How to Troubleshoot a Heater That Doesn’t Work: A Brief Guide

What to Check First When the Heater Isn’t Working

Having a working heater is essential for both safety and comfort during the long winter months. And if a home’s heater should go on the fritz, there’s no time to waste in getting it up and running again. So, it only makes sense that homeowners’ first instinct is to call a dependable professional to come out and fix the furnace or heater as soon as possible. But in some cases, the issue may be something homeowners can resolve on their own. This article will share three things every homeowner can check before calling a professional for heater repair.

Thermostat Setting and Batteries

thermostatWhen troubleshooting a malfunctioning heater, there’s no better place to start than the thermostat. It’s surprisingly common for the thermostat to simply be on the wrong setting – and while homeowners may feel silly for having missed it, they’ll also feel immense relief upon discovering that nothing is wrong with their heater. So check that the thermostat is set to heat instead of cooling. 

When double-checking their thermostat settings, homeowners should also check that the fan setting is in the “auto” position. If set to “on,” the system may blow air constantly even though the air isn’t being heated, making it seem like the heater is broken. And if the thermostat uses batteries, it wouldn’t hurt to replace them and see if that helps since low batteries may cause the thermostat to act up or glitch out.

Air Filters 

air filter The next thing people should check is the state of the HVAC air filters – that is, whether or not they need to be replaced or cleaned. As more and more dirt and debris collect in the filter, the harder it will be for air to travel through the filter media, causing the heating to suffer, and the heater’s blower motor will struggle to circulate air throughout the home. 

The restricted airflow caused by a dirty air filter will not only make it harder for the system to heat the house, but it will also reduce energy efficiency, add wear and tear to the unit, and potentially cause the system to overheat and shut down. Typically, homeowners should perform air filter replacement at least every three months. 

Does the Unit Have Power?

Finally, homeowners should ensure the heater has power before concluding that the system needs repair. Every HVAC system has a power switch (often called a disconnect switch) installed on a nearby wall or the unit itself. This switch may simply have been turned off by accident – an understandable mistake, considering that it often looks like an ordinary light switch.

Upon finding and flipping the power switch, if the system doesn’t turn back on within a few minutes, homeowners should check their electrical panel for tripped circuits or blown fuses. If the heater’s circuit has tripped or its fuse has blown, they can simply flip the breaker back on or replace the fuse, and that should resolve the issue. Sometimes, the thermostat may be on a separate circuit, so it’s worth checking all the breakers and fuses (hopefully, they’re clearly labeled).

Suppose none of the easy fixes mentioned above do the trick. In that case, it’s time to call a heating repair specialist to diagnose and fix the issue, as this indicates a more serious problem requiring professional attention. But if it comes to that, homeowners will know that they did everything they could before enlisting the help of a professional. 

About Hall Heating and Air

Hall Heating and Air is a trusted company that has been serving Pampa and the surrounding areas for more than 40 years. They offer straightforward pricing, on-time service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for heater repair and maintenance in Pampa, TX

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