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6 Reasons Why Your Heater Is Struggling to Warm Your Home

If you feel like your heater isn’t warming up your home the way it should, you could be right! Whereas some heaters have trouble from the start due to improper sizing or poor installation, other heating issues develop over time.

Below, we’ll explain some common reasons why your heater may be “working” but struggling to heat your home.

1. Vents are closed or blocked.

If specific rooms in your home seem much colder than others, check for hidden vents. You’d be surprised how often a vent gets covered up by a rug or piece of furniture! Next, make sure that the vents are open. Some people make the mistake of closing the vent at the air register to try to block the air and redirect it to another area of the house. This ends up creating a pressure imbalance in your HVAC system that can create air leaks and make the system less efficient.

2. There’s an issue with the thermostat.

If it feels like the air coming from your vents is cold or lukewarm, check your thermostat settings. Make sure they’re set to “auto,” rather than “on.” The “on” setting means that your system’s fan is running even when the equipment isn’t warming the air. When it’s on auto, the system will warm the air that the fan circulates. If your thermostat won’t respond, it most likely needs new batteries or a repair.

3. Your heater wants to retire.

Furnaces typically last 15 to 20 years. As your heater approaches “retirement age,” it can lose efficiency and struggle to heat your home. If you notice a substantial increase in your energy bills and if your system needs more frequent or expensive repairs, it’s time to start looking for a replacement.

4. Your heater is too big or too small for your home.

When buying a furnace, you’ll have problems if the equipment is not the right size for your home. An installation professional will take several factors into account, including your home’s floor plan and square footage, how many windows and doors your home has, which way your home faces (compared to the sun), etc.

If you have an oversized furnace, it will short-cycle: it will run frequently for very brief cycles, which uses a lot of energy, puts unnecessary wear-and-tear on the system, and fails to warm your home evenly. If your furnace is not big enough, it will constantly struggle to heat your home, and it won’t be able to reach your desired temperature when the outdoor temperature drops rapidly (like after the sun sets).

5. You’re losing heat through air leaks.

Air leaks can occur in numerous locations around the house and collectively decrease your heater’s efficiency. If there are leaks in your ductwork, the air traveling from your furnace to your vents could be losing heat along the way. Your home might also have gaps around doors and windows that are allowing heat to escape and cold drafts to blow in.

Solve these issues by getting your ductwork sealed and installing caulk and weatherstripping around your exterior doors and windows. If your ductwork is located in an unconditioned area (like a crawlspace), adding insulation around it can help reduce its heat loss during winter and its heat gain during summer.

6. Your heater needs maintenance.

If your heater is still technically working but you’ve noticed a steady decline in your system’s performance, it’s definitely overdue for maintenance. Lack of lubrication, dust buildup, and loose or misaligned parts all hinder your heater’s performance, making it use more energy and putting it through unnecessary wear and tear.

Additionally, preventative maintenance helps ensure that your furnace is safe to operate. At Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC, our technicians:

  • check the heat exchanger for cracks or holes that can leak toxic gases (including carbon monoxide);
  • check and adjust the incoming gas manifold pressure;
  • lubricate all moving parts;
  • check the vent pipe for proper venting;
  • Inspect the blower housing/wheel for cleanliness;
  • test fan and furnace limit for safety;
  • check the temperature rise across the heat exchanger;
  • clean and adjust the burners for more efficiency;
  • tighten all wire connections for safety;
  • test the thermostat for proper anticipation setting;
  • inspect the thermocouple and igniter for ignition issues;
  • check for correct indoor blower speed;
  • check for proper motor amperage;
  • and clean and polish the furnace exterior.

Whether you need a heater repair or a complete system replacement, our technicians at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems, LLC will provide you with nothing but expert, quality service. Don’t hesitate to call us at (770) 268-2422 or contact us online for heater services in the Atlanta metro area and Western North Carolina.