Southern Trust Home Services offers HVAC issue warning signs to watch for in preparation for the winter season
As winter approaches, it is critical that homeowners inspect their heating unit and verify that it is operationally sound. Ted Puzio, owner of Roanoke’s Southern Trust Home Services, wants homeowners to know that there are key signs to watch for that can warn of impending failure in their heating systems.
“Don’t wait until winter to inspect your heating unit,” said Puzio. “Heating units that are already on their way out will be more likely to fail once winter hits. Starting up a faulty unit during winter temperatures will put even more stress on the unit and expedite potential break-downs.”
Southern Trust lists the following as important inspection points every homeowner needs to consider in preparation for winter:
1. Heating Unit is Noisy – If the heating unit is noisier than it used to be, it could be a sign that something is wrong with the blower wheel or motor. Listen for noticeably metallic, scraping sounds and take immediate action. If the blower wheel falls out of balance or disconnects from the shaft, it could do serious damage to the blower housing. The motor can also break away from its mount, resulting in similar but even more serious damage to the overall housing. In either one of these cases, the system needs to be shut off immediately for inspection.
2. Heating Unit Runs Constantly – When the heating unit is running constantly beyond the expected increase in run time to combat winter weather, there may be an issue with its efficiency. Typically, this can be resolved by routine service and cleaning. Other key contributors to unnatural run time may be a low refrigerant charge, issues with the compressor and/or compressor valves, or even equipment and ductwork that is undersized for your home.
3. Uneven Temperature Throughout Home — If the home is heating unevenly, there may be an issue or blockage with the ductwork. This, as well as undersized equipment, can be fixed or replaced by a professional HVAC technician. Two important possibilities to consider that can be fixed by the homeowner are dirty filters and blocked registers. If a piece of furniture was accidentally placed over a register, the issue can be resolved by simply rearranging.
4. Energy Bills Are Increasing — When energy bills begin to climb, efficiency is called to question. If the unit has been running more than usual but was ruled to be due to the change in weather, the next thing to consider will be the amount of the bill. If the heating unit is old, it may be time to replace it with a newer, more energy efficient HVAC.
5. Repairs Are Becoming More Frequent — Simply put, if the cost of repairs and maintenance are adding up year after year, it may finally be time for a full-unit replacement. Sometimes the best economic decision is to start over with a brand new, more energy efficient unit installed by a professional HVAC technician.