As a responsible homeowner, high up on your list of priorities is the proper maintenance of your house’s heating system. Whether equipped with an older furnace or a more modern hybrid heat pump unit, keeping an eye on your home’s heating capabilities is crucial for ensuring its longevity, as well as your family’s comfort. Here, we will look at four tell-tale signs that your heater isn’t working properly, as well as a few possible solutions.
1. Inconsistent Room Temperatures
The first and most obvious sign that your heater may require some professional maintenance is an easy one to spot. As you always want to make sure your home stays nice and toasty during the winter months, if you’ve noticed an inconsistency in temperatures throughout the house, there could be a blockage in the vents or a larger issue with the heating system itself. Consider if you’ve recently had to put a space heater in your living room or bedroom, yet the thermostat is consistent for equal temperatures in both areas. After checking your home’s fireplace and chimney flue, keep an eye on the room’s warmth level.
If this scenario rings a bell, you may want to inspect the heater. Many modern homes are now fitted with “zoned” heating systems. However, traditional systems are designed for an overall universal temperature throughout every area. Odds are, your home is supposed to have that type of comfort from room-to-room. If that’s not the case, take a look at that area’s insulation, as well as your home’s heater’s functionality for possible problems.
2. Constant Thermostat Adjustments
Aside from inconsistent temperatures throughout the house, other major signs you need to call a handyman to include the need to keep readjusting your home’s thermostat, or noticing that its interface fluctuates temperature readout levels. While many people are upgrading for a modernized “smart thermostat” (a technology that allows the thermostat to adjust itself according to your preset preferences), traditional systems require manual adjustments.
If you’ve noticed that, during the cold weather months, your family has to keep checking the heat levels, there may be a cold air leak in your insulation or the thermostat may be broken. In either case, that leak of both cold air or warm air could be driving up your energy bill. At this point, a visit from a professional handyman or HVAC technician may be needed. Regardless of your home’s system, be it an old-style furnace or water heater, or boiler, the sooner you get this checked, the more money you’ll save in the long run.
3. Spikes in Your Energy Bill
Unfortunately, the last thing a homeowner wants to see at the end of the month is a rise in their energy bill. However, such an instance can be a great way of determining if your heating system is wearing out. Whether your home’s insulation has been compromised or the thermostat is broken, having to run the system round-the-clock will always cause wear and tear over time. As this happens, your heater will be pushing itself to the limit while the undetected heat loss lowers your home’s energy efficiency. Ultimately, this can bring up your monthly utility bill.
If you want to avoid paying for that heat loss every month, the first time you see a dramatic increase in your energy bill, contacting an HVAC technician to take a proper look at the problem is a good idea before the next energy bill hits.
4. Dangerous Health Issues
The most important sign that your home has a heating system issue is also the most dangerous. If, for any reason, you and your family members have been suffering from unexplained dizziness, nausea, or consistent dull headaches, call in a professional handyman immediately!
While you should always be sure that your home’s carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are functioning properly, there is no substitute for taking important precautions when your family members begin feeling sick. Older furnace systems can develop holes and cracks over time and a carbon monoxide leak is undetectable by the human senses. If your heater isn’t working properly and causing such a potentially toxic issue, immediately vacate your home and call a professional HVAC technician or electrician right away.