When your heater decides to malfunction in the middle of winter, you immediately go into panic mode. You probably automatically anticipate a call to your heating repair company. Luckily, issues with your heater don't also require professional attention. In fact, some heating problems can be easily remedied without the assistance of a repair technician. If your heater isn't working properly, use this simple troubleshooting guide to rule out minor problems before you call a repair technician.
Is the Filter Clean?
If your heater has stopped working properly, the first thing you'll need to do is check the filter. This is particularly true if the unit is running but you're not getting air through the vents. A clogged filter can shut your heater down fast. Your heater needs sufficient airflow to work properly. When the filter gets clogged with dirt and debris, air can't flow through the way that it should, so your heater needs to work harder to heat your home. Eventually, the heater will overheat and shut down. For best results, you should change your filter at least once every three months. A good way to remember to change your filter is to replace it at the end of each season.
Is the Thermostat Working Properly?
If your heater isn't turning on, it's time to test the thermostat. This is particularly important if your heater requires batteries for operation. Look at the faceplate. If the digital numbers aren't visible on the display, try replacing the batteries. While you're changing the batteries, take a look at the wires. If you see any loose connections, tighten them down and try turning your heater on again.
Is There a Problem with the Ducts?
If you've changed the filter and tested the thermostat, but your heater still won't work properly, you should inspect the ducts. This is particularly true if you've had a problem with rodents this winter, or you've been packing boxes into the attic. Rodents can chew through the ducts, creating vacuum leaks, which can cause your heater to malfunction. If you've been packing boxes in the attic, something could have fallen over and crushed a section of duct work, which will also cause a vacuum leak. Inspect your ductwork, and then test your heater again.
If your heater has stopped working in the middle of winter, don't panic. Use the information provided here to rule out the problem. If you continue to have problems with your heater, be sure to contact a repair company like R & B Inc Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as possible.