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HELP! My Heat is Blowing Cold Air!

audio, podcast, Heat blowing cold airWe’ll frequently encounter a caller complaining about their heating system blowing cold air.  We may ask a few other questions but it comes down to this: what temperature is the thermostat set to and what temperature is it reading in the house?  The answer to those questions can often expose the problem without a service call.

Gas Furnace vs Electric Heat Pump

feeling cold, cold air blowing, chilledSuppose the caller tells us that the thermostat is set to 70 degrees and the room temperature is reading around 70 as well, but they still feel cold air blowing from the system.  This is often a clue that this homeowner is experiencing their first winter with a heat pump instead of a furnace - in other words, electric heat rather than gas heat.  Here’s the real issue: Gas heat is much hotter coming out of the vents than electric heat.  A gas furnace puts out 130 to 140 degree air.   In contrast, a heat pump may only put out air at about 85-92 degrees. But regardless of the heat source, both types of heating systems are able to maintain the inside house temperature at 70 degrees.  Our body temperature is normally 98.6 degrees.  Gas heat puts out air that is much hotter than our body temperature, so it feels warm.  Electric heat puts out air lower than our body temperature, so by comparison, it feels cold.  Additionally, because gas heat puts out hotter air, it does not need to blow as hard or as long as electric heat to achieve the same room temperature.  Frequent blowing causes evaporation from the skin which naturally cools the body, and may make us feel chilled.  So, if this is your first winter with a heat pump, and the air temperature is keeping close to what whatever you’ve set the thermostat to, there likely is no problem with your heating unit.  It just might take some getting used to.

Switch Fan to AUTO

Thermostat modes, thermostat settings, fan auto, heat modeHere’s another possibility:  Remember how we said blowing air helps cool you?  In the summertime, it is often helpful to turn the fan setting on your thermostat to “On” – so it runs all the time – rather than “Auto” – where it only blows when the unit kicks on.  But in the winter, you’ll want to set the fan back to “Auto”.  Just like on a windy day, blowing air makes us feel colder than the actual air temperature.  In between the heat cycling on, the air inside the ducts may cool below the “usual” heated air temperature, so if the fan is on all the time, it will be blowing cooler air at you until the heating unit kicks back on.  Avoid a service call by just manually switching the fan setting on your thermostat to “Auto” in the winter.

Service Call? Things You Can Check

But, if the room air temperature is really well below the thermostat setting, then you may indeed have a problem!  The outdoor unit may have iced up, or your system may have a bad reversing value or compressor, or the refrigerant may be low (yes, you still need refrigerant for heat!).  Any one of those things will likely require a service call.  But here are some things you can check and might be able to fix yourself.  Is the thermostat switched to cool mode instead of heat mode?  Turn it off, and then flip it to heat mode.  hole in duct, ductwork leakIf your ductwork goes through an attic, crawl space or basement, are there open windows in those areas?  Does the ductwork have a hole in it or has it become separated from the main trunk?  Those things will need to be fixed before it’s possible to determine whether there is an actual mechanical problem with your heating system.

Not As Warm As You'd Like?

If you live in the Nashville or surrounding area, and your heating unit is not keeping you as warm as you’d like, give us a call at 615-832-8500. We’re here for you.

Important Tips & Advice

 

 

You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.

Dispatch

We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call

Maintenance

Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.

Commercial

Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School