How Do I Know if I Need Heating Repairs?

freezing man wearing winter coat sits on sofaNow that the cooler temperatures have returned, you might be thinking about your home’s heating system. Is it working as well as it should be? Living in the Northeast, we rely on our heating systems to keep our homes nice and cozy for a long period. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of heating system failure and to act quickly if you notice something isn’t working quite right.

In this article, we’ll talk about the three main types of heating – furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps – and we’ll share with you some of the signs that each type of heating system might show if repairs are needed. And, we’ll tell you how Degree Heating & Cooling can help you get the repairs you need to stay comfortable all winter long. Keep reading to learn more!

Signs Your Furnace, Boiler, or Heat Pump System May Need Repairs

Nobody likes to think about their heating system breaking down when the weather outside becomes chilly. If you are aware of the different signs your system will likely give you before it stops working entirely, it will be easier to call for service and prevent a complete breakdown. Below, learn more about how different heating systems show that they need service.


Most people in the Northeast use furnaces to keep their homes warm when the temperature dips down. Furnaces work by burning fuel, such as oil, propane, or gas, to generate heat in the furnace’s burner. The heat then passes through the system’s heat exchanger, where air from the home’s ductwork is heated and then distributed throughout the house. Some common signs your furnace will give if it needs repair include:

  • Increased energy bills: This is because when a furnace needs repair, it often must work harder to keep your home warm. Many times, a dirty filter is the culprit when it comes to furnace inefficiency, but it’s a good idea to have it checked out to make sure nothing else might be wrong.
  • Strange noises: If your furnace is making popping, squealing, or grinding sounds, it’s likely that an inner component is worn out or has moved out of place. Call an HVAC professional when you hear an unusual noise coming from your furnace because if left unchecked, more damage can occur.
  • Frequent cycling: If your furnace seems to be turning on and off frequently, there are a variety of reasons it may be doing so. Your thermostat may be malfunctioning, your furnace may be the wrong size for your living space, or it may be overheating. Your technician will be able to easily determine the cause.


Boilers are the second most common type of home heating equipment. They work by heating water using a fuel source, like oil or gas. The water (or steam, depending on the type of boiler you have), then moves through a series of radiators which are placed throughout the home to provide heating. If your boiler is acting up and needs repair, you may notice:

  • Rumbling or popping noises: If you notice that your boiler is making unusual noises, such as rumbling or popping, there could be an issue with the pump. If the sounds are coming from inside your boiler tank, there is likely a buildup of sediment at the bottom of your tank, which can cause your boiler to overheat.
  • Leaking: A leaking boiler needs to be checked out by a professional right away. Boiler leaks indicate a definite problem with your boiler, such as a faulty seal or valve. If left unchecked, leaks can cause damage to the equipment itself, electrical components within the boiler, and the surrounding area.
  • Heating delays: If you’ve noticed that it takes a lot longer for your home to heat up, even though the boiler is still working, there might be some issues with the water or steam circulation within your boiler system. Older boilers may need to be replaced in this instance, but a newer boiler can likely be repaired.

Heat Pump Systems

Heat pump systems are gaining more popularity in the Northeast, as new technologies have made them much more compatible with cold climates. They are highly energy-efficient and do not rely on fossil fuels to operate. They heat your home by removing heat held in outdoor air (or in the ground in geothermal systems) and pumping it into your home. Some signs your heat pump may give you if it requires repair include:

  • Restriction in airflow: Heat pump systems need optimal airflow to perform properly and keep your home at a steady temperature. If air is blocked from the heat pump by dust, dirt, or other foreign objects, you will notice that your home is less comfortable. This can often be remedied easily by cleaning the filter, but you should rely on an HVAC professional to be certain.
  • Constant operation: Your heat pump should not run constantly. There could be an issue with the thermostat, or compressor problems. Of course, a snap of unusually cold weather can prompt your heat pump to operate more frequently, but you should call for service if it is an ongoing concern.
  • Unpleasant odors: The heated air coming from your heat pump system should not smell bad. A rotten odor could indicate a bird or rodent got into your system and perished. Musty odors are indicative of mold growth within the unit, and a burning smell can indicate an issue with electrical components.

Whether you have a furnace, boiler, or heat pump system, it’s important to have it checked out at the first sign of concern by a qualified HVAC professional.

Can Degree Heating & Cooling help me with my heating concerns?

We can! At Degree, we take great pride in helping people get the heating services they need, including repair, maintenance, and replacement. Our priority is to provide customer satisfaction and improve your comfort. When you have heating concerns, you can count on us to meet your needs. Call Degree Heating & Cooling at (860) 633-6122 and one of our friendly associates will be happy to help you schedule a heating service call.