It’s a distressing feeling when the temperature is plummeting outside and so is the temperature inside your house. If your furnace is waving a white flag, you need to do something quick. For two of the more popular heating systems, these simple steps will help you determine if you need to call in the pros.
Basics for All Heating Repairs
No matter your type of furnace, some common elements to check include the following items.
- Make sure the filter is clean and installed correctly.
- Check your flue to make sure it is not obstructed. Birds like to use this area to build nests. Make sure the top of the flue on the roof has a cap on it.
- Investigate if your duct work has become disconnected or is leaking, causing your heat to flow into the attic—robbing your house of warmth and your wallet of money!
- Make sure your thermostat is working properly.
- Clean the blower fans and oil the fan motor. Check your manual for specific instructions on these points.
- Clean the room registers and vacuum the cold air returns to keep them freely operating.
- First of all, check to see if the pilot light is on. Try lighting it if it is off; of course do not do this if you suspect a gas leak. Check your furnace manual for safety instructions on how to light the pilot light.
- If your furnace delays coming on and is then followed by a booming noise, your burner could be clogged. Clean the burner using a wire brush and vacuum up the fragments.
Realize that most homes with heat pumps also have a supplemental heating system installed, which kicks on when conditions are not favorable for the heat pump to operate.
- Frequent cycling of your heat pump could be caused by oversized equipment.
- If your breaker frequently trips or fuses keep blowing, this could mean undersized wiring to your supplemental heating system.
- If your home is not warm enough, this could, again, signal a problem with your supplemental heating system—it may not be functioning properly to back up the heat pump.
Obviously, a heating repair is often best left to the pros. When dealing with a gas furnace be aware of the possibility of a gas leak and leave the house immediately if you suspect this. Do not flip on any light switches or light any matches. A good rule is to always start the season with a furnace inspection to head off any potential problems. Always call a reputable heating service expert whose charges for services are in line with what the rest of what the industry is charging.
Following these simple rules and calling in the pros when needed will help insure you and your family stay snug and warm when winter cold comes calling.