Now is not the time to be without heat, as cold weather is just around the corner. What do you do if your furnace breaks down or doesn’t provide enough heat?
Maintenance costs on a furnace are mostly affordable, and a technician should be able to provide a clear picture of your heating system. Proper care and maintenance will keep your furnace operating efficiently.
Many people call for service right away; however, before calling in the professionals, there are some very simple items you can check on your own and maybe even resolve the problem with little cost.
- Are the batteries in the thermostat still good?
- Is the breaker in the electric panel on?
- Is the power switch at the furnace on?
- Do you have a clogged or extremely dirty filter inside the unit?
- Is the thermostat set properly – heat in winter and cool for summer?
- Is the furnace flue free of debris?
- Are your vents open?
- If you have an older gas furnace, is the pilot light lit?
If you are not comfortable with checking any of these items, then you should call a service technician.
If you have a gas furnace, you might want to first check to make sure the gas service has not been terminated. Sometimes the gas company will turn off service without notice if a leak has been detected.
Common issues can be due to the thermostat. Set the thermostat to a temperature that will turn on the furnace. Often, simply replacing a thermostat solves the problem. Filters are another common problem. Homeowners forget to replace a filter, and when it becomes clogged or dirty, airflow is weakened, which leads to problems with the furnace.
When Is It Time to Call in a Repair Person?
If you have checked all the basics, and you still don’t have heat or air conditioning (in the summer months) – then it’s time to call in a professional.
To prevent future problems, there are some basic maintenance and repairs homeowners can do. It is recommended that you enlist a professional to check the system twice a year. In between checks, it’s good to replace filters every one-to-two months during peak usage times. For cooling, you should keep debris and grass off the outdoor unit.
Always remember that prevention is the best answer – especially for gas furnaces. Check-ups should be done in the spring for an air conditioning unit and in the fall for your furnace.