Common HVAC Problems in the Winter

Homeowners rely on their heaters for months on end; yet, regular maintenance of these appliances doesn’t come to mind until the heater gives out. Homeowners must take good care of their HVAC heat pumps, otherwise the unit could fall victim to any number of winter problems.

From frozen pipes to dirty heater filters, here are the top HVAC issues you might encounter during the cold months.

The thermostat isn’t connected properly

In the winter, there’s often a disconnect between the heater and thermostat. A homeowner may dial up the heat, yet their house remains frigid. When a heater doesn’t respond to the thermostat, there’s a problem with the electrical wiring. Your local HVAC contractor will either have to rewire the thermostat or install a new one.

Another sign of a faulty thermostat is when the heater constantly turns on and off. A broken thermostat fails to send a clear signal and keep the heater consistently running. In fact, a faulty thermostat can end up breaking the heater. Turning on and off wastes energy, causing it to burn out a lot sooner.

The water pipes freeze and burst

Frozen pipes are a common winter issue, especially for ones that run through the basement or exterior walls. A cold snap will slowly freeze water inside the pipes, causing water flow to stop altogether. Homeowners may find nothing comes out when they turn on the shower or faucets.

What’s even worse is when frozen pipes burst open. Water expands in its solid state, which puts pressure on the pipes from within. If the pipes aren’t defrosted in time, they will explode and cause a huge mess. Pipe repairs are very expensive, so homeowners must take the necessary precautions to make sure it doesn’t get to this point.

The heater filter is dirty

Heaters run nonstop in the winter. This can quickly lead to a dirty heater filter. As your heater runs, the filter will collect dust, dirt and debris. A filter that’s too dirty will obstruct airflow, which can make rooms cold in the house.

The good news about dirty heater filters is they’re cheap and easy to replace. Homeowners should replace this filter on a regular basis to ensure the heater is delivering proper airflow to every corner of the home.

The heat pump clogs with ice

HVAC heat pumps are located outdoors, which means they’re susceptible to the harsh elements. Melted snow can leak into the fan motor and cause it to malfunction. Ice buildup around the coil can prevent your HVAC heat pump from warming the home.

To stop these issues from occurring, hire your local HVAC contractor to inspect the unit at regular intervals during winter. Also, make sure the automatic defrost setting is turned on and functioning properly.

HVAC systems are susceptible to numerous problems during winter, but with a little bit of maintenance, your heater will keep the house toasty all season long. To schedule your next HVAC inspection, get in touch with the contractors at Air Climate Control, Inc. We’re available around the clock to inspect, repair and replace faulty units.

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