A broken heating system can be frustrating, but what’s just as frustrating is finding out that you could solve the problem on your own—after you’ve already called in a technician. This happens fairly often. Our professional heating technicians show up to a job, only to have to break it to the homeowner that there was a simple fix they missed.
Most repairs are things that should only be left up to professional heating technicians. However, these are a few of the things you can look at or try before giving us a call.
#1: Check the Air Filter
This is good advice to take when your heating system (a furnace, or even a heat pump) is just not functioning right. It may not have shut down completely, but temperatures are not what you would like, or airflow is inhibited. Alternatively, you might notice that the heater shuts off and turns on too often (short-cycling).
While this could indicate any of several heating issues, you might need to change the air filter. That’s right: a clogged filter can do major damage to a heating system, mainly because it stops air from getting through as needed to function properly. Change the filter every month or two. Even if it doesn’t look dirty, you may want to try this first before calling a technician.
#2: Check the Thermostat
You may roll your eyes at this suggestion, since you’ve probably checked the thermostat once or twice already. Still, there could be something you are missing.
- Have the automatic settings been changed? Is your thermostat set to operate as though the home is unoccupied?
- Is there a switch on the side of the thermostat? Has it been turned off or put into cooling mode?
- Do you see the words “fan only” on the display or on a switch?
- If the thermostat is off, does it need batteries?
#3: Reset the Circuit Breaker
The electrical panel may be composed of several circuit breaker switches, or you may have an older fuse box. First, you’ll have to find the fuse or circuit breaker that leads to your furnace. Hopefully these are labeled; if not, you may need to test each one. You can flip the switch on a circuit breaker box or replace a blown fuse for an older electrical panel.
#4: Call the Gas Company
Finally, you might want to call the gas company. But first, try your other gas appliances. If the oven or the hot water heater aren’t working, you may have missed a payment, or the gas service may have made a mistake. On the other hand, the gas valve may have been shut off.
If you smell gas and suspect this is at fault, it’s time to vacate the home. A gas leak is not something you can fix on your own. Here’s some more advice from PSE&G on what to do if you smell gas in your home.
Contact MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. for same-day heating service in Livingston, NJ. Our technicians are here to help!