Troubleshooting Your Heating System

Turning up the thermostat

troubleshooting-your-heating-systemIf you call for heat by turning up the thermostat – and nothing happens – don’t panic, says the most reliable Pleasanton heating contractor. Nothing is more frustrating than having equipment fail when you need it.  Anyone who has had the experience knows that a furnace man is hard to find on the first very cold day of heating season.

Gas furnace

Before picking up the phone to call your repair service, try these fixes in this sequence:

1.  Make sure you have turned the thermostat above the current temperature of the room where it is located.

2.  If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure it has fresh batteries.  If in doubt, change them.

3.  Check the emergency switch, usually identified with a red switch plate.  It is often located at the top of the stairs or next to the furnace.  Someone may have turned it off by mistake.  (This is a frequent find on a service call for a homeowner with no heat).

4.  Check your electrical panel.  If the breaker is tripped or the fuse blown, replace the fuse/flip the breaker back to on.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for restarting the furnace.  If you don’t know these, call for service (and learn the startup routine!)  If you know how startup works, try it, and if the breaker flips to “off” again, or the fuse blows, call for service.

5.  Some newer furnaces are vented directly through the wall with plastic (PVC) pipe.  If there is any blockage on the exterior of this pipe, the system will shut down. You can try checking this if it applies to your system.

Preventive Maintenance Tip:  If you are in a new house or condo, the builder may have put in an ordinary switch plate over your emergency switch.  Change to a red plate that says “Emergency” right away.  Unmarked switches can cause a lot of confusion when it is time to power up the heat.

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