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Heating >> Heating Trouble Shooting

Heating Trouble Shooting

 

NATE Certified Technicians
IAQ Section including discussions regarding mold as it relates to the air conditioning system and your Indoor Air Quality. We can also lead that into maintenances as well as UV light options, etc...
It always seems that we experience problems at the worst possible time. Heating problems are no exception to that rule. It is always one of the coldest days of the winter, a time when we are expecting visitors or we have just had a tough day at work and were looking forward to relaxing at home. Sound familiar? If only we could do something that would get us some relief quickly and with minimal expense.

Perhaps some of these suggestions will help you on that fateful day when you realize your heat pump/furnace is not heating your home.
 

The display on my thermostat is not working, what can I do?

 

  •  Check to make sure the batteries are good.

  •  If so equipped, check the condensate overflow safety reservoir, located at your air handler/furnace, to make sure it has not filled up with water raising the safety switch. Suction out the water and re-install the switch. Do not attempt to run the air conditioner without the switch installed properly or water damage may result.

  •  Check the breakers for your air conditioning system. There will be one for the indoor air handler/furnace unit and another for the outdoor condensing unit. If one of them has tripped it can be reset by first moving it to the OFF position and then back to the ON position.


 

What should I do if my Heat Pump/Furnace is not heating?

 

  •  Check to see if the thermostat display is blank. If so, see the section "The Display on My Thermostat is Blank".

  •  Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want heating, make sure the temperature control selector is set below room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is on the HEAT or AUTO position. The FAN switch should be set to AUTO.

  •  Check the air filter(s) for your air conditioner and replace if necessary.

  •  Check the breakers for your air conditioning system. There will be one for the indoor air handler/furnace unit and another for the outdoor condensing unit. If one of them has tripped it can be reset by first moving it to the OFF position and then back to the ON position.

  •  Homes with a gas furnace can check to see that the gas valve on the side of the furnace is turned to the "On" position. If the valve was off reset the breaker to the furnace by turning it off then back on again to reset any fault on the furnace. This will allow it to try and fire again if a demand for heating is present.


 

My outdoor unit makes a strange noise on cold nights, is there any reason to be concerned?


Not typically, on a cold night a heat pump's outdoor coil will freeze and it must be defrosted to maintain the unit's heating efficiency. During this process the system will shift modes and may make some loud whooshing noises.
 

I think my outdoor fan is bad it keeps going on and off in the winter, is this normal?


Yes, this is typically associated with the defrost cycle on a heat pump and is part of the normal operation. It may also occur on certain model units when heat is running and the temperatures are slightly warmer inside and outside.
 

I have seen smoke like my outdoor unit is on fire in the winter but it goes away quickly, is there reason to be concerned?


No, this is typically occurs when the unit is in a defrost cycle. As the ice on the outdoor coil melts it will produce steam. The steam will rise from the unit and when the fan turns back on at the end of the cycle a burst of steam will rise from the unit all at once.
 

When I go outside there is standing water at the bottom of my unit; does my unit have a leak?


No, following a defrost cycle the melted ice will cause the area surrounding the outdoor unit to be very wet at times.
 

I know I need to do a maintenance in the summer but do i need to do a maintenance in the winter as well?


Yes, not only do we use our air conditioners all year long but many of us use a heat pump for our heating needs. If the unit is running inefficiently the costs for cooling and heating needs will rise. Without twice per year maintenance on your system you may be spending more money to heat and cool your home.
 

What temperature should I set my thermostat to for cooling and heating?


It is best to set the temperature to a setting that is comfortable for your individual preferences. Typically, most people are comfortable between 78-80o for cooling and 68-70o for heating.

Following any problems experienced with your heating unit we recommend that you do schedule a service visit with a professional to ensure that your system is operating properly and that there are no safety concerns with the operation of the equipment that you may have overlooked. Most of the repairs listed are only offered as a temporary solution until a professional can assess the safe operation of your equipment. This is especially true regarding any of the above instances where an electrical problem was the cause for the failure.