When you struggle with your heat not working, it can be frustrating — and very cold! With complex systems like boilers and furnaces that run throughout your house, many problems can pop up and make your home uncomfortable. Luckily, the UIC experts are sharing the best troubleshooting tips for common furnace problems so you can live in complete comfort all year round. Remember, these systems are complicated and calling a professional is always the best option, but sometimes there are quick fixes to help heat you up quickly. If you need help beyond these expert tips, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.
Issue: My heater is not blowing air
If you switch on your heat and find that your heater is not blowing air, there could be a few causes. Sometimes you’ll notice that your house isn’t warming up or there’s no hot air coming out of the vents. In these cases, you should check for any leaks in your ducts. You might notice a lot of hot air coming out of a duct instead of a vent, which is when you need to seal it up or call a professional to help. Another issue might be an old air filter that needs replacing to get maximum airflow. One last place to check is the actual heating unit, where the fan might be broken.
If your ducts are leaky, it’s best to call an expert so they can find and seal up all of the problem areas. It can be difficult to find all of the holes in your system when you’re not familiar with it. If you find that your fan is broken in your heating unit, it’s a good idea to call an expert so you don’t hurt yourself or damage the unit more. After you’ve tried our tips and your heat is still not working, get in touch with our experts.
Issue: My heat is blowing cold air
Sometimes when you turn your heat on, you can feel the air coming from vents but it’s coming out cold instead of hot. If your heater is blowing cold air or your radiator isn’t getting hot, there could be a few issues. First, check your thermostat and make sure that it’s switched on the heat setting and you have the temperature set where you want it. If that doesn’t help, you might want to check your air filter and make sure it’s not too dirty. Other troubleshooting tips include checking the heating unit’s pilot light, fuel levels, and the ducts.
Follow our troubleshooting tips and if the issue isn’t with the thermostat, you might want to call a professional. It can be difficult to locate leaks in the ductwork, swap an air filter, or check the pilot light on your own. Our team of experts can help you find the problem, assess the situation, and get your house heated in no time.
Issue: My thermostat isn’t working
Sometimes heat not working is actually the thermostat not working. Issues with the wiring or power can break a thermostat and make it malfunction. If you’re having issues getting your heat to match the temperature you set on the thermostat or the heat won’t shut off when it reaches the set temperature, there may be an issue with the temperature sensor. Try gently wiping down the thermostat and cleaning it off to remove any buildup or dust. If you can’t get your thermostat to turn on or off, you might want to check the power source and the wiring to make sure everything looks right.
Broken thermostats can have easy fixes like we mentioned above, but if those simple steps don’t work you should get in touch with a pro. There can be more complicated issues with the system as a whole that experts need to handle if quick fixes don’t work.
Issue: The air coming from my heater smells
Sometimes the air coming out of your vents can smell off. It might just be because you’re running the heat for the first time this season. When you use your heat after months of inactivity, dust and other debris can build up in your furnace or in the ducts. Usually the smell will disappear after a few uses, but it helps to clean out ducts and vents to speed up the process. Other times you might notice a musty or moldy smell. In these cases, you might need to change your air filter so you’re circulating clean air in your home. Another reason you might smell your heater is when the fuel levels are low. If you smell burning or gasoline, you should check your fuel levels and call an expert.
Smells can be normal, but if you smell anything that wasn’t described above, you should call a professional. You especially need to get expert help if you smell something burning or it smells like your gas or fuel is leaking. We can help you identify what the issue is and make sure your house stays safe and inhabitable.
Issue: My heater is making noise
You might hear rattling or pinging noises coming from your heating unit or throughout your ducts. Most times, rattling can come from loose parts or anything stuck in your ducts and vents. Make sure that the pathways are clear and there’s nothing stuck or missing from your unit. If you hear pinging, it might just be the pipes expanding as they get hot or contracting as the heat shuts off.
Noises can be a symptom of a larger problem, so if you can’t easily locate the source of the noise you should get in touch with us. We’ll help you figure out where the noises are coming from, find a solution, and prevent your heat from not working.
Issue: My energy bill is higher than normal
Energy bills will vary from month to month, but if you see a bill that’s much higher than you’ve seen before. Start by double checking your energy bill and understanding your billing rate. When you use energy, you get charged on how much energy you use, but you have different rates depending on what range of kilowatt hours you use. Make sure you understand how your billing works and if you exceeded a certain billing rate when your bill was extra high. Other ways to avoid high electricity bills are to make sure that your system is running efficiently, your appliances are energy efficient, and that you unplug devices and appliances (like phone chargers or TVs) when they’re not in use.
After checking everything in the list above, you should get in touch with a professional to make sure that your system is running efficiently. We can check for common issues like leaky ducts and malfunctioning parts. If we find that your system is running inefficiently, we can offer you repairs or help you find a modern, energy efficient system to help you save on your energy bills.
Issue: Some rooms aren’t heating up
One of the most common issues that we hear about is that a house is heating unevenly or the rooms don’t feel the same temperature. Sometimes leaky ductwork or problems with the heating unit can cause some rooms to feel colder than others, but sometimes it’s also just the house itself. If you notice that one room is colder than others, check the room for drafty windows that might be letting cold air in. Another issue might be with exterior walls that face the outside of your home. Try feeling the walls to see if they’re colder to the touch than others, which may signal a need for updated insulation. Both of these issues are common in older homes, but they can cause problems in any home.
After you check your windows and your walls and still have issues with the heat not working, you should get in touch with us. Our experts can inspect your home for leaky ducts or other issues within the heating system to make sure that everything is working properly.
Issue: My heat won’t turn off
After you turn your heat on and your house reaches the right temperature, you might have an issue getting the heat to shut off. In these cases, it might be an issue with the thermostat, which we gave tips for above. Check that the temperature sensor is free from dust and debris and that the thermostat has power. Another solution is to switch off the thermostat and make sure nothing is on. If that doesn’t work, you can try shutting off your furnace. There may also be issues with the heating unit, so you can check the heater’s primary controller.
If the issue isn’t with the thermostat, you should call a professional. Thermostats can be easy to troubleshoot on your own, but issues with the heating unit are more complicated. Call one of our experts and they can help you assess the situation and find a solution so you can have a comfortable home.
When in doubt, call in the experts
Heaters can break for a number of reasons, so if you’re still experiencing issues that we didn’t cover, it’s best to reach out to a professional. When you call in the pros, you can avoid accidentally making the situation worse, or catch a bigger issue before it becomes a huge problem.
Here at UIC, we believe that you deserve to live in total comfort, all year round. When the chilly months hit, we can keep your house warm with services like routine maintenance to prevent breakdowns, emergency repairs, and heater installation when it’s time to upgrade your system.