Sharpline Mechanical

Most Common Central Heating Problems and Their Causes


Most common central heating problems can be prevented through proper maintenance, which includes replacing the air filters regularly, cleaning the HVAC units, and hiring professionals for a tune-up at least once a year. 


Here is the list of common central heating problems and their causes. 

Thermostat controls not working properly

There are several reasons why thermostat controls aren’t working properly:


  • There is no electricity supply.
  • The heating fuse is damaged. 
  • The pump has a blockage due to trapped air or dirt/debris. 
  • There is a mechanical failure in the flow pipe.


Mold growth in the radiator 

This is often caused by sludge buildup inside the radiator. To prevent and treat this problem, dismantle the radiator from its wall and flush out the viscous material with running water. 


If the problem persists even after doing the hack explained above, you might be dealing with a damaged pump or a low-quality or poorly installed heating system. 


Uneven temperature in the radiator 

This is often caused by debris buildup. To address this issue, you need to bleed the radiator, which you can do by first switching off the pump (to prevent air from entering), and then turning the square nut counter-clockwise (you can find this at the upper corner of the radiator) to release the dirty water. 


Furnace not releasing enough heat 

Dirty filters are one of the most common causes of furnaces not releasing enough heat. A good rule of thumb is to replace 2-inch filters every 1-3 months, 3-4 inch filters every 6-8 months, and 5-6 inch filters every 9-12 months. (Note: This is just a guideline; the frequency also depends on other factors such as the presence of pets, number of people in your household, the size of your home, and how frequently you use your heating system.)


Blowers with no heat 

If they are just blowing air without heat, you might be dealing with dirty filters. Other common culprits include too much gas (causing the furnace to overheat and operate on a limit switch), leaking compressor, low refrigerant levels, poorly installed heating system, and cracked heat exchanger.


If the cause is beyond dirty filters, you will most likely need professional help.


Loud or strange noise coming out of the furnace 

This could be caused by dirty filters, damaged blower belt, lack of maintenance (e.g., the lubrication has run out), and gas buildup. 


If your furnace creates a loud noise as it starts, it might be caused by this unburned oil buildup in the firebox, a serious problem called “delayed ignition.” Take note that you cannot DIY yourself out of this problem and so the best thing you can do is call a qualified HVAC professional asap. 


Short cycling 

There are several causes why short cycling happens: the heat exchanger is broken, the system is overheating due to lack of maintenance and tune-up, and dirty air filters. 

If you experience any of these central heating problems, visit Sharpline Mechanical or contact them at 530-248-2131. They are a licensed HVAC specialist providing affordable services to residential and commercial clients in North California. 

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