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6 Common HVAC Problems During Winter

winter storm

Now that the coziness of family time has diminished and the warmth of the holiday season has slowed, Mother Nature will do what she does best—bring in the freezing temperatures! That’s right, January has arrived—which means the weather is about to get worse in many parts of the country. And as homeowners can attest, cold weather and plummeting temperatures can often lead to HVAC problems. But fear not! Our experienced HVAC technicians have gathered the most common HVAC problems our customers have encountered over the years. And they’re sharing expert tips on how to regain warmth when those issues happen.

Common Winter HVAC Problems

1.    Frozen pipes or coils

Uh, oh. Water not coming out of that faucet? Yikes! If you suspect that your pipes may be frozen, you’ll want to call the professionals at American Residential Services pronto. Frozen water inside your pipes can cause your pipes or coils to burst—and that’s an expensive emergency. Here’s what to do: Turn off your water source and call our team for quick service repair.

If your pipes are still in good shape, but you’re concerned that they may freeze due to dipping temperatures, there are a few things you can do to keep your pipes from freezing this winter. These include:

  • Setting home thermostat above 60 degrees

  • Opening cabinets to let indoor heat warm the pipes

  • Draining water line and then turning off water to outside spigots

  • Letting water drip slowly and run through the pipes (even a slow trickle can keep pipes from freezing)

2.    Uneven airflow

Have you noticed that some of your rooms are colder than others? This is not uncommon, especially in the winter months when you’re trying to find cozy warmth. So, what’s happening? Well, your heating system could be producing uneven airflow due to several things. Here are two simple tricks homeowners can do to try and remedy the situation:

  1. Change air filters (dirty or blocked filters often cause issues)

  2. Inspect vents to ensure that they aren’t blocked by furniture or other items

If these tricks worked, great! If not, your problem could be blocked fans, obstructions inside the vents, or perhaps a blower motor issue. No sweat. Give our team a call for a quick solution.

3.    Common problems with thermostats

Believe it or not, sometimes your thermostat is to blame for poor airflow. Many times homeowners find that faulty wiring inside the thermostat is the culprit. If wiring isn’t the issue, your thermostat may need to be cleaned and re-calibrated. Look up your thermostat’s directions and follow the proper steps for cleaning and calibrating (our team of professionals can also do this for you). If this still doesn’t solve the issue, it could be time for a replacement. The good news is that upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat won’t just improve your airflow problems, but it should also boost your energy efficiency and save you money. To learn what type of thermostat might work best for your home, or to ask about other common problems with thermostats, feel free to call the ARS/Rescue Rooter team for advice.

4.    Pilot lights flickering or not lighting

If your home is heated using gas or propane, then you rely on a pilot light to ignite your heating system. Some systems have a continuously running pilot light while others only ignite when the system starts. Regardless, without a pilot light working properly, you aren’t going to experience heat. So, what’s the problem? If your pilot light isn’t lighting, the issue could be a damaged or dirty sensor. If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the sensor yourself, it’d be wise to call us for a professional cleaning. If it’s more than a faulty sensor, one of our technicians can assess your pilot light situation and solve the problem.

5.    Carbon monoxide detector issues

As you probably know, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly to humans. And while everyone should have one (or more) CO2 detectors inside their houses, these detectors are essential for homeowners who run their homes on gas. If you have a CO2 detector installed and it is chirping (usually with a single chirp), this indicates the battery is low and should be replaced. This is an easy fix and should never be ignored. If you hear it go off at any time with four beeps and then a pause, this is the signal that CO2 has been detected inside your home and you should leave your home and call emergency personnel immediately. Remember CO2 is often called the silent killer because it is both colorless and odorless. Maintaining good care of your CO2 detector can save your life.

6.    Heat pump problems

Heat pumps are an excellent, energy efficient way to both heat and cool your home. But sometimes winter weather can take its toll on them. Common winter HVAC problems for heat pumps include low refrigerant, blocked coils from snow or ice, dirty air filters, thermostat problems, and faulty starter capacitors. Most homeowners can troubleshoot their systems if the problems are simple air filter changes or thermostat calibration. However, if you suspect your heat pump is experiencing more complex issues such as frozen coils or ice that has covered your outside unit, call our team at ARS for professional service.

Keep Your HVAC System Healthy in the New Year!

Happy New Year from the team at ARS/Rescue Rooter! As the new year unfolds, we hope you know that our team of experienced specialists are here for all your heating, cooling, and indoor air quality issues—seven days a week.

In addition, we want to remind you that 2023 will see some big changes happening in the HVAC world. From SEER2 energy changes to the home improvement savings you can reap thanks to the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are many exciting changes happening that can help make you home comfort better than ever.

If you have questions about any of these new changes, or simply need to schedule an HVAC appointment, call us today. We are here for you!

Searching for more knowledge to boost your indoor comfort? Sign up for our email newsletter and you'll receive expert tips and advice from our HVAC & plumbing pros. Plus when you sign-up. you'll be entered into a drawing to win a FREE 50 Gallon Gas or Electric Water Heater!

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