common heater issues

Have you noticed a lack of hot air coming from your vents? Maybe you’ve had a sudden spike in your energy bill? At McCullough Air Conditioning and Heating, we’re here to answer all of your heater-related questions, Niceville!

We’ve created a list of some of the most common heater issues and some likely causes. Keep reading to solve those mysterious furnace troubles.

Problem: My Electricity Bill Has Skyrocketed

If you’ve noticed a major increase in your electricity bill, your furnace could be the culprit. When a heating system starts to age, more problems will arise including increased electricity bills.

Cause: Ductwork Issues or Old Furnace

A sudden spike in your energy bill could be caused by several things, but two of the most common sources are leaky ductwork and a furnace at the end of its life.

If there is a leak in your ducts, your system loses the ability to distribute air or heat evenly throughout your house. To keep up with the demands of the thermostat, your heater has to strain to sustain the temperature. This means that your system is working harder and running longer, causing an increase in your energy bill.


If your system is at the end of its life, it may be time for a replacement. The average lifespan of a furnace is about 20 years. Some signs that your system may be failing are:

  • Uneven heating
  • Loud noises coming from the furnace
  • Needing frequent repairs
  • Dry or dusty air

Problem: My Indoor Air Quality Has Taken a Turn For the Worse

Your indoor air quality is a vital part of your home’s ecosystem and can have major effects on your health. If you’ve noticed that your air feels stuffy or you’ve been waking up lately with headaches, you may be experiencing the effects of lowered air quality in your home.

Cause: Dirty Ducts or Dirty Air Filters

If your air quality has suddenly gotten worse, be sure to check your furnace and air filters. We recommend checking the filters once a month and changing them roughly once every 90 days. How long a filter lasts will depend on how many pets you have in the home, the size of your home, and if anyone in your home has allergies.


If your filters are fine, you may be dealing with dirty ductwork. Check your vents for noticeable dirt and clean them yourself, or call us to have one of our professionals perform a thorough cleaning of your ducts.

Problem: Strange Smells Are Coming From My Heater

Heaters can give off a number of smells. Some common ones are burning dust, electrical or mechanical smells, rotten eggs, mold and smoke.

Cause: Possible Mechanical Issues

If your heater is emitting a strange smell, this could be cause for concern. While a burning dust smell is normal when you turn on your heater for the first time in winter, a persistent odor means it’s time to call a professional.


You could have faulty parts in your system that need fixing immediately. Call McCullough and we will be happy to help!

Problem: Water Is Pooling Around My Heater

Have you noticed water collecting on the floor around your heating unit or rust stains on cabinets around your heater? This could be an issue!

Cause: Improper Drainage

If you’ve got water pooling around your unit, you’ve most likely got a clogged condensation drain. Your condensation drain allows for runoff of water that is collected from your AC coils. When the drainage system has a clog, the water will spill out onto your floor.


Your clog may be caused by a buildup of bacteria or mold, which can be fixed by pouring a cup of bleach into your condensation line to clear the blockage.

How Can Preventative Heater Maintenance Help?

Getting an HVAC tune-up is crucial to stay one step ahead of catastrophic heater problems. At McCullough, we strongly recommend scheduling HVAC maintenance twice a year to make sure everything is running smoothly. When you schedule your heater tune-up with us, we will

  • Check parts to make sure everything is working
  • Clean all coils and air filters
  • Adjust settings for efficiency
  • Answer all of your heating and cooling questions

What If I Need Heater Repair?

When it comes time for major heater repair, we’ve got you covered. We know that you want a smooth experience that won’t make you go broke. We’ll answer any questions you may have while repairing your heater at a price that won’t break the bank.

Call McCullough For Your Heater Services, Niceville!

Whether you have questions about your heater, or you’re ready to schedule a repair, replacement, or biannual maintenance, McCullough is here to help. We’ve served Niceville and the surrounding area for years and your comfort is our passion.

Call us today to schedule!