How to Troubleshoot a Problematic Heating System

  • Don Ghanem
  • 2 ago
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Credit: Fotosearch

Having problems with your heating system? It could be that it wont start or is not performing to the expected standards. You need not call the manufacturer every time your furnace won’t start. You can easily fix some of the issues yourself. All you need is a bit of guidance. Here’s your guide to troubleshooting a problematic heating system.

  1. Check the Thermostat

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Ensure that the thermostat is receiving power. A lack of power for the thermostat is usually caused by dead batteries or a lack of connection to a power source. If both the power source and the battery are okay, then you need to reprogram the thermostat. The rule of thumb when dealing with the thermostat is that the setting you key in should always be a higher temperature than the current room temperature. Resetting the thermostat should get the system working again if this is the troubling issue.

  1. Circuit Breakers

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Your circuit breaker could have tripped and is now in the off position. Open the circuit breaker panel and check if this is the case. If it is, switch the breaker on and the flow of power will be restored. If switching on the circuit does not restore power, then you are dealing with an issue that needs the intervention of a professional.

It is worth noting that a tripped circuit is an indication of a number of underlying issues. First, it could mean that a fuse is blown. Secondly, it could suggest that there does exist an overload in the electricity supply to the system. Lastly, it could be attributed to the fact that there might have been a power surge and the system shut down automatically to prevent the unit from burning up.

  1. Drop in Performance Efficiency

The only way to rule out a complex mechanical problem is by switching off the machine and inspecting the air filter and the vents. The reality is that the performance of your unit will be negatively affected if the vents and filters are clogged with dust and grime. The solution to this problem is to replace the vents. Similarly, replace the filter with a suitable one from the manufacturer. Maintenance should be a monthly activity. Some people recommend replacing vents and filters every three months. However, this is not necessary and would have a negative impact on the longevity of your unit.

  1. Pilot Light

If the pilot light goes off, two options are available to you. The first solution is to shut all windows and doors to stop the flow of wind into the room. The second solution is to turn off the gas ignition and turn it on again. These two approaches should light up the pilot light if the issue at hand is minor.

The above are the most common problems that you are likely to encounter when your furnace won’t start. Any other issue that crops up may be best addressed by an expert. Contact your nearest furnace repair workshop and have a professional help with furnace repair.


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