How to Avoid Costly Heating Repairs This Winter

Few HVAC problems are more urgent than a heating repair in winter. Boston gets on average nearly 50 inches of snow a year, with an average low temperature of around 23.5 degrees in January and February. This means when the heat goes out, it needs to be fixed – fast.

But emergency winter heating repairs can be expensive, especially if you need a technician to come out at night or on the weekend. Here’s what to know about common heater problems, how to prevent them and avoid costly heating repairs, and when to call a qualified Boston heating contractor.

Most Common Things to Go Wrong with Your Heater 

Diagnosing a problem with your heating system can be tough, especially since multiple issues can cause the same symptoms. That said, there are several problems that tend to crop up more than others and being familiar with these can give you a good head start.

  • Problems with the fan or blower motor. If you feel heat coming from your vents but no air, there’s a good chance that the issue lies with the fan or blower motor. The fan belt may have snapped or the motor may have burnt out, preventing the air from being able to go anywhere.
  • Heating system goes out or won’t turn on. If your heating system suddenly goes out or won’t turn on, check the power source. If it’s very cold outside and your system has been running nonstop, the breaker may have tripped or you may have lost power.
  • Furnace fails to ignite. This could be a problem with your furnace’s pilot light or ignition. You may need to relight your pilot light or call a heating service contractor if you suspect a more serious issue.
  • Malfunctioning heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is the part of your furnace that absorbs heat when your system burns fuel. This is kept separate from your duct system to prevent exposure to harmful combustion byproducts. If this malfunctions, your system may blow cool air instead of warm.

How to Prevent Problems Before They Start 

If there’s any merit at all to the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” it certainly applies when it comes to keeping your heating system in good condition and preventing problems. Here are some ways you can avoid costly heating repairs this winter:

  • Have your heating system serviced at the beginning of the season. Proactive maintenance can identify potential problems before the weather gets too cold and fix them before they snowball into a much bigger issue – like leaving you without heat on a cold Saturday night when it’s much harder to get someone out to your home to help.
  • Change your air filters. Don’t wait until you can’t feel heat coming out of your vents to check if it’s a problem with your air filters. This puts extra stress on your system and makes it increasingly likely that other components within your heater will become damaged and need repair or replacement.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors. If you have a furnace, wood stove, or other fuel-based heating system, make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors and know what to do in the event of a potential leak.
  • Loose parts. If you hear strange noises like banging or clunking sounds coming from your heating system when it’s in operation, this could be caused by loose or faulty components. The fix could be as simple as tightening a few loose bolts or replacing a belt, but it could also be a more serious issue that requires the knowledge and skills of a professional.

When to Contact a Heating Contractor 

Most heating repairs aren’t DIY projects. Heating systems can be dangerous, especially those that use fuel and have the potential to cause a fire or carbon monoxide leak. Unless you’re a certified HVAC contractor yourself, it’s a good idea to call the professionals anytime you suspect there may be a problem.

N.E.T.R., Inc. Is Your Trusted Boston Heating Services Provider

N.E.T.R., Inc. has been providing the Boston metropolitan area with quality heating services and repairs since 1989. There’s no need to go without the home comfort you need when the weather gets bad and your system is on the fritz.

Our team of certified contractors can help you troubleshoot a broken heater, complete necessary repairs, and replace your system if needed. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your heating service by calling (781) 896-0668.