Common Heating Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them at Home

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During the winter season, when temperatures drop, the last thing you want is for your heating system to fail. No one likes to sleep on chilly nights or waking up to frosty mornings. Clearly, even a minor malfunction in your heating system could lead to heating problems for the entire home and make it uncomfortable for you and your family to live inside. It could even pose safety risks if the right decisions are not taken on time.

However, you should know that many standard heating and plumbing problems can be resolved without the need for a professional technician. You can fix such minor problems by yourself. All you need to do is follow an intelligent troubleshooting guide like this.

This guide will talk about some common heating services issues homeowners face and how they can fix them with the help of practical troubleshooting steps.

General Tips For Fixing Common Heating Problems

Here are a few general tips to follow to do away with common heating problems at your home:

1. Annual Inspections

You should schedule an annual inspection with a qualified HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technician at the beginning of winter to ensure your heating system functions without any hiccups during the season.

During an inspection, the technician thoroughly checks all components of the system, including the furnace or heat pump, ductwork and thermostat. The inspection is primarily done to check for any signs of wear and tear.

2. Cleaning and Repairs

Another essential tip for troubleshooting common heating issues is regular cleaning and tune-ups of the heating systems. These things are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the heating system.

You should clear the dirt, dust, and other debris that accumulates in the heating system at the onset of the winter season. The debris inside the heating system affects the flow of the hot air and reduces the efficiency at which the heating system performs.

2.1 Boiler Repairs

Boilers are one of the most popular choices for heating homes and buildings as they provide a reliable way for heat distribution through hot water or steam. However, since boilers are like any mechanical system, they, too, can also be affected by problems that need prompt attention.

Here are some of the common problems associated with boilers and how you can fix them with ease:

2.1.1. No Heat or Hot Water

Has your boiler suddenly stopped producing heat or hot water? Well, there could be so many reasons why this could happen. Here’s what you need to do in such situations:

  • Check the thermostat and check if it is set to the desired temperature.
  • Find out if the boiler is receiving power.
  • If both things are acceptable, it could mean that your thermostat is not working, or it could be a faulty pilot light or ignition system or low water pressure.
  • In some cases, simply resetting the boiler may resolve the issue.
  • But if the problem is not solved, you should contact a professional technician for further diagnosis and repair.

2.1.2. Strange Noises

Are you hearing unusual noises coming from your boiler? Sounds like banging, clanking, or gurgling could signal that there is some problem with your boiler. These noises could come from trapped air, mineral deposits, scale buildup on the heat exchanger, or worn-out components such as the pump or fan. You should not ignore these noises as they could lead to further damage to the boiler. This damage could potentially cost you a fortune if you go unignored.

2.1.3. Leaks

Finally, water leaks are one of the leading causes of faulty boiler systems. Water leaks are usually caused by damaged seals or corroded pipes or fittings. Defective pressure relief valves also lead to water leaks in the boiler heating system.

You should check for water leaks around the boiler. Water leaks can be found by checking for puddles of water around the boiler or dampness on nearby walls or ceilings. If you find a water leak, you should contact a professional.

2.2 Air Source Heat Pump Service

Air source heat pumps are another energy-efficient heating and cooling solution. The technology uses the heat in the air outside of your home to warm the inside. However, they are also prone to problems and here’s how you can keep them in check:

2.2.1. Cleaning and Maintenance

You should keep the outdoor unit of your air source heat pump clean and free of debris for proper airflow and heat exchange. Over time, leaves, dirt, and other debris can be stored around the outdoor unit. Such things obstruct airflow and reduce the heat pump’s efficiency. Regularly inspect the outdoor unit and remove any debris that may have accumulated on or around it. Additionally, regularly clean or replace the indoor unit’s air filters to prevent dust and dirt from building up and impeding airflow.

2.2.2. Refrigerant Checks

Refrigerant is a vital component of the heat pump system, as it absorbs and releases heat to provide heating and cooling to your home. Low refrigerant levels can indicate a leak in the system. This can lead to reduced heating and cooling capacity and increased energy consumption. Check for hissing or bubbling sounds coming from the outdoor unit if you face any problems and call an expert if you are not able to solve them yourself.

2.2.3. Defrosting

During winter, air source heat pumps may accumulate frost or ice on the outdoor unit. This frost or ice buildup can obstruct airflow and reduce the heat pump’s efficiency. If the outdoor unit becomes heavily frosted or iced over, it may require manual defrosting to restore proper operation. To manually defrost the outdoor unit, you can use a hose to gently spray warm water over the coils until the frost or ice melts away. However, you should avoid using sharp objects or excessive force to remove the frost or ice, as this can damage the coils and fins of the outdoor unit.

3. Take the Help of Professionals

If you are not able to do hygiene checks and cleaning on your own, you can rely on professional service providers who can do the work at affordable rates. Professionals tend all the components of the heating systems. Some of the important areas that professionals reach, and most people cannot, are the burner, blower and heat exchanger. Cleaning of such parts is essential for the optimal performance of the heating system. Last but not least, professionals can also check for any signs of corrosion or damage and repair them to make sure you get a warm home from the inside.

4. System Upgrades

Last but not least, if your heating system is outdated or is not performing even after you have considered all the above options, it’s time for an upgrade. You can switch to the latest home heating system that comes with the latest energy-efficient technology to save you money on your energy bills.


In conclusion, heating systems are essential components of any home, providing comfort, convenience, and safety year-round. By understanding the various services, repairs, and maintenance tasks associated with heating and plumbing systems, homeowners can ensure efficient operation, prolong equipment lifespan and minimise the risk of heating problems.

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