Ask an Expert: My heater isn’t working, now what?
Imagine this, you wake up, it is still dark out—your alarm hasn’t even gone off. You shiver a little; there seems to be an extra chill in the air this morning, so you make your way to the thermostat so you can turn the heat up. Only you discover that your heat seems unresponsive. This is a reality that many will face in the next coming months. When temperatures are freezing this can be far more than an inconvenience, going without heat could be detrimental to your health. Given that the weather has been unseasonably cold so far this autumn we wanted to arm ourselves with the best defense to a situation like this; so, we asked an HVAC expert to give us some tips!
Meet our Expert:
Operations Manager at Thompson Heating and Cooling
10+ Years HVAC Experience
Is there anything we can do ourselves if we find the heat isn’t working?
There are a few things that a homeowner can do if they find that their heat isn’t working. First, check your breakers to make sure one wasn’t tripped then make sure that your switch is on for your furnace or air handler. Check your thermostat to make sure it is set to heat and turned up above the temperature in the room. Check your filter to make sure it is clean; if it is dirty, replace it. Outside of that, you should really call a professional to check the unit to see why it isn’t functioning.
What is the best way to figure out when a filter needs to be replaced?
For 1” disposable filters, change monthly. If you have a media filter you can change it out every six months. But these time frames can be affected by other factors too. For example, pet hair and smoke will dirty an air filter quickly so some filters may need to be changed more frequently.
Is there anything we can do to keep our furnace/heat pump in good working order?
The best thing you can do is have a good maintenance program. Before we get into the full swing of the winter season or even before the first frost, have a reputable HVAC Company start your heat up. They should be doing performance and safety checks on your system. Additionally, they will check your heat exchanger for any cracks which will ensure you aren’t breathing carbon monoxide. Many HVAC companies have a maintenance program that makes it easy for you to have your maintenance performed twice a year and keeps your new unit covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Enrolling in a program like this would be the easiest for a homeowner but they could also call and schedule an inspection if they would rather go that route.
How could someone identify a reliable HVAC company?
A good company will have trained technicians who can educate you; they will openly provide information about your system and any potential pitfalls without trying to tack on a lot of additional charges. Ultimately, you are looking for a company that provides you with options to make you more comfortable without any pressure to buy.
It’s like Morgan said, being comfortable in your home is the goal so whether it is entering into a maintenance agreement or having a maintenance scheduled—ensuring your heat and air conditioning is going to work properly before it is needed will ensure you and your family’s comfort. If you can’t be comfortable in your house, then it won’t feel like home. Check back with us on other tips to make your house a home.