Home Heater Not Working? Check These 3 Things

Senior woman cleaning her home heating system with a piece of cloth.
When it’s close to freezing outside, the last thing you need is a cold house. Thanks to a malfunctioning heating system. When your heater stops working, your first instinct is likely to call an HVAC specialist to come and fix it. But before you make that call, you may want to try and troubleshoot the problem yourself. Here are three things you should check for to see if you can get your furnace running on your own.

1.     Check Your Thermostat

This may seem like a no-brainer, but in most cases, the thermostat is the problem. Check to ensure the thermostat is on “heat” or “automatic” setting. And is set at least five degrees above room temperature. If it’s set to “cool” or it’s on “heat,” but set at a lower temperature than the room, your heating system won’t turn on. With a programmable thermostat, make sure the time and date settings are correct. If your home’s thermostat runs on batteries, try using a fresh pair. Be sure to replace your thermostat batteries every few months. If you’ve done all this and your furnace still won’t work, check your circuit breaker and furnace fuse to see if it has been tripped, burnt, or blown. If that’s the case, contact an HVAC company.

2.     Check Your Air Filters

When was the last time you changed your heating system’s air filters? Filters keep dust, allergens, pollen particles, and other pollutants from entering your home. If you don’t change your filters regularly, dirt and grime can build up. Clogging them and causing the air handler to work twice as hard to compensate for the blocked airflow. This can cause your furnace to overheat and shut down. You can tell that it’s time to replace your filters if no light shines through. And if there’s a dirty, dusty smell coming in from the vents when the blower turns on. When replacing your filter, turn off the furnace and check the filter point’s direction. Filters are designed to trap debris blown from one direction. So if you install the new filter incorrectly, you’ll end up reducing its effectiveness. After replacing the filters, make sure the furnace door is closed correctly. There’s a safety switch on the furnace door that prevents the burner and fan from running if the door isn’t closed. You should replace your air filters every 1-3 months.

3.     Check the Grilles, Vents, and Ducts for Blockage

Blockage in the grilles, vents, and ducts can restrict airflow. Causing the furnace to work harder than it should. Resulting in overheating or system damage. If your furnace is running but there’s no heat in some rooms, check that furniture, curtains, or boxes aren’t blocking the air register, vents, or grilles. You should also check the intake and exhaust vents for blockage. Since debris, leaves, or even birds can get into your exhaust vent. If you’re still not getting heat in some rooms, check the ductwork and look for gaps between the branching points or sections. You may have blocked or leaky ducts preventing warm air from reaching the rooms. Clean the ducts to remove any obstructions and seal any gaps with duct tape. Be sure to use metal duct tape instead of standard cloth duct tape, too, it may cause ducts to leak.

Problem with Your Heating System? We Can Help Keep You Toasty!

If your heating system isn’t giving you the service you deserve, you can always turn to the professionals at Larry’s Heating and Cooling. We provide exceptional HVAC services to residents in Yankton, SD, and the surrounding communities. You can call us any time for heating and furnace repair service, and we’ll immediately dispatch a team of highly-skilled technicians to your home. Whether it’s a clogged vent, a faulty thermostat, or some other issue, we can get your unit back up and running in no time. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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