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What Might Cause Your HVAC System to Malfunction This Winter


If you’re like most homeowners in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, then every winter you have one hope: please let my heater make it through this winter without an issue! Unfortunately, heaters are machines, and machines break for a wide range of reasons.

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In fact, here are a few of the most common causes of HVAC malfunctions during the winter:

  • Ignitor –

Your heater’s “ignitor” is the part that actually starts the fire by “igniting” the natural gas.  Most heaters you find nowadays will have ignitors, which replaced pilot lights in older models. But, like a light bulb, an ignitor has a set number of “lights.” When it runs out of “lights” it will likely need to be replaced. Though a cleaning will help to maintain—or refresh—your ignitor, the chances are that you will need to replace your ignitor during the life of your furnace.

  • Motor –

In the most basic sense, your heater has two components. The first makes a fire and heats the air. The second pushes the hot air throughout the home. Your heater’s “fan motor” is the part that pushes the hot air around your home. To work properly (and keep working) your fan motor needs proper airflow, properly sized ducts, clean filters, etc. If filters are not changed regularly, then the dust from the home can collect on the fan motor, creating friction and restrictions—things that also cause noises. Left untreated, this can cause the fan motor to need to be replaced.

  • Thermostat –

Thermostats, over the ages, have come in all shapes, sizes, and materials.  If you are still using your home’s original, 50-year old, mercury based thermostat, then you may be doing yourself a disservice. These older thermostats use springs to determine the indoor temperature and whether your furnace should turn off or on. These springs do not provide accurate temperature readings and can cause the furnace to frequently turn on and off. This turning on and off unnecessarily wears down the furnace and can cause it to prematurely malfunction.

Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling is an HVAC company  that serves New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Our courteous and professional technicians are available for HVAC repairs 24/7, and emergency repairs are also available. To learn more about us or to schedule service, please browse our site, or give us a call.