What are Common HVAC Winter Issues?

What are Common HVAC Winter Issues?Certain issues with the heating system are more likely to manifest as early winter problems—at seasonal start-up or soon after, rather than later in the season. Not all are major malfunctions, but can be considered early warnings you need to resolve before the really cold weather strikes later. Here are some early winter problems to be aware of:

Weak Airflow

Was the air filter changed at furnace start-up? In a central system, the air conditioner and furnace share a common filter, installed inside the indoor air handler. A filter leftover from summer A/C operation is likely clogged with dirt and dust accumulated during the cooling season and should have been changed before the furnace was started for the winter. Change it now and keep changing the filter at least every other month throughout the winter.

Closed Room Vents

Now that the furnace is running, you may notice some rooms seem too hot and others too chilly—a sign of air imbalance. Over the summer, it’s possible someone closed one or more supply vents to shut off airflow to a room. This doesn’t save money: your HVAC system produces the same volume of warm or cooled air whether vents are open or closed. One or more closed supply vents affects not only individual rooms, it disrupts air balance and temperature consistency throughout the system. At seasonal start-up, verify that all supply vents are open and keep them open in all seasons.

Pungent Odors

The first few times a furnace cycles on for the season, dust accumulating on the burner and in the combustion chamber over the summer heats up and burns off. This often produces a noticeable smell, somewhat like paper burning. However, it should disappear quickly. If it continues, or you notice other furnace odors such as the “rotten eggs” smell of natural gas or the acrid odor of electrical wiring overheating or burning, shut down the furnace and call your HVAC service contractor.

Don’t let early winter problems become a major headache later. Contact Paitson Bros. —since 1922, your dependable source of HVAC sales and service in Terre Haute.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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