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Keeping All Components of Your Heating System in Good Working Order

Posted: September 29, 2015

Technician servicing thermostat

Posted: September 29, 2015
Posted by: Larry Grier, Service Manager

Your home’s heating system includes a number of heating and ventilation components that all work together to make your indoor living spaces more comfortable. Like any complex system, individual components that break down or function poorly can influence the operation of the system as a whole. Keeping all components of your heating system in good working order will ensure that you and your family feel comfortable in your home, and that your utility costs remain as affordable as possible.

Just how much of an effect does your system have on your energy bills? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up about 54% of your utility bill.” That’s a pretty significant impact! While there are a vast number of malfunctions that can cause your system to operate poorly (or lose function completely), the following problems are not only common, but easy and cheap to fix, too.

Your Thermostat Is Broken

When the heating goes out, panic is hardly an uncommon reaction. Even if you’ve never experienced it yourself, we’ve all heard stories of through-the-roof service bills and extensive system overhauls that stem from a furnace or boiler that isn’t functioning properly. The worry of costs we can’t afford and hassles we don’t want is a powerful deterrent that causes many of us to ignore or deny the problem for as long as we can.

The fact is, however, many instances of heating systems going on the fritz are caused by a broken thermostat — an ailment that can be remedied very affordably and extremely quickly. Many folks who put off calling for service when the culprit is a broken thermostat not only deal with the uncomfortable temperatures for much longer than they need to, but waste a fair amount of money running a system that is not working efficiently.

Your Filter Is Dirty

Here’s another quick and easy fix that can cause a heating system to perform poorly. Disposable filters range in price dramatically, but the ones that can be purchased for a buck or two should be changed once a month during peak seasons while the slightly more expensive ones can perform for 2 or 3 times that long. Permanent filters should generally be cleaned every month during times of high use. Even if the dirty filter in your system seems to be doing its job well, it could be causing your system to work harder to produce the desired results. Keeping your filter clean, therefore, can prevent premature wear to your system and save you money, too.

Your Dampers Are Not Properly Balanced

The air that comes out of your vents must travel through a series of ducts before it reaches the appropriate room. Though ductwork can vary in design from one home to the next, many supply lines that lead to the individual rooms of your house have a damper at the main supply line that is used to restrict airflow. In instances where some rooms heat much faster than others, it may be because the dampers are not balanced. Reducing the airflow to a line allows more air to flow to other areas of the home, and finding the right balance of dampers will help each room of the house receive the right amount of heated air.

The Breaker Is Tripped

There are several reasons why a furnace or boiler is completely unresponsive, but many times the culprit is a tripped breaker. In addition, be sure that the Emergency Switch is not in the “off” position as this can cause issues as well. Going to the breaker box and flipping the designated switch back to “on” may get your system running again, but beware: Breakers rarely trip for no reason! If this happens once and never happens again, the one time was probably a fluke. If this happens more than once, though, call a service professional immediately, as this could be a sign of a serious problem.

Contact us, or call us at 888-607-2621 if there are any concerns or questions we can help you with.