Common Heater Repair Problems

A well-maintained heating system is a necessity for every home. Thanks to technological advancements, the current heating systems are quite different from the older systems which most homes still have. If you didn’t know, modern heating units are extremely efficient, energy efficient, quieter and relatively smaller. What’s more, there are lots of options regarding the heating source. A heating system can operate on gas, steam, electricity, and can also run on eco-friendly fuel sources such as solar, water and wood pellets.

How does a central heating system functions?

A central heating system contains a primary heating component such as a boiler or furnace usually installed in a hidden area such as a basement or garage. Its principal function is to distribute heat throughout your entire room by typically pumping warmed air via a system of air ducts or by sending steam or hot water through pipes to either convectors or room radiators. It is imperative to note that both gravity and forced-air heating systems are equipped with at least one thermostat which turns the cooling/heating unit on and off, regulating the temperature of the room appropriately.

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Homes that do not have the central heating usually use electric baseboard heaters, in-floor or in-wall gas heaters. Ducted air systems are perhaps the most common types of cooling and heating in many homes.

What are some of the most common heater problems?

Despite their effectiveness as well as the advantages, these fantastic home devices are always prone to some common problems. Bearing in mind that your heating system is an essential device for your home, efforts must always be made to ensure that it remains in its most perfect condition. But, when it develops any problem, it should be only handled by an experienced heating repair melbourne technician.

  1. The blower runs continuously: Typically, two factors may cause your fan to run in a continuous manner. These are the limit switch or your thermostat. The limit switch is often located on the furnace, and it shuts off the heater when the air in the plenum becomes extremely hot. You’ll have to examine the thermostat to see if the Fan switch is on. If it is on, just turn it off or put it in auto mode. However, if it is already set to Auto or off but the blower is still misbehaving, just know that you’ll have to adjust the furnace’s limit switch.
  2. The furnace fails to blow air: If the motor of your furnace is functioning, but the blower cannot circulate air, then probably the belt which connects the two is the culprit. The good news is that replacing it is often easy and straightforward. First, you’ll have to disconnect the power to the system plus the gas at the gas valve which serves your furnace. Access the broken blower by removing the closure on the front of the heater cabinet. Confirm the number stamped on the belt before getting the exact model for replacement.
  3. The furnace is turning on and off regularly: This particular issue is often caused by a faulty thermostat. It will be even more common if yours is a combustion heater. If the thermostat has a particular lever which goes round a calibrated scale which is indicated LONGER you can try resetting this. It may take you several attempts and hours before you restore the thermostat to its original setting. However, if the adjustments cannot help solve the problem, you may consider replacing your thermostat altogether.
  4. The furnace does not heat: Studies tend to show that thermostat malfunctions are arguably the most common heating system failures. Of course, there are other possible causes including a tripping circuit breaker and blown fuses. You can check and ensure that the thermostat of your heater is set to HEAT, especially if yours is a cooling and a heating unit. Also, ensure that the circuit breaker of your furnace is on and running or the fuse has not blown out. Confirm if both the main electrical panel as well as the subsequent sub-panels which provide power to your unit is working. You may reset your circuit breaker or replace the broken fuse. If all these do not help solve the problem, you’ll have to contact your local electrician for more assistance.
  5. A noisy ductwork or furnace: Bearing in mind that a significant number of heating ducts are made of metal, they usually conduct sounds quite easily from the air-handling system. To help prevent this typical problem, you can consult your heater technician and instruct him to break the conduction of sound. This can be achieved by inserting a flexible insulation ductwork between your furnace and the ductwork. However, if your device produces grinding sounds, you’ll have to shut off your heating system and call your local furnace repair technician for assistance. This often indicates that the motor bearings are probably shot.

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Your heating system is a critical component of your home. Proper maintenance and routine repairs are crucial to ensuring that it remains in its peak condition at all times. As always, you must always ensure that you only seek the help of a qualified technician to handle it.

Get to Know Your Heater Thermostat In And Out

Technology is simply amazing. Nowadays, it is possible to enjoy the temperatures you want indoors, whether it is cold or hot outside. All this is made possible with a smart gadget that is known as a thermostat.

What Is The Definition Of A Thermostat?

A heater thermostat can be described as a gadget that is responsible for switching the heating system on and off as required.

It senses the air temperature so that if it falls below the thermostat settings, it automatically turns on the heat. It also switches off when the set temperature has been achieved.

