HVAC Heating FAQ’s

What are the most important things I need to remember when heating my new home in the winter?

Question: Will it affect the heat in my home if I have my window coverings open rather than closed?

Answer: Yes
Having coverings such as drapes, solar shades, or other window treatments that help retain heat slightly open will help prevent condensation and cold air from getting into the home. Remember to keep them mostly closed to help retain the warmth.

Question: Is it okay to have some of the registers closed in my home during the winter?

Answer: No
Do not fully close registers or have them obstructed (i.e. furniture on top of it) Keeping them open allows for air to flow properly as it is designed. When air balancing (if needed) make sure to leave a register slightly open. For information about air balancing please reference the resources in your HBLW (Home Builder Limited Warranty)

Question: Will it affect my heater if I set my thermostat back more than 5° Degrees?

Answer: Yes
Do not set your thermostat back more than 5° Degrees (unless you are going out of town). Make sure to start your system early, allowing the home a couple days to work its way to your ideal temperature. Once at your ideal temp. only raise or lower within 5° Degrees. Remember also that forced air systems are not designed to heat every room at the same temperature. With this, make sure to not over heat your home. You want to gradually increase the heat in your new home.

Question: Will the Fireplace effect what temperature my thermostat reads?

Answer: Yes
When turning on the fireplace the home will read an inaccurate temperature possibly effecting the thermostats heating. A fireplace is best for temporary space heating and is not meant to heat the whole home.

Question: I turned on my heater for the first time after being off all summer and it is giving off a smell. Is this normal?

Answer: Yes
When turning on your heater it may emit an odor because of the dust that had settled in the ducts. It will pass quickly and can be prevented by cleaning your ducts before turning on your heater for the winter.

Question: Is condensation on windows normal in the winter?

Answer: Yes
This is a result of cold air outside and hot air inside touching through glass resulting in condensation.

Question: Is it normal for my basement to be colder than upstairs?

Answer: Yes
In Colorado the basement/underground living spaces tend to be cooler than upper levels in the home due to being underground and because heat rises. As well some details of the home such as style of the home, room orientation, size of windows, window coverings, and door usage can affect the temperature in the home.

Question: Is it normal for my ducts to be making noise when I turn on my heater?

Answer: Yes
Some sounds are normal and are a result of the ductwork heating and cooling in response to airflow as the system operates. Noises could also be caused by the relation of the heating ducts to the plumbing lines.

Question: Can I make changes to my HVAC system?

Answer: Not without a professional HVAC technician
If you want to make changes or add anything to your HVAC system please contact the HVAC company that is listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers sheet you received at the closing of your new home. Having another company modify your heating system during the warranty period will void that portion of your limited warranty.

Question: Does my furnace have a switch?

Answer: Yes
Your furnace has and on-off blower switch. Most cases this switch looks like a regular light switch. When it is off the switch will override all furnace commands and will shut the blower down. Normally this is done when maintenance service is being done but be cautious sometime children may accidently turn it off as well using this switch.

Question: Are there tips on how to troubleshoot my system when there is no heat?

Answer: Yes
Before you reach out to the HVAC company listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers sheet here are some tips you can try:

  • Check that the thermostat is set to “heat” and the temperature that you have it set to is above the current room temperature.
  • Make sure that the furnace fan is installed correctly. If this is installed incorrectly the fan will not operate. This panel compresses a button that tells the blower it is safe to operate.
  • Check that the breaker on the main electrical panel is on. If a breaker trips you have to turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.
  • Check if the furnace switch is on.
  • Check to see if the gas line is open at the main meter and at the side of the furnace.
  • Check to see if the filter is clean to allow airflow.
  • Look in all rooms to see if individual vents are open.
  • Check if the air returns are unobstructed.
  • Look to see if the exhaust vent is not blocked by snow or ice.

If you are still having issues after going through these troubleshooting tips please contact the HVAC company listed on your Emergency Phone Numbers sheet for further assistance.

NOTE: Make sure to never block exhaust, combustion, or fresh air vents. With heavy snow, regularly check to ensure the exterior vent is free of snow in order to draw combustion air in so that the furnace can function. If this vent is covered and air cannot circulate, the system will shut down.