How to Prevent Expensive Heating Repairs This Winter in Havertown, PA
Here are four easy steps you can take to prevent expensive heater repairs this winter:
- Change Your Air Filter
- Check Your Thermostat
- Make Sure Your Vents Are Clear
- Get Your Heater Tuned Up
You want to stay warm all winter. But, a sudden HVAC breakdown can leave you out in the cold — and shelling out lots of money for an expensive heater repair.
Before the cold weather hits, follow our four easy steps to making sure your furnace is in great shape. This way, it’s much more likely to make it till spring without a problem.
Three of these you can handle yourself; the fourth step is the only one that requires a professional.
Still, if you have any questions or concerns about getting your Havertown, PA home ready for winter, give us a call or email here at Cipollone.
Change Your Air Filter
In fact, you should put a new one in every time the seasons change.
The filter is what keeps dirt, dust, and other contaminants from circulating through the air and building up inside your heater. When it’s working right, it’s preventing problems.
But, after a few months, the screen becomes filled with dirt and clogged. Then, not even air can pass through it.
Once that happens, you’ll start noticing problems. They usually begin with weak air circulation. In other words, you won’t get enough heat coming through the vents to keep you warm.
Fortunately, this is an easy problem to avoid. Doing so is inexpensive and takes nearly no time at all.
All you have to do is pick up a new filter — they’re usually $10 or less at a hardware store — and swap out the old filter.
The problem with leaving the old filter in is that weak air circulation is only the beginning of the problem.
Eventually, the heat your furnace is producing will become trapped in the system. When the filter’s too clogged, it has nowhere to go.
And, it’s not supposed to stay inside the furnace. The unit was built to produce that warmth and get rid of it. Eventually, it’ll start damaging the inner components.
Once that happens, you’re on the way to a breakdown.
Check Your Thermostat
First, pop some fresh batteries in if it’s been a while — and, especially if the “Low Power” light is blinking.
Before it stops working completely, it’s likely to give some bad readings. That could result in overworking the furnace.
It’s not all that likely that this by itself can cause a breakdown. But, at the least, you’ll either be too or too cold. And, it could cause a problem to happen sooner rather than later.
Next, make sure it’s set to “Heat.” It’s easier than you think to forget that the last time you used the thermostat, it was for air conditioning.
So, there’s a good chance you’ve still got it set to “Cool.” So, even though the temperature is dropping, the heater isn’t kicking on.
Now that won’t cause any damage. But, you may waste time and money calling for a repair when the problem was a quick flip of the switch that you overlooked.
Make Sure Your Vents Are Clear
Next, make sure each room gets enough warm air by making sure the vents have enough room to do their jobs.
It’s tempting sometimes to put furniture very close to a vent. Or, to block it completely.
But, when you do that, you can wreak havoc on the circulation throughout the house. The problem can be especially bad if you block a return vent. That’s one that draws air back out of the room to pass through the furnace again.
The first problem is, again, weak air circulation: You’ll notice the house just isn’t getting warm enough.
That alone can lead you to call for a repair — again, for a problem that’s easy to avoid.
But things can get much worse.
Heater Starts Blowing Cold Air
Just like when a clogged air filter traps heat inside the system, the same thing can happen when you block a vent: Heat backs up into the system.
You’ll notice those same problems. And, you know the problem’s getting worse when cold air comes through the vents in the winter.
Here’s what’s happening: The furnace is overheating and blowing cold air to prevent any damage.
But that’s supposed only to be a temporary fix. If you let it go too long, the constant temperature fluctuations add a lot of stress on the parts.
In particular is the heat exchanger: An essential part of the system that’s made of ceramic.
If it cracks, you need a new furnace — full stop. It’s too expensive to replace and impossible to repair. And, once it’s broken, you risk a carbon monoxide leak.
So, make sure there’s nothing within a foot of any vent. And, if you notice your heater blowing cold air, call a professional before the problem gets worse.
Get Your Heater Tuned Up
Each fall, make sure you get your heater tuned up. It’s a relatively fast process, and it will keep your system working and in great shape for the winter ahead.
Once the temperature really drops, your system’s working hard to keep you warm. And, something could be on the verge of breaking at the beginning of the season. If so, it’s going to cause a problem when your heater’s working its hardest.
And, at that point, it will probably cause more damage. And you’ll likely have to pay extra for priority repairs when all the good companies have a backlog of work.
So, the idea here is to avoid all that.
When you get an HVAC tune-up, the tech inspects the entire system for problems. They’ll replace worn-out or broken parts, make sure everything is optimized, and clean the whole thing out.
If you’re already running the heat, don’t worry: You can still get it checked out and optimized. Just call or email us here at John Cipollone. With decades of excellent service in Havertown, the Main Line, and other places in Delaware and Montgomery County, we’re happy to help keep you warm all winter.