The word thermostat is based on two ancient Greek words, i.e.  Thermo– which means heat and statos which mean static to imply “stay the same.” A simple explanation would be that a thermostat is a device that keeps heat the same.

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How Do The Thermostats Operate?

Mechanical thermostats work in the ideal that things expand when they heat and contract when they cool down to switch an electric circuit on & off. The common types use bimetallic strips and gas filled bellows.

  1. Bimetallic strips- a Bimetal/bimetallic strip is found in a traditional thermostat and is formed when two pieces of different materials are bolted together. The piece acts as a bridge in the electrical circuit that is connected to the heating system. When the bridge is down the strip will transport electricity through the circuit to turn on the heat. When it is up, the power will switch off at once so that the room starts to cool.
  2. Gas filled bellows- this is an alternative design that responds quicker to temperature changes when compared to the strips. It makes use of two metal discs that have gas filled bellows in between. Discs have huge surface area reason why they react faster to heat. When your room warms up the gas expands, forcing the drives apart, which switches off the heat. The opposite happened when the room cools, which turns on the heat.

How Does One Set The Thermostat?

To use and set any room thermostat, it is essential that you find the lowest temperature settings that you and any other house members would be comfortable in. Nothing further is needed as all you have to do is sit back and let it perform its duty.

It is advisable to start with low temperatures like 18 degrees Celsius. From here you can turn it up every other day by a level until you reach a level you like. Once it is set, the thermostat does not have to be adjusted anymore.

Note that making any adjustments above the settings only leads to more bills and watered energy.

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Where Should The Thermostat Be Installed?

To work efficiently, the heater thermostat requires the free flow of air. It is the only way it gets to sense the temperature. Essentially, it means that it must not be blocked by furniture or covered using curtains.

Other places you should avoid installing the thermostat so that it works well include:

  • Close to televisions.
  • In proximity of electric fences.
  • Near a wall.
  • Next to table lamps.

 

How to Clean Your Heater

 

Among the preparations you need to make at the onset of winter is making sure that your heating option will work smoothly and efficiently as the days and nights grow colder. To ensure this, you’ll need to make sure your heater is clean and ready to operate for an entire season after being dormant for three-quarters of the year.

Here’s a quick and simple guide on how you can clean your heater with minimal effort. Spend some time over the weekend following these steps for a stress-free, warm and cosy winter season in your home.

How to Clean a Panel Heater

Dust can accumulate in the different parts of a panel heater, particularly between its inner machinery and its grate. This means you’ll need to clean both the outside and the inside of a panel heater.

  1. Make sure the panel heater is cool and hasn’t been recently used. Don’t attempt to touch or open up a heater that has yet to cool down.
  2. Remove the panel heater’s outside cover by loosening its screws or hooks, depending on what your model has.
  3. Place a wet towel or rug at the bottom of your heater so it can capture any dirt or grime that falls from your heater once you clean it.
  4. Use a brush to remove dust inside the heater. Ideally, you have a thin brush with soft bristles that can clean even the tiniest and narrowest nooks and crannies inside your panel heater.
  5. Clean the external area of your panel heater with a wet cloth and the cleaning agent of your choice.
  6. Put the cover back on and allow the external part of the heater to dry before use.

How to Clean an Infrared Heater

Before you start cleaning your infrared heater, read its instruction manual carefully to see if you can disassemble it yourself. Some infrared heater models are not to be taken apart at home and require the services of a professional

  1. Make sure the infrared heater is turned off and unplugged.
  2. If your infrared heater has a grate, wipe it down with a moist cloth to remove dust and dirt, and leave it to dry. Similar to a panel heater, you might need to disassemble this first so you can clean it properly.
  3. Avoid using feather dusters to clean your infrared heater – it will only stir up the dirt and dust in your heater instead of cleaning it out.
  4. Use a moist piece of fabric to clean the outer area of the heater.
  5. Allow the heater to dry before plugging it back on for use.

Some Additional Tips for Keeping Your Heater Clean

  1. Regularly clean your heater to avoid major buildup of dirt and dust. In the event that your heater hasn’t been cleaned for years, you might need to contact a heating system professional.
  2. Always read the instruction manual before disassembling or doing anything out of the ordinary to your heater, to avoid accidentally damaging it or cancelling the warranty.
  3. Keep away from children or pets when you start to clean and do any kind of work on your heater.

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