South Bay Peninsula in the winter is certainly not the worst place to be, but we nevertheless experience some chilly times that require turning on the heating system. When we need the heat, we want it to be working right with no unpleasant surprises. Annual maintenance can help ensure this happens, and can also address some of the winter HVAC concerns that you might experience discussed below.
If your heating seems uneven, with zones where you are warm enough while in other zones, your home's occupants are shivering, the culprit could be these:
- Leaky ducts. Have your HVAC tech examine ductwork when you schedule maintenance to ensure heated air isn't leaking out before it's delivered to the home.
- HVAC wrong size. If your HVAC is too large, it will short cycle, never adequately heating or cooling your home. If it's too small, it will run continuously, and again, will not adequately heat or cool. You may need to replace it.
- Zoning needed.Your ducts and HVAC system may not have been designed properly to heat and cool your home. A zoning system, where individual thermostats are installed to control conditioned air throughout the home, could be the answer.
LEAKING CARBON MONOXIDE
Deadly carbon monoxide wherever combustion-powered appliances are used. CO can leak from cracked heat exchangers in the furnace, or from exhaust vents that aren't properly sealed, or result from a condition known as backdrafting. Maintain CO monitors with digital readouts on your home's walls. Test the monitors occasionally to ensure they are working.
If your home feels drafty, and you think your heating system isn't doing the job, it may be that air is leaking out through minute cracks around windows, pipes, wires, cables and electric outlets -- anyplace, really, where there is an opening to the outdoors. Go around your home, testing to see if you feel small drafts, then fill them up with insulation, weatherstripping and caulk.
Visit the Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical website for in-depth information on winter HVAC concerns, and on most other HVAC topics.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).