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5 HVAC Problems to Prevent in Winter

Published on: December 23, 2019

IMPORTANT NOTE: . Our company is located in British Columbia, Canada. If you are reading this article in another location, we hope you enjoy the information, but unfortunately we cannot service you. 

Don’t you hate it when you wake up one wintery morning to find the floorboards—EEK!—freezing cold when you get out of bed? It’s enough to make one curl right back under the covers! It is also a sign of inadequate heating going on in your home, which is one of several key problems we’re going to cover in today’s article.

The last thing you want to do is have to make an emergency call to your HVAC technicians in winter; it’s a super busy season for us, meaning the wait time to get replacement parts or systems for your heating is going to take an extra-long time to retrieve, at an extra cost to you. That’s why the best way to avoid a potential HVAC problem from happening is to prevent it in the first place and know what to look for. Here are the most common HVAC problems that can happen in winter and how best to prevent them right now before it gets too cold out.

  1. Uneven Temperatures and Airflow

Stepping into a room that’s colder than the other one you were just in is an irritating thing to discover. It’s also irritating since there are numerous reasons as to why that’s happening. Some of the most common causes are a faulty thermostat, a faulty motor in the furnace, a clogged air filter, or a clogged burner in your HVAC.

You can inspect your windowsills and doorways for cracks, or ask your technician to take a look. They’ll also inspect your home’s vents and ducts for debris and blockages to clear them out. If, however, the thermostat is set correctly and your heating system is running, but there’s not enough heat being generated and your uneven temperatures persist, that’s a warning flag of a major system malfunction.

  1. Frozen Pipes

Sometimes a problem can arise from your own hot water system. While the Lower Mainland’s climate is very mild compared to the Interior, regardless some winters can be harsh enough to freeze the pipes. Hot water heaters can fail as the water freezes and stops flowing within the pipes. This in turn can cause a pretty bad day to happen to your home since this problem can cause the heating to break down!

Sometimes frozen pipes may actually burst; this is because of the pressure buildup should water freeze and create a blockage in the pipe. In all cases where the pipes are frozen, turn off your hot water system and call your HVAC technician immediately. Any task related to frozen pipes is not a DIY fix that anyone can do!

  1. Frequent Cycling

One big sign that your home’s heating system is having issues is if it turns on and off more often than it should, or it runs continuously. This is what’s known as ‘cycling’. There are a few potential causes of cycling that may be the problem, such as a clogged and dirty air filter, improper air circulation, or a malfunctioning thermostat. Cleaning the air filter can prevent cycling. However, if the filter is clean and your heating is still cycling, that’s more of a problem your HVAC technician should look into. Often if you notice the furnace is cycling constantly there’s another symptom of a problem alongside it, such as the inadequate heating we mentioned earlier.

The size of your system is another factor that could be why there’s cycling. It can mean your furnace is too large for your home, which means it will constantly start and stop instead of running smoothly to meet your heating demand. This is why professional HVAC installation matters.

  1. Carbon Monoxide

Even in winter carbon monoxide leaks can be a problem. The poisonous gas is almost impossible to detect due to its being tasteless and odourless. Many leaks can occur because of rusted or cracked heaters, particularly as a result of a fractured heat exchanger within the heater. Inadequate heating in your system can also block carbon monoxide gas from exiting your home, adding an extra level of danger if a leak occurs.

If your home doesn’t have a carbon monoxide alarm, now and not later is definitely when you should get one. If it goes off as soon as your furnace starts, you need to turn off your furnace immediately and then call emergency services.

  1. Burning Smells

It’s not uncommon to turn on your furnace as soon as winter arrives and smell something burning. If it goes away after five minutes, it’s most likely the dust that settled on the heating elements and heat exchanger being burnt off. It’s a distinct smell you can recognize over time as a normal thing. What’s not normal, however, is if the burning smell lasts longer and doesn’t go away with time.

If you smell something off or burning after the furnace is switched on or it’s not that distinct start of winter smell, it’s likely that there’s an issue with the motor or even an electrical problem. If this sounds like what you’re smelling, turn off the furnace and call an HVAC repair company right away.

The best way to prevent any burning smells is with regular maintenance before such an incident can occur. If you need to be sure to check out our tips on furnace maintenance here.

Don’t let your home be left out in the cold this winter season! Call our technicians for all your heating needs and services that will help you prevent all of these listed problems. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-778-728-1476 or and don’t forget to take a look at our website: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

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