Winters in Central Oklahoma aren’t as harsh as they are in other parts of the country, but a broken-down heater is more than an inconvenience! Having reliable heat is a must and a furnace repair can sometimes cost several hundreds of dollars.
There are certainly times when you need a professional out to examine your furnace, but there are some simple things you can check yourself if your furnace is out.
Here are issues we’ve seen clients address on their own. If you’re comfortable with them, trying these out before calling a professional can get your heat back on and save you money!
1. Check your thermostat
This may seem obvious, but that’s often the best place to start! Is the temperature set to where you would like it? Is it set to the on or auto position? Is it set to heat or cool? Have you replaced the battery lately?
Before assuming you have a problem with your heater, it is always best to check the thermostat.
2. Change your air filters
Dirty air filters are the most common cause for issues to your heating or cooling system. Dust and dirt restrict airflow, adding stress to the moving parts in your system. That stress will lead to costly problems if not corrected.
Filters are very inexpensive and can easily be purchased in bulk online. The standard rule of thumb was to change every 3 months, but if you find your filters becoming visibly dirty before then, you may need to change them more often. Many people with pets and children find that’s helpful for their home.
3. Make sure the gas valve and/or the pilot light are on
This is another relatively simple problem to identify. For many Edmond and Oklahoma City area clients, no gas equals no heat. If you have an older furnace or boiler, is your pilot lit? Is it possible you shut one of your gas valves off for some reason and forgot to open it back up?
We have seen these simple items be the cause of having no heat many, many times. And it never hurts to check.
4. Check your circuit breakers and shutoff switches
We always recommend you check the breaker for your furnace or air conditioner if the system is not running, before calling out a service technician. If it’s tripped, you can easily reset it yourself. If this has only happened once or twice, it’s probably not a big deal.
If it is happening more frequently and becoming a nuisance, though, we recommend calling out an HVAC company first, not an electrician.
5. Check your drain lines
Most modern systems have some controls built in to shut your system off if the drain becomes clogged. These safety features are built-in to help prevent damage from overflowing drains. This can actually make it look like your thermostat has quit working, as it will be blank and look powerless.
If the drain pan and related drain for your evaporator coil cannot function properly, the result is expensive water damage to your ceiling, walls or floors. If you can tell that the drain is clogged, you can often flush it with a mixture of 25% bleach to 75% water. There are also cleaning tablets available at your local hardware store.
Before calling out an electrician, you may want to see if any of these five issues is the culprit. You’ll be warmer, and you won’t have to spend money on a service fee!
And of course, if these quick fixes don’t do the trick, or you’d rather have a professional check your system initially, we are happy to send someone out to investigate.