As the weather gets colder, we in Chicago know firsthand how critical adequate heating is. If you’re local to Chicago, then you’re familiar with the harsh winters. After all, Chicago didn’t get the nickname “The Windy City” for no reason. During the winter season, there are commonly below-freezing temperatures, blustery snowstorms, and strong wind chills.
These unforgiving weather conditions mean that your HVAC system is likely running overtime all season to keep your home warm and comfortable. Unfortunately, this constant workload may create heating system issues during the winter season.
However, you need your heat to stay working during the coldest Chicago days. Major heating system issues simply can’t happen during these temperatures.
You can ensure your system’s longevity by making sure you have a reliable HVAC service company in Chicago on hand. Here at A Custom Services, we can maintain, fix, or install a furnace should any heating system issues arise.
Below are five of the most common heating system issues during the winter season:
1. INCONSISTENT HEATING
Every heating system has its downfalls, including problems with the flue pipe. For example, the HVAC unit’s hot air leaves, but the cold air outside may cause the flue pipe to accumulate condensation.
The flue pipe is important for ventilation. It allows your HVAC system to expel exhaust. If the flue pipe does have this moisture inside of it, it will affect your heating system’s ability to achieve satisfactory airflow. Not to mention, it may also create hazardous air conditions if the necessary gases can’t leave the home.
Other causes of inconsistent heating include clogged ducts, thermostat issues, covered vent registers, and cold drafts within the home due to poor insulation.
Make sure to reach out to our trusted team to check the thermostat and to get to the bottom of your furnace’s inconsistencies.
2. EXTREMELY DRY AIR
Another common problem that surfaces during the winter months is dry air. When the heating system is running constantly, it often dries out the indoor air.
Considering the outdoor air is already quite dry in the winter months in the Midwest, it’s safe to say that the indoor air is even drier.
Dry air presents problems for allergy sufferers. It can lead to various health concerns, such as nose bleeds, headaches, sinus problems, and poor breathing.
You can prevent these bothersome health issues during the cold winter months by getting in touch with an HVAC professional who can install a humidifier to your current system.
Generally, there are two options to help combat the low humidity levels that your heating system may cause in your home.
- Portable humidifiers. As their name suggests, portable humidifiers can be moved from room to room. You simply fill the unit up with water and then place it in whichever room you desire. As the unit is on, it will increase that particular space’s humidity level. These humidifiers come in cool mist and warm mist options.
- Built-in humidifiers. These are humidifiers built into your HVAC system. A professional technician needs to install this type of humidifier, as it’s attached to your furnace. As the heat turns on, the humidifier will pump moisture into the air if levels dip below a certain humidity. This operates by adding humidity to your whole house through a ventilation system rather than in one room.
Whether you choose a portable or built-in humidifier to improve your heating system this winter is a personal choice. You should note that a whole-house system needs to be properly installed and maintained for normal wear and tear by HVAC professionals.
When your HVAC team runs inspections, remember to add the built-in humidifier to the checklist so you have optimal comfort all winter.
3. CLOGGED AIR FILTERS
Arguably one of the biggest culprits for heating system problems in the winter is dirty air filters. Let’s face it: your furnace works harder in the winter than probably any other season. Since there’s little outdoor air ventilation, dust and dander accumulate within your home.
The air filter’s job is to stop harmful particles, like dust, pet hair, and allergens, from getting into your furnace system. This way, these particles aren’t continually circulating throughout your home.
If your filter gets clogged, your furnace won’t work as effectively. A clogged filter will restrict airflow from the furnace, and you run the risk of allowing these particles to continually circulate throughout your home, which promotes poor indoor air quality.
The good news is that you can change out your air filter, but you need to know the specific size. With this in mind, it’s never a bad idea to hire a qualified technician to change out your filter instead.
One hazardous byproduct that comes from a furnace is carbon monoxide. Every winter, your furnace works diligently to heat your home. While this is great for your comfort, it also means a decent amount of carbon monoxide is produced that needs to leave the home, too.
If for some reason your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide, there is no way to smell it. However, you may be able to smell natural gas if there’s a gas leak that has carbon monoxide as a byproduct.
Occasionally, a gas valve breaks or doesn’t work properly, which causes dangerous leaks, too. This is why it’s critical to have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Plus, you may be able to prevent any deadly mishaps by committing to regular maintenance checks.
5. STRANGE FURNACE NOISES
Have you heard a consistent strange noise coming from your furnace this winter? If this is the case, it’s time you learn why your heating system makes a banging noise rather than continuing to ignore it.
If you hear banging, screeching, or squealing noises from your furnace, you need to get them checked. While some noises are normal, the sounds listed above aren’t. Those sounds require a technician who will make the necessary repairs or replace the unit altogether.
Remember that comfort doesn’t have to come at a cost this winter in Chicago. It’s possible to avoid heating system issues and keep your home warm and safe all season long. Qualified HVAC specialists like those at A Custom Services are readily available at (773) 831-4891.