Winter is here in St. Louis, and some experts are anticipating snowfall and lows of anywhere between 0 and -7 degrees during the coldest months. Are you ready for the chilly weather?

More importantly, is your heating system ready for it? The last thing you want on a cold winter night is for your heater to malfunction instead of keeping you warm and toasty.

Do you know the signs that your heater may be in need of an inspection or further heating services? We’re here to talk about them!

Read on to learn all about signs to look out for.

1. Higher Than Normal Energy Bills

It’s completely normal for your energy bills to go up during the winter, especially if you don’t tend to use your air conditioning during the summer. Your heater is using more power, so your energy bills will reflect that.

That said, those bills should be fairly consistent year-to-year and even throughout the season. There may be small increases during cold snaps, but nothing extraordinary.

If you find that you’re paying far more every month than you anticipated, it’s possible that your heater isn’t performing as well as it should be. Poor efficiency could result in it using more power for the same heat output.

It might be time for a heating and air conditioning service if you can’t find another culprit or solution.

2. Strange Noises

Have you noticed odd noises that seem to come from the vents, the walls, or even the heater itself? You may hear rattling, creaking, banging, buzzing, or any other sort of random and potentially worrisome sounds.

There are some noises that are common with baseboard heaters, like a mild crackling or banging sound when you first turn them on, but beyond that, they should be fairly quiet.

Old heaters are prone to odd noises. While those noises may end up not being a cause for concern, it’s reasonable to schedule a heating service for a quick inspection to see if anything is amiss.

3. Poor Air Quality

Did you know that old or malfunctioning heating systems can result in poorer air quality? They can circulate allergens, dust, and even mold spores, even if you do a good job cleaning.

You may not even notice that these things are circulating through your home right away, especially if you’re already prone to colds. You may experience “the sniffles” more often than normal, and people with sensitive immune systems, allergies, or asthma may experience more respiratory problems than they normally would during the winter.

Changing the filter can fix the problem, as can doing some extra cleaning around the house, but if that doesn’t work, it’s time to contact a heating specialist to take a look.

4. You’re Always Adjusting the Thermostat

When you’re heating your home efficiently, you shouldn’t have to pay too much attention to the thermostat. Again, during a cold snap, you may be adjusting your temperature and running the heater more often, but other than that it should stay fairly consistent.

If you find that you’re always adjusting the thermostat, it may mean that something’s wrong. There are other potential factors involved (for example, you may have an air leak in your home somewhere or you may be ill and feeling chillier as a result), but an inefficient heating system is a possibility.

Notice if you suddenly feel warmer or cooler than you’re used to, or if you feel like you have to keep turning the temperature up to maintain the same level of warmth in your home.

Consider using a thermometer that’s not attached to your thermostat to get an accurate reading of your home’s temperature.

If it’s true that the temperature is fluctuating or staying cooler than you’d like, reach out for assistance!

5. Uneven Temperatures in the Home

Speaking of adjusting the thermostat, are you experiencing uneven temperatures around your home or even in individual rooms? It could be a sign that it’s time to schedule a heating service!

For the most part, heaters should be able to heat entire homes. If you have individual baseboard heaters for each room, they should be able to fill that room.

If this isn’t happening, it means that your heater isn’t working as well as it should. It’s time for an inspection so a heating specialist can diagnose the problem!

6. It’s Been a Long Time Since Your Last Inspection or Replacement

Unfortunately, heaters get old. When they get old, they’re no longer as efficient as they should be, and that means they’ll need more frequent inspections or repairs, and eventually, replacements.

With good upkeep, heaters last longer, but you can still expect to need a replacement in about twenty years, sometimes less depending on when the heater was initially manufactured. Newer heaters may last longer than older heaters.

Having an old heater doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be something wrong with it, but getting it checked out at the beginning of the cold season can be worth your while, even if it’s not displaying any signs that it’s not working.

It’s best to be proactive.

Do You Need Professional Heating Services?

If any of these signs sound familiar, you may want to consider professional heating services for your home, especially as the weather gets cooler. The last thing you want is for your heater to malfunction on a cold winter night!

At Anton’s HVAC in St. Louis, we can help. Contact us to schedule a service with one of our experienced heating professionals today.

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