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6 Reasons Why Your Heater Is Having Trouble

cold woman looking at thermostat

Does it seem like your heater isn’t performing as effectively as it used to? It might not be your imagination. Multiple factors can impact a heating system’s performance and efficiency, creating both a chillier home and higher energy bills than you’re used to.

Below are some of the top reasons why your heater may be struggling.

1. Blocked Air Vents

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system has supply and return vents. These vents may be located on your walls, floor, or ceiling. For your system to function efficiently, it’s essential that all of these vents remain open and unblocked.

Take a few minutes to check every room and hallway of your home for any vents that might be closed or obstructed by rugs, curtains, or furniture.

2. A Dust-Clogged Air Filter

Your HVAC system has an air filter that prevents dust and other airborne particles from entering your heating and cooling equipment. If the same filter is left in too long, it becomes so clogged with dust that it blocks air from flowing into your system. This is bad for a few reasons:

  • The equipment will not perform as effectively because it doesn’t have adequate airflow.
  • Your heater will take longer to heat your home, and it will work harder and use more energy than necessary in the process.

If the problem remains unaddressed, your heater could break down altogether from strain and overheating.

Pro Tip: When replacing the air filter, make sure it’s pointed in the right direction! Use the arrows on the filter as a guide. If you put the filter in backward, this can also lead to airflow issues.

3. Lack of Preventative Maintenance

The longer a heater goes without maintenance, the more prone to problems it becomes. It can suffer from dust and soot buildup, loose bearings, lack of oil in the motor, a misaligned fan belt, and more. If your heater has gone years without any kind of tune-up it’s only a matter of time before some part of it breaks down from neglect.

4. Old Age

At some point, every heating system reaches “retirement age.” For instance, furnaces last for about 15 to 20 years, and heat pumps last for about 15 years. Once your heating system starts approaching that 15-year mark, its performance is most likely not going to be as powerful as it once was without some significant retrofitting.

It’s a good idea to start looking into a replacement and saving up ahead of time so that you’re not caught off guard when the time comes. If you’re fairly certain you’ll be replacing your system within the next month, start collecting quotes from trusted HVAC contractors in your area.

5. Leaky Ductwork

Your heater might be working just fine—however, if you have leaks in your ductwork, you could be losing warm air before it ever makes it out of the vents. Just how common is this problem? According to Energy Star, 20 to 35 percent of the air moving through the average home’s ductwork gets lost because of “leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.”

If your ductwork is extremely old, it may have a lot of damage from aging materials and rodent activity. Under these circumstances, it’s best to replace your ductwork. However, if your ductwork is salvageable, you can get it sealed to prevent leaks.

6. Malfunctioning Blower

The blower is a crucial part of your HVAC system. As its name suggests, it blows air through your ductwork into your home. A blower can suffer from multiple issues, such as old age, a faulty capacitor, or even just severe dust buildup. To get to the root of the issue, it’s best to involve a heating technician.

At Quality Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we’re proud to provide top-notch heating maintenance, repairs, and installations throughout Morristown. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at (865) 622-7785 or contacting us online.

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