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Heating System Malfunctions Can Strike Early—Be on the Lookout!

surprised-womanIt’s cooling down as we settle into Seattle’s fall season. Heaters will start turning on in the evenings and maybe stay on longer and longer during the days. But just because your home’s heating system isn’t yet doing its full workload—that will have to wait until January—doesn’t mean it will run without any problems. Your heating system may need repairs at any time, especially if it hasn’t had its regular fall maintenance.

Obligatory Reminder to Schedule Fall Maintenance

The best way to make sure you don’t run into the problems mentioned in the rest of this post is to schedule an appointment with our team to maintain your heating system. Our maintenance program makes it easy to arrange, and it’s better to have it done earlier in the fall rather than wait for colder periods. Your heating system is at a much higher risk of needing repairs if it misses out on its annual inspection and tune-up.

Early Warning Signs You’ve Got Heating Trouble

Your furnace or heat pump has just started to run for the season. How can you tell if there’s potential trouble brewing so you can call for heating repair in Bellevue, WA? Here are some of the early warnings to watch for:

  • Strange smells: When you first turn on a gas furnace or electric furnace for the season, you’ll probably notice a sharp burning smell from the vents. This isn’t a problem; it’s the dust on the heat exchanger or heating elements burning off. But if the odor continues, it may indicate burning wires or motors running down (and this applies to heat pumps as well).
  • Rooms colder than usual: If the heater has started running but you’ve noticed not all the rooms are receiving the level of comfort you expect, something might be restricting the heater from reaching full power. This might also be leaks in the ventilation system or trouble with the zone control (if you have it). Regardless, it will take a professional to track down the issue and have it fixed.
  • First utility bills are too high: You expect to see a rise in costs on your utility bills when the heater starts to run. But if you feel a bit stunned at the first bill to arrive after the heater gets to work, it may be due to a malfunction. Don’t just pay more than usual: have an expert look at the system and see what’s wrong.
  • Heater turns on and off at odd times: When you set the thermostat to a steady temperature during the day (which is what we recommend) but then notice the heater is turning on and shutting down too often, you’re experiencing short-cycling. There are many possible reasons for furnaces and heat pumps to short-cycle. Always check on the air filter first, since if it’s clogged it may be responsible. For other short-cycling causes, rely on a trained technician.

S&L Mechanical Heating and Cooling offers Quality Service for Quality Living! Trust us with any heating system repair, whatever the time of year!

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