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January 5, 2017
It’s a scenario that no homeowner ever wants to deal with: You go to turn up your thermostat, only to find that the temperature of your home is steadily decreasing no matter how high you set it at. Dumbfounded, you place your hand near your heating vents—nothing is coming out. It begins to dawn on you that you currently have no heat, while the meteorologist on TV is forecasting the coldest night of the year thus far.
You might feel like breaking down and crying under such circumstances, but the fact is that there are things you can do to get your heating system operating once again—here are just a few tips to help warm things up.
Step 1: Check Your Circuit Breakers and Service Switch
Since electricity is required to operate even furnaces that utilize propane or natural gas as fuel sources, the first place to look when things aren’t operating properly is your circuit breakers. This is especially true for more advanced heating systems, which are susceptible to power outages. Check the circuit breaker, and also take a moment to see if other electrical devices are operating properly. If so, you likely have more than an electrical issue on your hands. Your furnace may also have a safety switch mounted on the side or in proximity to the furnace (sometimes has a red switchplate cover) to shut it off. If so, be sure the switch is in the ON position.
Step 2: Change the Furnace’s Air Filter
So your circuit breaker isn’t showing any issues—it could be the air filter. If your furnace’s air filter ends up getting too dirty, blockages can reduce the volume of hot air put out by your furnace, which can eventually result in complete and total shutdown. Sometimes, switching out the air filter is all that needs to be done to get things working properly again, which is a very inexpensive fix for such a (seemingly) major problem.
Step 3: Check Your Thermostat
This may sound like common knowledge, but you’re going to want to closely inspect your thermostat if you’re not getting any heat to come out of your vents. A common scenario is when the “heating” mode of operation is switched off, which can make it seem as if your furnace is broken. Check to ensure that it’s set properly before investigating further. Older thermostats require calibration and fall out of tolerance over time and may need to be recalibrated or replaced in order to have the room temperature match the setting and operate properly. Lastly, if you have an electronic thermostat, certain models have batteries that require periodic replacement. Pop the thermostat off the mounting base and replace as necessary.
Step 4: Inspect Your Furnace
A number of different factors can result in furnace breakdown. You’ll want to check to see whether or not the blower motor is working properly, for example, as well as whether or not the pilot light is still on (if your furnace is an older model prior to 1992 and is equipped with a pilot light). Finally, if your fuel source is propane, you may want to check to ensure you haven't run out. If everything still checks out at this point, you’re likely out of luck on your own.
Step 5: Call Pippin Brothers
Furnaces that don’t respond to the above treatments need to be investigated by a home heating professional, and Pippin is here to help with repairs and maintenance. We’ll take a close look at what’s behind the issues you’re experiencing and will get your HVAC system operating at peak performance once again.
Don’t suffer in the cold! Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your heater.