thermostatIn the frigid winter months, it’s important to realize that the heating system in your home can go out when you least expect it, either from inclement weather conditions or from a technical glitch in the system.

Your heating system is never more important than during the coldest months of winter, and this is — unfortunately — also when most homeowners experience problems with their HVAC systems. Many of these issues are simply due to a lack of maintenance, but others can be easily avoided with some simple preventative measures and with regular HVAC repairs.

Here are just a few of the most common heating system problems homeowners experience during the winter — plus some tips on how to avoid these problems!

    1. A dirty filter. If you use your heating and air conditioning system a lot during the winter and summer months, you’ll likely find that the filter gets dirtier than when you aren’t relying on your HVAC system so much. Dirty filters can cause a reduction in air flow, which means that your furnace has to work twice as hard to keep your home at the right temperature. It’s recommended that you check these filters at least once a month and replace the filter when it gets dirty.
    2. A broken thermostat. A good thermostat will keep your home heated to a comfortable temperature, and can even save you as much as 10% on your energy bills by limiting your HVAC system’s operating time. If your furnace doesn’t seem to be working, it might actually be the thermostat that’s broken. Try turning the thermostat off and on, check that the batteries are still good, and make sure that there isn’t a tiny collection of dust bunnies inside the device. If you aren’t sure whether your furnace or thermostat is broken, an HVAC repair service will be able to help you out.
    3. A broken furnace. So maybe your thermostat is working, but your furnace has seen its last days. If you have a gas furnace, your pilot light might have gone out. Many people feel comfortable relighting this, but it’s completely okay to call up a home heating repair service for help if you don’t. Remember, though, that your furnace might just be old and in need of replacing; the average furnace typically lasts a little over a decade.

The best way to make sure that your HVAC system doesn’t break at the worst possible time is to have an HVAC repair service inspect your system twice a year — and also make sure that you know the phone number of your local HVAC repair service, just in case you encounter a winter emergency!