “fan on,” because the fan will just blow non-heated air. If all this checks out, you should look at the air filter next.

    Air Filter
     — Air filters need to be replaced every one to three months because they collect a lot of dirt and debris. In turn, this can make it more difficult for your heating system to perform properly, which may be the reason it’s blowing cool air.

    Pilot Light
     — Check your heating system’s pilot light to see if it’s lit. If it’s not, there might not be gas flowing to it. If the gas valve is off, that could be the problem. Otherwise, you should call an experienced Tampa heating system professional to diagnose the problem.

     — Regardless of whether you have an electric, gas, or oil heating system, it needs to have enough juice to run properly and will be more inefficient if it doesn’t.

    Air Ducts
     — As mentioned, leaky ducts could be the culprit as well. An easy way to check is by turning on your fan and then going up to your crawl space or attic. Walk along your ductwork to feel for any blowing air. If you don’t notice anything, you can carefully light a piece of incense and hold it near one of the junction point joints (and do so for each) to see if the smoke blows away from the ductwork, indicating that you have a leak.

  4. Your Heating System Won’t Light or Stay Lit
    If your heater is on the newer side, it most likely utilizes electronic ignition and has an intermittent pilot light, rather than a traditional pilot light. Sometimes the sensors that ensure that gas isn’t flowing when the heater isn’t on get dirty and need to be cleaned or replaced.

  5. The Thermostat Controls Aren’t Working
    If you’re having issues setting the temperature or changing the system controls, your thermostat could again be the issue. Follow the troubleshooting tips mentioned above. Then, if you have a digital thermostat, try replacing the batteries. If none of those solutions work, you can again try resetting it to the manufacturer’s settings.

    If that doesn’t solve the problem, you can check if there’s a tripped circuit that may be responsible. Finally, you can take a look at the wiring again, but an experienced Tampa HVAC professional will best be able to recognize the problem.

  6. Your Heating System’s Fan Isn’t Working
    If your heating system’s fan isn’t working, you should first check the thermostat to find out if it’s on the correct setting. Next, check your air filter to ensure it’s not dirty; sometimes an overly dirty air filter can stop your fan from working.
    Finally, check if your circuit breakers are on; if not, switch them on, but don’t switch them on and off repeatedly because that could cause an electrical fire. If none of these troubleshooting methods work, contact a licensed Tampa heating system professional.

  7. There’s Mold in Your Heating System
    Florida has a pretty moist climate, so moisture buildup in your home’s heating system can be an issue, particularly due to substandard insulation or faulty ductwork. If this is the case, mold can grow in your heating system.

    The best solution is to have an experienced heating system technician clean your heating system and if necessary, properly insulate and seal your ducts so that moisture doesn’t have a chance to gather. As mentioned, it’s also a good idea to change your air filters every one to three months and have your air ducts professionally cleaned every few years.

  8. There’s a Burning Smell Coming From Your Heating System
    When you turn your heat on for the first time during the winter, there might be a burning smell because the heating system is burning away any dust and dirt that has accumulated since the last time you used it.

    The smell could also be caused by a dirty air filter; however, it could signal a more serious problem. If the smell persists, shut off your heating system and unplug it as soon as possible. Once you unplug it, clean any dust or dirt that has accumulated and replace your air filter if necessary.

    If this doesn’t solve the problem, you should contact a Tampa heating repair specialist.

  9. Your Energy Bills Are Running High
    Many Floridians have heat pumps, rather than furnaces, and sometimes energy bills can spike during the winter because of any number of minor issues, including a dirty air filter or tripped breaker. That said, the problem could be more serious such as a damaged compressor or refrigerant leak. If troubleshooting the former issues doesn’t address the problem, you should contact an experienced Tampa heating repair professional.

  10. Not Maintaining Your Heating System
    Often maintaining your heating system can become an afterthought, but if you don’t regularly maintain it, problems such as higher energy bills and premature repairs can arise. Scheduling a heating system service will help ensure that you can address any minor issues before they become big problems.

Call an Expert HVAC Contractor in Florida

If your heating system is on the fritz or you just want to make sure that everything is in good running condition before winter, contact Cool Today. We can repair or replace your heating system or give it a good tune-up before the cooler temperatures arrive. And we offer affordable financing for those who qualify.

We are ready to help with all your heating & cooling services needs:

Contact or Schedule a Repair Online!

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