Winter is Right Around the Corner – 5 Common Issues with Heating Systems

removing a thermostat cover in a home

While it stays pretty warm in the Tampa area most of the time, there are still some nights (and even days!) when your heating system can certainly be a lifesaver. However, what happens when you experience a heating system mishap? Listed here are some explanations of the top five issues homeowners have with their central heat.

1 – No Heat at All

The number one reasons for service calls regarding heating units is that the customer’s furnace is not putting out any heat at all. There are a number of things that can cause this, and while you can check many of the simple ones yourself (Is the unit turned on? Is the thermostat set properly? Is the breaker in the right position?), it will require an on-site visit in a lot of cases. It could be an issue with your pilot light, it could be that the thermostat is simply set too low, or it could be a fairly serious electrical issue.

2 – Not Enough Heat

Another common heating problem among Florida homeowners is that there is some warm air coming out of the ducts, but it isn’t warm enough to bring the house up to the temperature on the thermostat. This can also be caused by a number of different things including blockages in your ductwork, an issue with your thermostat, or perhaps even a mechanical issue with the unit itself.

3 – Warm Air Only Comes from Some Registers

If you notice that you have a nice stream of warm air coming out of the register in the master bedroom but almost nothing in the bathroom despite having the vents wide open, then it is likely that you have a blockage somewhere in your ductwork. Imagine your ducts, particularly in a larger or multilevel home, like a system of highways and bridges. They T off at certain places, and if there is a blockage in front of one of those junctions, then one or more rooms may not get the heat it needs.

4 – Wild Fluctuations in Temperature

Something else that Tampa area homeowners often contact their service technicians about is a wild fluctuation in temperature. This is usually due to a faulty thermostat, which is the device (usually on your wall) that relays the actual temperature in the room to your furnace and tells it when to kick on or off to keep your home at the temperature you have chosen. Your thermostat may need to be recalibrated or you may even need to replace it. Some people may feel comfortable doing this on their own by following an instruction manual, but others may want to contact their service technician to ensure a job well done.

5 – Pilot Light Doesn’t Stay Lit

This is actually a common issue, but it is one that you should never take lightly. The pilot light in your furnace may stay lit around the clock, or it may only light via an electrical spark when the thermostat tells the furnace to kick on. If the pilot doesn’t stay lit or if it doesn’t come on when your furnace kicks on, it could be due to several things. You may have a draft that is blowing it out, the electrical spark generator may be dirty or malfunctioning, or your flue may be clogged. In some cases, it may be an issue with your natural gas supply. You should always contact your service technician in these instances.

While some of these issues can turn into some fairly costly repairs, others are simple fixes that you might be able to handle on your own. It’s always best to contact your HVAC company if you have any doubts at all or for anything that has to do with your pilot light.