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Recognize & Prevent Common Heating Issues in Your Older Home

Heating, Older Homes

feet resting on the white, warm radiator

With the frigid cold of winter in the Chicago North Shore, homeowners of older houses in this area often face unique challenges when it comes to heating their homes efficiently and safely. Older homes can be charming and full of character, but their aging heating systems may not be up to the task of keeping you warm and cozy throughout the winter.

At American Vintage Home, we’re known as the Older Home Experts for a reason. Our team has vast experience in providing modern comforts to older homes in the Chicago area, so you can count on us for expert solutions. In this blog, our HVAC experts share ways to prevent common heating issues that we see in vintage homes.

1. Inefficient Furnaces

Many older homes rely on a furnace for heat. These furnaces can become inefficient over time due to wear and tear, resulting in increased energy consumption and higher heating bills.

The best way to avoid a decline in efficiency is to schedule regular maintenance. It’s important to have your furnace inspected and serviced annually by a professional HVAC technician, so that they can clean and tune up your furnace, ensuring it operates at peak efficiency.

If your furnace is on its last legs, though, professional maintenance isn’t enough to make it more efficient. Instead, you’ll want to consider replacing your old furnace with a high-efficiency model. Newer furnaces are designed to use fuel more efficiently, reducing energy costs in the long run.

2. Heat Pump Provides Insufficient Heat

While heat is right there in the name, heat pumps may actually have a hard time keeping your home warm during the winter. Heat pumps are designed to provide both heating and cooling, but older heat pumps struggle to provide heat when the temperatures drop below freezing. Because the Chicago area has such intense winters, a heat pump alone may not be enough to keep your home warm.

To prevent your heat pump from overworking, install a furnace or other secondary heat source that can provide additional warmth during extremely cold weather.

3. Uneven Heating From a Boiler

Boilers are commonly found in older homes, as they can be paired with radiators to provide an even and comfortable heat. However, they can develop issues that cause uneven heating, making some parts of your home feel like a sauna while others are still freezing.

One of the most common reasons a boiler fails to evenly heat your home is because it has not been properly bled. Radiator bleeding refers to a process that helps remove trapped air from your boiler heating system, as trapped air can impede heat distribution. Another way to prevent issues with your boiler is to schedule annual maintenance. A professional technician can identify and address issues before they become major problems.

4. Leaking Radiator

Radiators are a classic heating method in older homes, but they can develop leaks that are damaging to your home and the heating system itself. If you use radiators in your home, you should regularly inspect them for leaks. If you notice any, have them repaired promptly to prevent further damage.

To avoid leaks in your radiators, ensure that all radiators in your home are balanced. This means adjusting the valves to distribute heat evenly throughout the house.

5. Inadequate Insulation & Drafts

Many older homes suffer from poor insulation, which can lead to drafts and also make it difficult to maintain a consistent and comfortable indoor temperature.

To address your older home’s insulation problems, consider investing in improvements such as adding insulation to your attic, walls, and floors. Adequate insulation can significantly reduce heat loss and also helps your HVAC systems to work more efficiently, which saves you money. There are also some simple steps you can take as the homeowner, such as sealing any drafts around windows, doors, and gaps in walls. Weatherstripping and caulking can be effective in preventing cold air from infiltrating your home.

Call American Vintage Home for Heating Services

Heating problems in older homes can be frustrating, but our team at American Vintage Home is here to help. We have extensive experience working with the older homes in the Chicago North Shore area, so you can count on us for HVAC solutions that ensure your home is comfortable without compromising its vintage charms. From boiler repairs to furnace maintenance to heat pump replacements, our team can do it all.

Stay warm and cozy this winter by calling American Vintage Home at (847) 999-4595 to schedule heating services in the Chicago area.

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