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Having a functional heat pump, furnace or boiler is essential to keeping your home warm and cozy during the winter. In Los Angeles, it’s common for households to run their heat during December, January and February. Once the temperatures dip into the 40s, LA homes get cold! What you can’t predict, however, is when your heating system will act up. 

While some heating system problems are easy to troubleshoot on your own, others are not. You’ll need a professional HVAC tech to perform an inspection and determine the issue. It’s important that any heating concerns are addressed right away, as you don’t want harmful by-products like carbon monoxide leaking into your air. 

Below are some of the most common heating system issues that can happen and the best ways to address them. 

System Won’t Turn On 

When your heating system fails to turn on, it’s easy to get worried. Did your system die? Do you need to replace it? While it’s hard to say exactly what’s going on, it’s not a guarantee that your system has failed. There are minor issues that can prevent your system from turning on. Some possible causes include a faulty thermostat, incorrect thermostat settings, a tripped breaker or a door that’s ajar. 

Furnace Won’t Ignite 

Another issue that can happen is that the furnace won’t ignite. When you turn on your furnace, it should start running until it reaches the temperature it’s set at. To do this, it relies on your ignition system. However, if there’s a problem with this system, your furnace won’t be able to deliver heat to your home. Fortunately, a damaged ignitor, dirty ignition or cracked hot surface ignitor element are all repairable. 

Little to No Aiflow from Vents 

When you flip on your heating system, you expect to feel warm air coming through the vents. So what happens when that’s not the case? A number of issues can affect airflow such as clogged vent registers, clogged ductwork, leaks in the ductwork, blower motor issues, damper malfunctions or blocked air returns. 

Also a cause for concern is cool air blowing from your vents. When cool air is being emitted, you may have a duct leak, a closed gas line, a clog in the condensate drain or a malfunctioning ignition. 

Burning Smell

A common concern we hear from homeowners is that their heating system smells like it’s burning. This can be scary, but it’s not always a cause for concern. Typically, when you turn on your heat for the first time, it’s normal to smell a burning odor as the dust burns off within the system. However, if the smell continues, it could be a dirty air filter, wiring issues or an overheated motor. 

Heat Pump Not Warming the Home 

If your Los Angeles home relies on a heat pump, you expect it to deliver warm air during the winter. If it’s not, the problem could be a dirty filter, damaged components, refrigerant leaks or improper settings. Heat pumps have a lot of different components, and if one of them is faulty, it can affect the whole system. 

Thermostat Problems 

When you switch on the thermostat or adjust the heat settings, your heating system should respond appropriately. If it does not, a number of issues could be happening with your thermostat. It may not have been installed correctly, it may have internal wiring issues or your breaker may have tripped. Sometimes, all it needs is to be reset. 

If you notice any of these common issues with your heating system, get in touch with Pacific Appliance Repair right away. We’ll send out one of our techs to assess the problem and determine the best route for repair. Don’t forget to regularly maintain your system throughout the year. This is the single, most effective way to protect your system and prevent breakdowns!