Here in the Carolinas, it doesn't get as cold as the rest of the states. But temperatures do drop this time of year and you'll be grateful for a fully functioning and efficient heating system.
Every heating system will have problems eventually. But, there are some things you can do to try to avoid the worst of them.
Know Your System
Understanding how your system works is extremely important. Some basic knowledge could help you avoid unnecessary nuisance calls in the future.
Is your system gas or electric? Split or packaged?
Know how to operate your thermostat. Does it require batteries? Is it programmable?
Locate the circuit breakers for your HVAC equipment.
What size filters do I need? Are they in the ceiling? Are they at the furnace?
Is there a safety switch on your furnace door?
How old is your system? Does your furnace have an auto-pilot (ignitor)? Or does it have to be lit manually?
Routine maintenance on your heating system makes a difference in its efficiency, functionality, and reliability. Technicians are able to inspect your system, make necessary adjustments, and locate issues where wear and tear could lead to premature breakdowns.
Change Your Air Filter
It is extremely important to change your air filter - and keep doing it all season. According to ENERGY STAR, "A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm - wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system - leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure."
Recognize Minor Symptoms
Fend off the worst of heating repairs by knowing these signs of smaller repair needs so you can call Helms Heating & Air Conditioning and schedule a diagnostic right away.
Cool Air Coming from Vents - A furnace blowing cool air out of the vents could be a possible indicator of a fuel combustion problem or a leak in your ductwork allowing conditioned air to escape into the attic, crawl, or other unconditioned area.
Increased Heating Costs - Sometimes the only symptom will be an increase in your utility costs. Of course, the colder it is, the more it's going to cost. That makes sense, but if you notice a serious spike in bills without clear reason, it may be the result of a problem rendering your system less efficient than it should be.
Burning Smell - When you turn your heat on for the first time this season, you might notice an odor. This could be dust that has built up over the year and burning off. However, if there is a continuous burning odor coming from your furnace, give us a call. This could be an electrical issue that can be taken care of before complete system failure.
Short-Cycling - If your system starts up, runs briefly, and then shuts off - it is short-cycling. This could be due to a dirty air filter creating too much airflow resistance, or a faulty part on the furnace. Whatever the case may be, we can resolve the issue for you.
Consider Investing in a New Furnace
The average lifespan of a furnace is 12-15 years - possibly longer if it has been properly maintained. If your unit is approaching or has exceeded this time frame, you should consider a new heating system. It isn't just about the age - the cost to keep the existing furnace running compared to the energy savings with a new energy efficient furnace will give you a more concrete reason to replace. Find out how we can help you save with our rebates and special offers.
Questions? Need a repair? Give the professionals at Helms Heating & Air Conditioning a call! Your comfort is our #1 priority!