11 Common Heater Problems and What You Can Do

man shivering inside of cold house

11 Common Heater Problems and What You Can Do

Noticing more issues than usual with your heating system this winter? Wondering if these problems are run-of-the-mill, or if there’s something larger looming within your system?

It can be tough to diagnose problems with your heating system. Numerous moving parts, switches, electrical activity, and more can leave you scratching your head. At Legacy Air, we’re proud to offer the maintenance and repair services you require for the most common -and uncommon- problems with your heating system. Our technicians arrive with all of the tools, skills, and expertise to take care of your heating system as effectively and immediately as possible.

Let’s talk about some of the most common heater problems we see routinely. 


What Are Common Heating Problems?

Some of the most common problems can be tough to diagnose. These are some of the more normal issues your heating system might have:

1. An increase in energy bills

While not a problem in and of itself, high energy bills are an excellent indicator that your heater is working too hard and likely isn’t getting the job done. The issues that may be related could be ductwork, or it could be a more technical issue that a properly trained and qualified technician will be able to assess.

2. Unusual noises

If you’re hearing odd noises coming from your heater, you definitely want to contact Legacy Air and get a technician to your home right away. The number of problems that may occur within your heating system is tough to diagnose without being an HVAC technician, and even tougher to troubleshoot.

3. Your home has a lot of cold spots

Cold spots can indicate trouble with your HVAC system being out of balance and not delivering the air where it needs to go. A qualified heating technician can determine what’s causing these cold spots and rebalance your system appropriately.

4. Frequent or short cycles

When heating cycles are rapid or too short, this may indicate a clogged filter, improper airflow, or a bad thermostat setting.

5. Reduced airflow

Not enough air coming through your system can indicate an issue with dirty or clogged filters. A clogged filter may also damage the limit switch, which controls the fan and helps to force air through your home.

6. Bad thermostat

A faulty or malfunctioning thermostat can lead to problems with the fan or with comfort levels in your home.

7. Your furnace isn’t heating at all

There are many problems that can result in a furnace refusing to heat, including the thermostat setting, power, gas, or pilot light. A qualified technician can assist you in getting your furnace back online.

8. Lack of maintenance

Your heater is part of your home’s HVAC system, which is basically the lungs of your residence. Failing to properly maintain this system can have dire consequences, so make sure you stick to a maintenance schedule that will keep your heater in ship shape! 

9. Wear and tear

Regular use of your system can cause parts to wear down, become warped, and malfunction. Ensure that these issues and others don’t compromise your home’s heating system by scheduling regular maintenance and fixing any issues that may arise immediately.

10. Dust in the air

Dust in the air is symptomatic of your furnace having difficulty cleaning the air itself. If you notice a high volume of dust in the air, or escaping the furnace’s vents, you can try to resolve this yourself by changing your furnace’s filter. If this doesn’t fix the issue, contact Legacy Air right away so that one of our qualified technicians can help.

11. Thermostat troubles

If you’re having issues with your thermostat, they’re most likely electrical problems. Some of these may include blown fuses, loose wiring, or tripped circuit breakers. Since your thermostat’s job is to communicate with your heater, that communication’s ineffectiveness generally indicates some kind of electrical issue with the thermostat. Contact a heating repair technician right away.


How Do You Troubleshoot a Heater Problem?

There are seven troubleshooting steps you may want to tackle on your own if you notice any heating problems:

  1. Check that your thermostat is set to “heat”. This seems obvious, but sometimes, all you need to do is nudge it to accidentally turn it to “cool”. If the problem is resolved by doing this, you’re all set!
  2. Change your furnace filter. Clogged or dirty filters tend to be a big reason for heating system issues. If simply changing the filter fixes the issue, you’re in the clear!
  3. Ensure that the gas is on. Similar to the thermostat, it can be easy to nudge the gas switch the wrong way. Make sure that this crucial element is running properly.
  4. Clear out your chimney exhaust flue (if applicable). You may have birds or debris clogging up your chimney exhaust flue. Turn your furnace off and thermostat all the way down, dismantle the duct, and check for debris. Clear any debris, then reassemble.
  5. Clear away debris from exhaust vents. 
  6. Flush out your drain lines. If the drain lines fill with sediment or mold growth, the furnace will quit working. If you can see that the hose is dirty, remove it and fill it with a bleach-and-water mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes, then flush it out with clean water and reinstall.
  7. Check for blocked ducts. If blocked ducts are restricting your airflow, you’ll likely notice an increase in cold spots throughout your home. Seal any gaps with metal duct tape (cloth duct tape may cause them to leak). 


Why Is My Heater on but Not Heating?

Generally speaking, if heat isn’t coming through your system, the most common problem is dirty air filters. 

Heating system air filters need to be changed every ninety days, so if you haven’t been adhering to a strict schedule for your filter(s), it’s time to get started. 

If changing your filters doesn’t help with the problem you’re having, contact Legacy Air.


What is the Average Lifespan of a Heater?

On average, your home’s heater will last 15 to 20 years. Its lifespan may be reduced significantly by neglecting regular maintenance and repairs…but it can also be increased significantly by regularly maintaining and servicing it. 


Expert Heating & HVAC Service

When it comes to heating repairs and service in the Las Vegas Valley area, look no further than Legacy Air. Our technicians have the experience and expertise to take care of any heating system concerns you may experience. We look forward to working with you.

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