Here are 10 reasons why your heater is broken:
1. The heater has less dust on the fins than before!
If you remove your heater cover, you can check if your heater is dirty by checking how much dust is on the heater fins (top of heater barrel). If there’s a lot of dust, it means that heater burned more hot air during winter; if there is little or no dust; heater didn’t do much this winter.
We learned that heater stops heating if it does not have enough “dust” to burn. So heater uses up all dust particles on the heater fins until there are none left – heater gives up.
2. Duct tape wasn’t thick enough!
Duct tape is used by many people as a quick fix – they put duct tape over cracks to keep heat inside the house during winter. The problem with this trick is that duct tape can only withstand certain amount of heat before it starts melting and falling off the surface of heater’s cover (black plastic piece surrounding heater). If you applied too little duct tape, heater will work harder to try to get out through broken spots in your heater cover – heater will fail.
3. Our heater has rust on it!
If your heater is covered with rust, this means that heater was leaking steam most of the winter – heater stopped working after all leaks were stopped. If you used plenty of duct tape for a long time (at least 2 months), it means that heater didn’t leak much during winter and heater might still be fine. If heater starts leaking again soon after you apply more duct tape, then it’s possible that heater didn’t stop leaking completely during winter – heater failed suddenly because of too many leaks.
4. We saw big blobs of ice inside house!
If there are big frozen lumps inside some parts of your home, this usually means that those parts of heater were not hot enough (heater doesn’t work if heater fins are too cold). So heater tried to heat those parts as much as heater could – heater failed.
5. We heard loud noises coming from heater!
This can mean that there is something broken inside your heater and heater does everything it can to fix the problem: makes noise, shakes itself and eventually gives up and stops working. Sometimes people replace their whole heater when they hear these sounds because they assume that they need to replace their heater, but actually it’s possible that all you need is a new piece for the outside of your heater (heat exchanger?)… Check out this video to see what we’re talking about:
6. Heater gave us dry air!
Heaters are supposed to release moist hot air, but some heater models might stop releasing moisture completely. This is especially common with heater models that have heater/filter units inside heater barrel – heater doesn’t work properly if heater fins get clogged with dust. It’s quite easy to tell if it’s dry or not: put your hand near heater or take a clean towel and make sure you feel some warmth before you see your towel starting to dry up (moisture will evaporate). If there is no moisture, then check how much dust is on the heater fins – more dust means less moisture.
If there was too much humidity in winter, this can also cause problems with heater. Our house got lots of mold during last winter because heater wasn’t working properly and heater didn’t get chance to burn all humidity that was inside house. You can check how much moisture there is in the air by putting a bowl of water near heater (without wetting heater cover!) and see if it starts steaming after some time (indicates too much humidity). If there was too much humidity, heater should be fixed so it stops dripping water on heater fins/cover – heater needs to be able to keep up with moistening air.
7. We heard weird clicking/knocking noise coming from heater!
If your heater makes “click” or other knocking noise, this means that heater internals are not moving correctly and parts inside heater bump into each other while trying to do their normal heater thing. Most likely, heater needs its parts lubricated so they can move freely inside heater – oil heater!
8. We saw lots of condensation on windows!
If there is too much moisture in the air, heater will have a hard time trying to heat rooms because heater doesn’t work if fins get clogged with water droplets all the time. Condensation can also indicate that your water heater is not working properly and it’s using up too much energy (heater works harder when you use hot water). Fixing heater can help reduce condensation on windows dramatically.
9. Heater used to work fine, but now it suddenly stopped heating rooms!
If something suddenly changed or went wrong with your heater during last winter, heater might have started leaking. If heater suddenly stopped working, heater might have given up/failed completely due to too many leaks.
10. We heard weird noises coming from heater and we smelled something burning!
If you hear something weird with heater during winter (clicking, banging or whining noise), then there is a problem with heater and it needs fixing ASAP – heater might not be able to keep up with heating and could start catching fire! Smell of smoke also means that there is probably still some fire inside heater… So if you smell something burning with heater, don’t wait until your heater catches on fire or turns red hot! Try to fix it as soon as possible!
Heater is an important part of our heater, but heater also needs fixing from time to time. If heater doesn’t work properly, heater can cause lots of problems such as dry air and condensation on windows (in winter).