Common HVAC Problems In The Winter
Having a strong and efficient HVAC system is an important part of homeownership in the North East. It is important for homeowners to hire an experienced HVAC repair company to inspect their equipment each year prior to the start of the cold season to ensure that it is in proper working order. Signing up for an annual maintenance program will help you stay on top of these issues before they even start with regular check-ups, cleanings, and tune-ups.
Unfortunately, due to owner neglect, an unexpected cold snap or just normal wear and tear, problems still occur and an HVAC repair service must be called out to inspect the unit. Today we will talk about the most common HVAC problems reported in Massachusetts each winter and what you can do to get your heating system back on track.
#1 – Iced Heat Pump
In some cases, particularly in a really cold winter storm, an outdoor heat pump can get frozen or iced up. It is normal to see the coil of the heat pump covered in frost or even light ice during the winter, but it is definitely not normal if you notice that the entire unit is completely encased in ice – that indicates a major issue that needs to be taken care of right away. Ignoring this problem will not just leave you without heat when you need it, but can cause damage to your equipment. Most heat pumps have a defrost cycle that is used to de-ice the coils and keep the unit running efficiently. However, if the coils become blocked by or are encased in ice, the heat transfer between the cold air outside and the refrigerant won’t be able to happen.
What you can do:
- turn off the unit and remove the ice carefully with a garden hose – never use a sharp object to do remove ice.
- check to see if a gutter is dripping onto the unit and make necessary repairs.
- brush away leaves and snow from around and underneath the unit.
If none of these tips apply or if cleaning and clearing the unit does not work, it is time to contact your HVAC repair service for assistance. You may need to elevate the unit to prevent future blockages or this problem may be indicative of other issues.
#2 – Temperature Issues
In some cases, you might notice that the temperature of your home never quite reaches the temperature that you set on your thermostat. For example, if you have it set to 70 degrees, but it only gets to about 67-68 degrees, it could be cause for concern. In some cases, this can indicate a problem, but in many situations, the extremely cold weather of the season makes it very difficult for even a working and efficient heat pump to maintain the set temperature. Once the temperature drops below 35 degrees, all heat pumps will begin to lose efficiency, making it difficult to keep up with heat loss.
Some of the HVAC problems in Massachusetts that could cause this problem include:
- bad compressor or reversing valves
- unit needs to be cleaned and serviced
- compressor not running
- restriction or bad metering device
- an outdoor heat pump is iced up or covered in snow
- a leak in the return duct, bringing in cold air
- poorly insulated home
Call your HVAC repair service to inspect your heating and cooling services if this problem occurs during any time of year. An annual maintenance program with regular cleanings and inspections can help solve many of these issues that can cause temperature maintenance problems.
#3 – Pump Keeps Running
A heat pump that just keeps running and never shuts off can be very frustrating for the homeowner. Not only are there concerns about potential damage to the equipment, but worries about a sky-high energy bill should also be considered. This is usually one of the more common HVAC problems in Massachusetts in the winter months, however, it can happen in the summer as well with heating and cooling services that just keep running. It is important to note that newer HVAC systems will run longer and provide a lower temperature output than older systems, as this is how they are designed to work.
Things to check before calling for HVAC repair service:
- make sure the thermostat is properly set
- see if the outdoor unit is running
- check the breakers to see if they are tripped or off
- look at the air filter to see if it is clean or dirty
- see if the condensate pump is plugged in or not
Contact your HVAC repair service and let them know what you have observed. It could be something as simple as a unit that was accidentally running in A/C mode, snow accumulating on the outdoor unit or something more complex, such as bad valves or a compressor that is not running.
#4 – Cold Rooms
If you have certain rooms that are colder or warmer than others, it could be indicative of a number of HVAC problems seen in Massachusetts each winter. Older homes with poor insulation are very common in this area, however lack of proper airflow within the heating and cooling services can also be the culprit. During HVAC repair service, a restricted airflow of 20-40 percent is quite common, which can drastically reduce the ability of your HVAC system to properly condition the air in your home. Duct balancing is usually all are warranted to repair this problem, adjusting the airflow to each room so that it is more evened out.
Here are some things to look for before contacting your HVAC repair service:
- make sure windows are all shut and properly sealed against the cold
- look at all vents to make sure they are fully open in each room
- check the filter to make sure it isn’t dirty
- look at the damper positions to make sure they are properly set
Other issues could be at work, such as problems with the fan speed, dirty blower wheels and coils, debris or obstruction within the ductwork itself and improperly installed ductwork. Once again, an annual maintenance program would spot out many of these issues before cold weather hits and prevent you from having to contact HVAC repair services for your heating and cooling services.
Call Columbus Energies for HVAC Problems in Massachusetts
When you think of propane and home heating oil delivery in Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, chances are you think about Columbus Energies. Serving customers throughout the region for over 50 years, we have built a solid reputation for delivery, installation, maintenance and repair of all types of heating and cooling services. Our annual maintenance program can help keep HVAC problems in Massachusetts at bay, even during the coldest and snowy winter season. We have 24-hour emergency services available 7-days a week to help our customers prevent frozen pipes, health emergencies and other related dangers associated with freezing temperatures and HVAC system issues.