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The Most Common Heating Problems and How to Fix Them

As winter approaches, homeowners across Maryland are gearing up to heat their homes through the cold season. Hopefully, your heating system runs flawlessly this year, but it’s always possible a heating issue will arise at some point before warmer weather arrives. To help you understand heating malfunctions and solve them where possible. Grove Heating & Cooling discusses the most common heating problems as well as how to fix them.

1. System Won’t Turn Off

Many times when furnaces and heat pumps won’t turn off, it’s not really a heating system issue at all – this is one of the most common heating problems, yet it’s just a mistake with fan settings. If the system fan is switched over to ON instead of AUTO, it will run all the time, which to many homeowners seems like the heating unit is running non-stop.

If you suspect your heating system isn’t shutting down when it should, the first thing you should take a look at is the thermostat. The thermostat controls the blower fan settings and you need to verify the fan is set to AUTO instead of ON. This will cause the fan to shut down when the furnace shuts down, and you won’t hear any equipment running when you think it should be quiet.

If adjusting the settings isn’t the solution you need, a thermostat issue could be disrupting communication to the heater. Pull off the thermostat faceplate, and make sure all of the wiring is securely connected. If tightening or relinking these connections doesn’t solve the issue, you may need a new thermostat.

2. Cold Air Blows from Vents

If your vents are blowing cold air, this is one of the most common heating problems that could also be caused by mistaken fan settings. If the fan is running in between heat cycles, there will only be cold air in the ducts for the blower to force into living areas. Check your fan settings first and adjust them if needed.

Another reason for cold air could be an ignition system malfunction. If the furnace’s ignition fails to light the burners, the system won’t combust any fuel to produce heat. Yet, the blower will run and only be able to send cold air into your home. If your system has a pilot light and it has gone out, follow the instructions in the owner’s manual to relight the pilot light. If your furnace uses an electronic ignition, the hot surface ignitor could be dirty or damaged and should be looked at by a pro.

If you only feel cold air from vents in one room or area of the house, a duct issue may be the cause. If the supply duct feeding that area has become disconnected from the main trunk, warm air from the furnace or heat pump won’t be able to travel to this area. If you can access the ducts, look to see if any ductwork has fallen out of place. You may be able to repair this yourself, or call your HVAC tech to make the fix.

3. Furnace Won’t Turn On

Sometimes, a power source issue is behind most common heating problems where the furnace won’t turn on. Once you fix the power issue, it’ll start right up if there is a problem.

  • Replace batteries in the thermostat if the thermostat display is blank. For hardwired thermostats, make sure the circuit breaker isn’t tripped, and reset it if needed.
  • Check the circuit breaker for the furnace equipment, and reset it if it is tripped.
  • Look at the ON/OFF switch on or nearby the furnace – make sure it is flipped to ON.

If your conventional furnace still won’t start, there may be a stuck limit switch or faulty flame sensor. Call your heating and air conditioning system technician to inspect these components and make repairs or replace them if needed.

Grove Heating & Cooling Fixes the Most Common Heating Problems

Most common heating and furnace problems can result from a number of different issues throughout the system – some are easily fixed at home while others require professional assistance. Having regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system and replacing dirty air filters on a regular basis can help prevent breakdowns from occurring. If you are unable to correct your heating issues, call Grove Heating & Cooling for fast, reliable heating repairs.

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