It’s that time of year again. Time to start up the furnace and get some heat flowing throughout your home again. With Winter here in Michigan there are some problems that you may want to know about when firing your system up for the first time. I’ll list some of those problems in this article and also let you know of ways you can remedy them.
Common Problems for Winter Heating Systems in Michigan
The best way to find and fix any problems with your heating system is to have it inspected prior to using it this winter. By getting an inspection and the ducts cleaned in your home you can eliminate many of the problems that you may face without it. That’s why it’s so important to get those annual inspections. But if decided against it here are some problems that you may face.
A Bad Smell Coming From the Vents
During the initial startup of the unit you may notice a burning smell coming from the vents. This can happen during the initial startup because of dust buildup in the system. It’s not quite as common for ducts that have air conditioning in the same registers. It’s very important to note that if there is smoke coming from the vents you may have a much larger problem and you’ll need to address it first.
The burning smell can be dust that has built up in the system and duct work. You can clean the duct work or have someone clean the duct work before you run it initially. Typically, during an annual inspection of the unit the technician can inspect the ducts and clean them if necessary.
If you want to minimize the burning smell you can try to change the air filter which may help to reduce some of the dust. It’s also a good idea to start the unit on a nice day so you can open a window or door. This way when you start up your winter heating system and there is a smell coming from the registers the fresh air that can get in from the door and windows can minimize it.
Is Your Pilot Light Working Properly?
If you use natural gas or propane it’s extremely important to inspect the pilot light before attempting to run the unit. Although most winter heating systems in Michigan will have fail-safes built in it’s important that you check the light yourself or have someone properly trained to light it for you and inspect it. You should be able to see the pilot light on in the unit before starting it up. If the pilot light is hidden from view if may use an electric starter of some kind and a homeowner would not be able to manually light the pilot. If your unit is configured this way and you attempt to start the unit be sure to feel for heat coming from the vents. If the unit continually runs without heat when the thermostat is calling for it make sure you don’t smell gas and call a service person to inspect it. You may have a gas leak in your furnace and it will need to be serviced by someone who is properly trained.