You come home from work, greeted by the heat you always expect from your furnace. The kitchen is warm, the bathroom is warm, but when it comes time to go to bed, you make a chilling discovery. There is no heat, or very little heat, making its way into the bedroom.
Before you take out the portable heater or resolve to spend nights with the doors open huddled under plenty of blankets, you should know that this could be a major problem. As long as there are air vents in the room, your heater was designed to heat it, and a lack of air circulation could cause some problems with the unit. So what’s the deal?
Collapsed or Damaged Ductwork
This is a common reason for heating and air conditioning troubles that few technicians bother to mention. The ducts in a new home are often not installed properly, and ductwork can become dilapidated over time. If so, air leaks out into unoccupied areas like crawlspaces, and you pay more for less heating. Ducts may need to be sealed or reworked in major ways.
A Dirty Air Filter
Our technicians have very good reason to remind you to change your air filter every month (or every 3 months at most). It’s not just for our health—or yours for that matter! A dirty air filter can have a major effect on your furnace’s performance.
It halts airflow so that there’s not as much going through the ducts. That means that there may not be enough air flowing through one or more rooms of the house.
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often technicians have been called out to fix a heating system only to discover the vents in the home are closed. Remember that someone else in the home may have been responsible, so don’t rule anything out!
For the record, closing off the vents can be quite harmful to your heater. It loses some of the capacity it has to heat, which can result in short cycling, something that wears out the system.
Fan Motor Problems
Another reason your furnace may not put out enough air in general is if the blower fan inside the unit is acting up. This can lead to trouble with air circulation, and may actually put your furnace at risk of overheating. The motor might need repair or replacement to continue functioning properly, even if it hasn’t stopped working completely just yet.
An Undersized Furnace
We’re never glad to share the news that the company that installed your furnace is responsible for its poor output. Sometimes, a furnace is not properly sized before it is installed. An installer may cut you a “deal,” but it’s not what you think—the reason the furnace is underpriced is because it’s not the right fit for your home.
When this happens, it will require replacement, or you will end up with a system that costs a lot to run and eventually breaks down when you need it most.