Why Did My Heater Start Blowing Out Cold Air?

The last thing you expect when you turn on your heat in the winter is to feel cold air blowing out of your HVAC unit instead of warm. However, there are some common reasons for this. Here’s what might be causing the issue.


Your System Hasn’t Had Time to Warm Up

If you have a furnace and you’ve just turned it on, the motor will blow the existing air in the ducts into your home before it blows heated air. The existing air in your ducts is cold and comes through your vents cold, which may give you the illusion that your heater isn’t heating at all. The solution to this problem is that you may simply need to give your heater a bit of time to warm up if it hasn’t been on.

Your HVAC Filters Are Dirty

If your HVAC system’s filters are clogged or dirty, you’re not going to feel much warm air coming from your unit. In fact, you may not feel much air at all if the filters are too dirty to allow any air to pass through. If you notice that your system is blowing cool air or doesn’t seem to be blowing air as forcefully as usual, check your filters. A simple clean may be all that is needed to get your system blowing warm air properly again.

Your Outdoor Unit Has Iced Over

New England winters bring plenty of snow and ice, which can accumulate on your outdoor unit if you’re not actively making sure it’s kept clean. If your outdoor unit ices over, your system will have a difficult time generating heat. The fan motor may work, but the air it’s pumping through your home isn’t warm because the heating unit itself isn’t able to work efficiently or at all when covered in ice and snow.

Your Thermostat Is Set Wrong or Needs Batteries

A common reason that a heating system starts to blow cold air all of a sudden is a simple error with the thermostat. For example, you may have your thermostat set lower than you intended, and you forgot to turn it back up. Or, your thermostat may need new batteries. Anytime your heating system stops working out of the blue, take a look at your thermostat to see if it could be an easy fix.

It’s Extremely Cold Outside

Sometimes, your HVAC system may not be able to keep up with frigid outdoor temperatures. Even working at max capacity, older heaters and ducted systems may not be able to combat the cold air enough to keep your home at the temperature you set your thermostat. You can give your heating system a helping hand by using supplemental heating if you have it.

For example, if you have a wood stove, you can use it occasionally when the weather dips down so low your regular system can’t keep up. Or, you can use baseboard heat in conjunction with a ductless heat pump to reduce the strain on the pump and preserve its longevity.  

Heater Not Working? N.E.T.R., Inc. Can Help

The last thing you want when New England temperatures start to dip is to find out that your heater isn’t working properly. At N.E.T.R., we can help you figure out what’s wrong with your furnace, central HVAC system, or ductless unit and assist you with achieving your ideal home comfort level. Contact our office today by calling 781.933.NETR (6387).

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