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Collier's Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

5 Warnings Your Heater Is About to Break Down


You’ve got your home heating system running, ready to settle into the routine that will last until spring. If you’ve taken good care of the heater and remembered to schedule regular maintenance for it through our HomeSavers Club, you have every reason to believe the system will get through the coming season without trouble.

But there is no such thing as a heater that’s 100% free from malfunctions. No matter the planning, no matter the care, the heater in your home might fail during the coming months. It may give no warning, but this is rare. As a heater veers for a breakdown, it usually gives off warning signs. If you catch these warnings, you can call an HVAC contractor in Plymouth, IN to come to rescue the system with repair or even a replacement in extreme cases.

Below are five of the common warning signs of a heater close to failing.

1. Noisy operation

A heating system makes some level of noise when it runs, no matter the type. You’re already familiar with the standard sounds it generates. When the heater starts to make a racket as it runs (grinding, screeching, clanging, etc.) it often means major mechanical trouble that’s about to cause a breakdown. Shut off the heater and call for a repair professional to look into it.

2. Rapid cycling on and off

When a heater is running, it goes through a series of cycles where it runs for a stretch and then shuts off. A heating cycle is usually around 15 minutes minimum. If you hear your heater turning on and off four or more times during an hour, it’s failing to finish its regular heating cycle. This is called short-cycling and is extremely detrimental to the heating system, leading to breakdowns. Technicians can investigate and find out the cause so they can fix it.

3. An abrupt drop in heating power

Are you hearing complaints from people in your household about rooms that are too cold? When cold spots start to appear around the house when the heater is on, it indicates the heater is rapidly losing power and may be on its last legs.

4. The heater is more than 15 to 20 years old

This isn’t a sudden sign, of course. But it is a sign! When a furnace or heat pump is more than 15 years old, or a boiler is more than 20 years old, they’re past the point where they are reliable for steady performance. We recommend arranging for a replacement system as soon as possible.

5. An abrupt rise in heating costs

Malfunctions in a heater will almost always create a rise in the costs to run it. When you get your first monthly heating bills for the season, look closely at the costs. How do they compare to last year’s? A noticeable rise that you can’t account for with an increase in usage is a reason to worry that the heater is rapidly failing.

Schedule heating repairs with our experts! Collier’s Heating & Air Conditioning: For over 30 years, a company you’ve grown to trust.

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