Know the Sign of a Malfunctioning Heater This Halloween
The thermostat says 75––but the home feels like an ice box. Sound familiar? Heat loss is just one of the many signs of a broken heater. There are many symptoms of a broken heater, some of which are more obvious than others. This Halloween, one can get chills from a scary movie instead of chills from a cold front. They just have to watch out for these signs:
The Home Never Heats Up
Carmel, Indiana, has amazing autumn weather. It’s brisk during the day, perfect for long walks and kite-flying. At night, however, temperatures can get into the forties. This means the heater has to work to maintain the home’s indoor air quality.
Yet, if the home isn’t heating up, the problem may not lie with the heater. It could rest with:
- Poor power source. Sometimes, power surges can interrupt how the heater operates. If the home experiences a power surge and the heater stops working, one should try resetting the appliance.
- The thermostat. If the thermostat needs batteries (or isn’t giving the right reading), it could prevent the heater from working properly. Qualified professionals note that homeowners should change their thermostats’ batteries at least once a year. They generally take AA or AAA batteries.
A service maintenance professional can evaluate one’s heater and determine why it’s not working properly.
Unusual Sounds Come from the Heater
It’s not unusual for the heater to make a noise when it clicks on. However, if one hears any of these sounds, they should consult a professional:
- Shrieking. Many heaters rely on belts to work; worn belts can cause unpleasant shrieking sounds.
- Banging. No, that’s not a ghost trapped in the wall; it’s likely a problem with the heater’s ignition. The banging comes from small explosions inside the appliance, requiring professional attention.
- Whistling. EnergyStar notes that HVAC systems require new air filters once every three months. Whistling from the heater could mean air isn’t passing through the filter efficiently.
- Rattling. Something could be loose inside the heater, like a bolt or nut.
These sounds will not go away with time. They require a professional to find the problem’s source and address it.
Higher-Than-Usual Energy Bills
Everyone should know how much their energy bills are each month. When they notice an increase and the heater isn’t working properly, this could mean:
- The heater is short-cycling. A functioning heater will heat the home for about 15 minutes, stop for a certain period, then turn back on again. If the heater short-cycles, it constantly turns on and off, wasting energy.
- The heater’s working harder than usual. If the heater struggles to maintain the home’s temperature, it could constantly stay on, requiring energy.
- The thermostat isn’t communicating with the heater. If the thermostat gives incorrect readings, it could send wrong information to the heater. This could make it work “overtime.”
A homeowner can look for changes in their energy bill by checking their online energy account and transaction history.
About Bedell Home Services
Bedell Home Services offers 24-hour help to those living in Carmel, Indiana. Since 1988, they’ve offered plumbing, heating, and other home improvement services to those in the area. Call today for HVAC services. One can even make an appointment (and get coupons) online.
Indicators That a Home’s Water Heater Needs Help
Water heaters are something people tend to take for granted in this country. For the most part, they sit in their little nook in the laundry room or bathroom and just do their job, but as with all appliances, there will come a time, even with proper maintenance, that a hot water heater will need to be replaced. If the model has been working for more than ten years, it will likely be more expensive to find and replace the parts than replacing the whole thing. Likewise, inconsistent water temperatures can result from a faulty water heater that has just exceeded its ability to function. These are not the only indicators of a need for water heater replacement; here are three major issues in detail.
Rumbles, Bangs, and Pops
If a home’s water heater starts making noises such as gurgling, rumbling, or popping, it can indicate that the water heater has sediment build-up. This can be caused by hard water, a corroded pipe or tank, or a bad anode rod. Regular water heater maintenance may be able to clear these issues up without a complete replacement. Here are some of the strategies that a professional plumber might employ:
- Flushing the Tank: This cleaning method empties the hot water tank and uses chemical solvents or cleaners to dissolve the sediment in the tank and flush it out through the sewer system. This can improve noise and make temperatures more consistent and longer-lasting.
- Replacing or Coating Old Pipe or Damaged Tank: If the sediment is coming from the pipes themselves or corrosion in the tank, the pipes and tank can be coated with sealant, or the pipes can be replaced.
- Replacing the Anode Rod: Since the anode rod attracts corrosive materials and corrosion like a magnet, if it is not working properly, these materials will settle into the tank and cause noises or temperature inconsistencies. Replacing the anode rod can often clear things up without completely replacing the water heater.
How Does the Water Look and Smell?
Another problem that is often created by a faulty anode rod is water discoloration or foul odors. If one cannot remove corrosion from the water, it may end up in the homeowner’s bath, dishwasher, or drinking glass. This is usually repaired by simple maintenance of flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod. Sometimes, however, this does not fix the problem. Why might a homeowner continue to see foul-smelling or rusty-colored water? Here is why:
- Corrosion in the tank is too extensive
- Recoating was unsuccessful
- Older pipes
If the water is not cleared up, this may mean that the entire water heater needs to be replaced. Clients should remember that there are many options for water heater replacement, including tankless water heaters or “instant” water heaters.
Indoor Leaks and Water Damage
A corroded hot water tank is responsible for more than just unappealing water; leaks can be a direct result. If there is a leak in a home’s water heater, then one must consult a professional immediately. Water damage caused by even the slowest of leaks can be extensive and can cause structural problems throughout the house. If the leak is caught and fixed early, then one can avoid more expensive problems. Call in the pros, and the job should be quick and easy.
About Bedell Home Services
Bedell Home Services has proudly served the people of Carmel, IN and the surrounding areas for over thirty years. Their workmanship is backed up by an A+ BBB rating and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call today for more information on their water heater services.