Why is my heater blowing cold air?
Several factors might play a role in your heater blowing out air that is colder than normal. These include:
- An issue with the thermostat – First of all, make sure that your thermostat fan is set to “auto” instead of “on.” If your heater is on and the thermostat temperature reads lower than that of your overall home’s temperature, the fan may start blowing room temperature air or it will not blow at all.
- Dirty air filter – When an air filter is dirty, it blocks airflow, and when that happens, your furnace might shut down or blow cooler air because of a pre-set safety feature that prevents overheating.
- Faulty pilot light – If your furnace is not able to properly light the fuel, your heater will not blow warm air.
- Leaks in the ductwork – When temperatures fluctuate often, you can run into the issue of wear and tear on your duct system. The resulting holes cause a leakage of the warm air.
- Dirty flame sensor – If you feel bursts of warm air followed by cold air, it could be a flame sensor in need of a cleaning. Dirty flame sensors will hinder the gas burner from remaining lit which will cause inaccurate readings.
While many of these common issues might be a simple fix, others require the help of an HVAC professional to resolve.
Why does it smell when I turn on my heater?
If you haven’t turned on your heater in several months, then here is usually no need to be alarmed. With little usage, there is most likely some debris that has built up over this time.
What you are most likely smelling is the dust in which heater exchange is essentially burning off. This burning smell is making its way through your air ducts, luckily, it is only temporary. Check out our blog for ways to avoid a bad smell when the heater comes on the next time you turn it on after a long time without use.
How can I lower my heating bill?
Your heating system is vital during the marathon winter season. You need to be confident that it is running on maximum efficiency in order to save some money but, more importantly, keep everyone warm. Here’s how:
- Dust often – Dust is not ideal for your heating system because it clogs your filter and contribute to poor air quality. Therefore, if you dust more often and in all the areas of your home (particularly around air vents), you can help mitigate the dust that is being sucked back into your heating system by keeping a regular schedule for dusting.
- Clean or change the furnace filter – Due to the frigid temperatures outside, many people need to stay indoors during the winter, which is why you need the best air quality possible. For the highest heater efficiency, as well as the lowest chance of allergens and germs thriving in your home’s air, check the filter at least once a month during the winter.
- Have your furnace regularly inspected – By having an annual inspection and tune-up of your heating system, the professional can help make sure that your furnace is running as safely and efficiently as possible. Just a small adjustment, repair, or part replacement can mean significant savings on your next heating bill.
Do I need a new furnace?
There are many clear signs that your furnace needs replacing, and if you recognize any of these signs, it might be time to shop around for a new furnace.
- Higher gas and electric bills – Paying more for your gas and electric can indicate your furnace is overworking itself because it’s at the end of its life.
- Furnace age is close to 15-20 years – The average usage of a typical furnace falls within this range, so if you haven’t had a new furnace in the past 15 to 20 years, your old one may be on its way out.
- You have had recent furnace breakdowns or repairs – Furnaces that need replacing often require more fixes in the last two years of life than in the timespan of its usage. If you’ve been paying for repairs but your furnace continues to break down, you need to replace it.
- Uneven temperature distribution – Do parts of your home feel cold while others are warmer? While many attribute this to poor insulation, you may want to have your furnace checked out. It might not be working properly to heat your home.
- Furnace burner flame is yellow – Your furnace burner flame should be blue. If it is not, your furnace is not operating efficiently or may not be vented properly.
- Home air quality is poor – Is the air in your home dry or stale? This may indicate a furnace problem that needs to be addressed.
- Strange noises coming from a furnace – Furnaces shouldn’t make clanging or knocking noises. If your furnace is noisier than it used to be, it may be time to replace it.
How do I choose the right heating system for my home?
Choosing a heating system for you home takes into account a lot of different factors and questions. For example, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is the best time to replace my heating system?
- What the dimensions and size of the house?
- What types of fuel sources are available?
- What type of system did I have in place before?
- What are the needs of my family?
This can be overwhelming and would require a professional to perform a load calculation that will provide you with the information necessary. At BR McGinty, we can explain your different options and benefits of each. Through our years of knowledge and experience, we can help select the best system for your home and your needs. Contact us!
What is an AFUE rating?
If you have been looking into replacing or buying a completely new heating system for your house, chances are you might have run into something called the “AFUE rating” on furnaces. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and it measures efficiency in converting fuel into energy. This number typically ranges from 80% to 98% and the higher the number, the more efficient the furnace will be.
However, getting a high AFUE score is not the only factor you should take into consideration. This all depends on your heating needs in which a lower rating may do the job without having to spring for the pricier models.