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Posted on November 28, 2023

It’s no surprise that Erie winters can be some of the most brutal in the nation. But that doesn’t mean you should suffer needlessly in your home! By understanding common HVAC issues and their potential causes, homeowners in northwestern Pennsylvania can take proactive steps to address and prevent these problems, ensuring their heating systems operate effectively during the winter months.

Common HVAC Issues Faced by Homeowners in Northwestern Pennsylvania During the Winter:

  • Uneven Heating: This issue refers to the situation where different areas of a home receive varying levels of heat, leading to discomfort. It can be caused by a malfunctioning thermostat, which fails to regulate the temperature properly, clogged filters that restrict airflow, or air leaks around doors and windows that allow heat to escape or cold air to enter. Addressing these issues may involve thermostat calibration, regular filter replacement, and sealing air leaks to ensure even heating throughout the home.
  • Frozen Pipes and Coils: When temperatures drop significantly, the water inside HVAC pipes and coils can freeze, causing the system to malfunction or even leading to burst pipes. This issue requires immediate attention from HVAC professionals to thaw the frozen components and prevent further damage. Homeowners can also take preventive measures such as insulating exposed pipes to minimize the risk of freezing.
  • Dirty Air Filters: Over time, air filters in HVAC systems can become clogged with dust and debris, restricting airflow. This can cause the system to work harder, leading to overheating and potential shutdown. Regular inspection and replacement of air filters are essential to maintain efficient airflow and prevent strain on the HVAC system.
  • Malfunctioning Thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to inaccurate temperature readings and inefficient heating. This issue can result in discomfort and higher energy bills. It is important to have HVAC professionals inspect and, if necessary, repair or replace the thermostat to ensure accurate temperature control and efficient operation of the heating system.
  • Blocked Ducts and Vents: Blockages in ducts and vents can impede the flow of warm air, leading to uneven heating throughout the home. This issue can cause certain rooms to feel colder than others. Regular maintenance by HVAC professionals, including duct cleaning and inspection, can help identify and address these blockages to ensure consistent airflow and heating performance.

To Prepare Your Home’s HVAC System for Colder Weather, You Should Consider the Following Tips:

  • Clear the Area Around the HVAC System: Keep a clear radius of four or more feet around the system to ensure it stays in top working order without object interference.
  • Change Filters Regularly: Set reminders to change filters every one to three months to maintain high-quality indoor air and prevent the system from overworking.
  • Adjust Thermostat Settings: Consider setting the thermostat two to three degrees lower to reduce wear and tear on the system and save on energy costs.
  • Schedule Professional Tune-Ups: Arrange for HVAC tune-ups with a licensed professional in the fall and spring to catch any underlying issues before extreme cold sets in.
  • Consider HVAC Efficiency and Accessories: Factors influencing HVAC installation costs include the type of system, house size, number of zones, installation complexity, system capacity, efficiency rating, and accessories such as air purifiers and dehumidification systems.
  • Insulate and Seal Ductwork: Properly insulating and sealing ductwork can prevent heat loss and ensure that warm air reaches all areas of the home efficiently.
  • Check for Air Leaks: Inspect doors, windows, and other potential air leak sources to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering the home, which can put additional strain on the HVAC system.
  • Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat: Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat to optimize energy usage by automatically adjusting the temperature based on the homeowners’ schedule and preferences.

At Wm. T. Spaeder, we have extensive experience with keeping out the winter chill. With over a century of service in Erie, we are committed to safeguarding our customers’ well-being and maintaining their property in top condition. For prompt assistance, contact us at (814) 456.7014. We are available 24/7 and ready to provide support at any time.


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