Common HVAC Problems in the Winter

If you are a homeowner in Corinth, MS then you know how cold it has already been this winter. There are several problems that plague homeowners, especially when the temperature drops.

Here are seven common HVAC problems that you might keep an eye out for during the cold winter days.

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1. Frozen Pipes

As temperatures decrease, objects like pipes and coils can freeze over and cease to function properly. Hydronic systems like hot water heaters and steam radiators can fail as frozen water stops flowing within piping. A happy homeowner will quickly grow frustrated when his or her heating breaks down due to freezing pipes.

Sometimes, frozen pipes actually burst because of the pressure buildup. In cases like these, homeowners need to turn off their home’s water and call a technician promptly to repair the damage.

2. Uneven Air Flow & Temperature

Imagine how irritating it would be if you discovered some rooms in your home that were much colder than others. Unfortunately, this is a real problem for homeowners.

Keep in mind that uneven air flow might not even be an HVAC-related problem. This could simply be cracks or holes around windowsills and doorways. If the problem persists, the vents and ducts might need to be inspected for blockages or debris and clear these areas out.

3. Malfunctioning Heat Pump

Some homes rely on warmth from exterior heat pumps. But chilly snowfalls and icy winds can damage these appliances and cause them to perform poorly. You should be aware that heat pumps suffer from a number of ills, including broken fan motors and coil blockage.

But during wintertime, many heat pumps fail to defrost. For a heat pump to work correctly, its coils and fan must be clear of frost. Make sure this fixture has automatic defrost settings so it can melt away ice before thick layers form. If this setting is broken, you’ll need to manually clear away the frost buildup.

4. Dirty Heater Filters

When heaters experience overuse, their filters can get clogged with dust, dirt, and other debris. This blockage usually leads to decreased air flow and, subsequently, reduced warmth in the home. Homeowners may not realize that this is the cause for less air is circulating throughout his or her rooms.

First, make sure the motor and fans are in working order. Then, clear away any obstructions around the filter. If the filter is permanently discolored or bent, replace it with a new one. Finally, look around for any other possible damages to ensure the heater runs smoothly.

5. Broken Thermostat

Sometimes, the problem lies not in the hardware of the appliance but in the electronics of the thermostat. It could just be an issue of faulty wiring behind the thermostat. If needed, reinstall a new one and calibrate it to the heater. A new thermostat will control the air temperature and promote energy efficiency.

6. Faulty Pilot Light

Some heaters fully ignite only after the pilot light turns on. This small blue flame usually stays lit at all times for easier access to heat. But when it fails to burn brightly or doesn’t burn at all, cold and uncomfortable temperatures will soon follow.

The most common cause for a misbehaving pilot light is a dirty or damaged flame sensor. Take time to clean the sensor and ensure that it allows the pilot light to burn steadily. If you notice that the heater has other significant problems, a new one might need to be installed.

7. Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon monoxide is called the silent killed because it is a poisonous gas is nearly impossible to detect due to its odorless and tasteless state. Many carbon monoxide leaks occur because of cracked or rusted heaters.

Leaks occur particularly as a result of a cracked heat exchanger within the heater. Our technicians will inspect the heat exchanger for any defects. In addition, inadequate ventilation can block carbon monoxide gases from exiting the home. Be sure to take a careful look at the chimney and top-range vent (above the stove) for obstructions.

These are just some common problems homeowners face during the cold months. If one of these sounds familiar, call us today to come out and take a look!

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About the Author

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Randall and Kevin Harbin are the leaders at Harbin heating and air conditioning Inc. Harbin Heating and air conditioning Inc. has been serving clients for 30 years now in the area.

Harbin Heating and Air Conditioning Inc.

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