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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

Heater Acting Up? 5 Potential Problems It’s Facing


It gets chilly, you turn your heater on, but something isn’t right. It’s not heating your house the way it normally does, or maybe it sounds different. Your concern is valid: something could be extremely wrong with your heater.

Heating repair in Middletown may be the solution, but before we jump into that, let’s find out if your heater problems sound like anything on this list.

Carbon Monoxide Leak

Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer for a reason. It’s a big deal, but detecting a carbon monoxide leak isn’t always easy. They normally stem from a cracked heat exchanger, but even if you know where to inspect your heat exchanger, you may still not notice any problems. These cracks begin internally and can be small enough to escape the naked eye.

CO poisoning is common enough in the United States that there are around 14,000 hospitalized cases each year. It’s a serious problem that should only ever be fixed by a licensed professional. We do not advise that you try to repair a carbon monoxide leak on your own under any circumstances.

Your Home Isn’t Being Heated Properly

Does it take way too long for your home to heat up? We may mindlessly flick the heater on, go about our night, and never really know how long it takes to heat the home. But we definitely notice when it’s been a while and the air is still chilly.

Take note of how fast your heater takes to work (a rough estimate is okay), and identify when it’s taking an extra long time to hit the desired temperature. It’s a symptom that something in your heater is in need of repair or replacement.

Some Rooms Heat, Some Don’t

Forced air systems aren’t perfect, but eventually, even the furthest room from the heat source will be warmed. If you have large temperature disparities throughout your home, you could have issues with your ducts or your blower motor.

Awful Sounds (Indicative of Mechanical Failure)

Your heater should be relatively quiet. You will hear the sound of forced air and some light banging from metal expansion (especially with combustion-based heaters), but you shouldn’t hear continuous, concerning noises. If you hear mechanical whirring, screeching, or squealing, it’s time to call for a technician.

Short Cycling

When your heater turns on, the thermostat communicates the current temperature, the desired temperature, and then cycles the heater until the desired temperature is met. If your heater runs, but it turns off before hitting that desired temperature, that’s a problem.

Your heater will then try to turn on and run a second time, once again failing to meet the desired temperature. These brief “on” periods, called short cycles, can be signs of mechanical failure. Sometimes the issue is electrical. This requires a knowledgeable HVAC technician to diagnose and repair.

Repairs Shouldn’t Wait

Your heater could be in distress if any of the talking points on this list jumped out at you. If your heater is acting up, you can’t waste any time. The longer you leave your heater in duress, the higher the chance that something will be critically wrong with it.

Contact Bartels Heating & Cooling to schedule your heater repair as soon as possible. Nobody should have to compromise on comfort.

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