Winter HVAC Problems | Chrismon Heating & Cooling

Pushing buttons on a thermostat

During winter, many homeowners face the uncomfortable truth that their HVAC unit may have some issues. Mechanical systems are never perfect, and HVAC units are no different. In this article, we'll discuss some common problems associated with an HVAC unit during the winter season and what to do if you encounter one of these problems. 

Frozen Pipes

During winter, one of the most common HVAC problems homeowners face is frozen pipes. When water freezes in these pipes, it can create a high level of pressure that causes them to burst. 

This sudden event can lead to big messes and expensive repairs. If you start to notice that something's off with your system, like a lack of airflow and faint banging noises, chances are you have frozen pipes. 

To ensure they don't cause further damage, you shouldn't try to defrost the pipes yourself. Instead, you should call your local HVAC technician for help. They have the necessary tools and expertise to protect your home from long-term damage.

Restricted Airflow

Another common issue is restricted airflow, which can cause a freezing room on one end, and a toasty room on the other. Restricted airflow could result from many different issues, such as:

  • Blocked fans.
  • Problems with the filter or furnace motor.
  • Obstructed vents.
  • Dirty air ducts.
  • Leaky ductwork. 

In any case, it's essential to identify what might be causing this issue so you can keep your family warm in these cold months.

Thermostat Issues

With thermostats as the brains of a system, you may be surprised by how many problems can stem from them. Malfunctioning thermostats are common, ranging from outdated models to faulty electronics. You might be dealing with inconsistent temperatures due to miscalibration or damaged sensing elements.

If your furnace doesn't turn on and off automatically when it's supposed to, you could be looking at continued issues with your thermostat throughout the season. Beyond those scenarios, it's easy to find that your thermostat has no power. If you're having any of these issues, it's a good idea to seek an expert opinion immediately. 

CO Leaks

A carbon monoxide leak is especially dangerous as CO is an odorless and poisonous gas that you may not be aware of in your home. It's important to ensure that your carbon monoxide detector works properly during cold months when leaks are more likely to occur. Taking preventative maintenance steps can help ensure you and your family stay safe.

Clogged or Dirty Filters

During winter, homeowners rely heavily on their heating systems to keep their families comfortable. Unfortunately, that often leads to neglected filters and clogged airways. As dirt and dust accumulate in heater filters, it can cause a decrease in air circulation. 

This winding of the HVAC system eventually leads to poor functioning and a high risk of long-term damage. Thankfully, this common HVAC problem is relatively easy to prevent with filter cleaning and replacement.

Damage to the Exterior Unit

During winter, your exterior HVAC unit is susceptible to damage from the elements like snowfall or ice storms. Ice and snow buildup can also lead to blocked airflows and system malfunction. The weight of heavy snowfall can also cause large branches or trees to fall on the unit, leading to further problems. 

It's important to take preventive action and regularly check on your HVAC system to ensure no major issues arise. Clear snow from the area surrounding the unit regularly and trim branches that pose a potential danger. You can also invest in an HVAC cover that will catch snow before it falls on the unit. 


Poor maintenance is often the underlying cause of many of these problems, so remembering to manage routine maintenance on your system is the best way to proactively avoid costly repairs. If you notice any of these issues, contact us today because our experienced technicians can help get your system running smoothly and restore your comfort.