Three Common Fixes to Try Before Calling for Heating Service
This time of year, we receive a lot of calls from homeowners requesting heating service. Near the top of the list, we get asked why a furnace is suddenly blowing cold air instead of the warm air meant to keep their home comfortable. While we can’t diagnose furnace problems over the phone, we provide the following advice for homeowners to try out before we send a technician to perform diagnostics and heating service.
If you are struggling with a furnace that decided overnight to stop producing warm air, try these tips before calling in an HVAC specialist:
1. Check Thermostat Settings
You would be surprised by the number of times a technician is called to a home for heating service only to discover that the setting has been accidentally changed on the thermostat. For warm air, the thermostat should be set to “HEAT” (as opposed to “COOL”) and the fan should be set to “AUTO” (instead of “ON”). The “AUTO” setting is important because this ensures the furnace is only forcing air through your home when there is a call for heat. Also, ensure that your programming has been set up properly. Most thermostats have 4 different time zones during each day. If these have not been programmed, you have your thermostat requesting different temperature at different times of the day. Most clients when installing a thermostat themselves do not set this up and leave the default settings in place which can cause frustration and cold feet in the future.
2. Inspect Air Filters
A dirty, clogged up air filter restricts heated air from leaving the furnace. As the filter get dirtier, more air is trapped until the unit overheats and a safety feature called the limit switch is engaged which shuts down the burners. Filters need replacement at different rates based on the size of the filter, the number of pets in the home and how often the furnace is running, amongst other factors. You should inspect your air filter monthly and replace it as needed to prevent chronic furnace overheating. If the furnace keeps tripping on the limit switch it can cause damage to the heat exchanger – a costly replacement that could have been avoided!
3. Ensure Pilot Light is Lit
If you have an older furnace with a standing pilot light (one that is always lit), check to see that it didn’t go out accidentally. Standing pilot lights are easy to reignite and once lit should produce warm air again.
Newer furnaces have electrical ignitions and require a heating service technician to repair the part.
HAMCO Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving the needs of Hamilton and the surrounding area since 1946. Our business is as much about our personal reputation and the relationships we build with our customers and neighbours as it is about selling and servicing home comfort systems. We don’t just work here in the area, we also live here and are a part of the community!