Helpful Troubleshooting Tips If Your Heater Is Not Working

Helpful Troubleshooting Tips If Your Heater Is Not Working

Home | Blog | Heater Not Working? 7 Simple Fixes to Troubleshoot

When the chilly season sets in, your heater becomes an essential appliance in your home. It's what makes your home cozy and livable. But when it stops working, your comfortable living space can quickly become an icebox. But don't panic yet! Some common heater problems can be fixed without calling in the pros. Here are seven simple fixes you can do to troubleshoot your heater issues:

A heater not working in the house in winter can be an extremely unpleasant surprise, especially if the temperature outside is really low. Sometimes the problem can be easily resolved, but you may need to call a professional in other cases.

That's why it is important to know what to do if the heat stops working and what you should pay attention to first in order to avoid a situation where you are left without heat in the house.

In this article, we will look at some of the most common reasons that can lead to furnaces not working properly and give simple but effective tips that can provide you with an insight into how to fix heat in the house yourself or before a crew arrives. 

So, what to do if the heater is not working?

1. Replace The Filter

Among the problems could be a dirty filter. This can cause your forced air furnace to operate less efficiently or not work at all. Also, the problem of dirty furnace can be identified by the growing utility costs.

Dust and small particles clog the filters, which affects the functionality of the heat exchanger due to the soot buildup.

To determine if your filter is clean, shine a flashlight on it; if no light comes through, then it's time to change it.

If your system uses flat filters then you need to replace them every month. In the case of pleated filters, they do not clog as quickly, but it is recommended to check them every 4-5 weeks. Typically, pleated filters stay clean for 3 months.

Thus, if you are faced with the question of what to check if heat is not working, then the first thing you should pay attention to are filters.

2. Check The Gas Valve

Another trivial but common problem can be a turned-off gas valve, for example, if you or one of the residents forgot to turn it on. This is easy to fix, pay attention to the handle — it should be parallel to the gas pipe.

Additionally, older models of boilers/furnaces may have a pilot light. To check if it lits, remove the panel and burner cover.

3. Adjust The Thermostat

Sometimes the problem may be with your thermostat. Some newer models of programmable thermostats may be more complex, which could result in incorrect settings. Also, you or other residents may have accidentally moved the switch. Therefore, the first thing you need to do before calling a specialist is to check the thermostat.

Ensure it is set to heating mode. In addition, you can set a higher temperature, for example, 90 degrees, and wait a few minutes

Another issue may be the presence of breaks in the wires. In this case, use electrical tape to connect them.

Lastly, check the thermostat battery.

4. Make Sure the Gas Is On

Drain lines can become filled with dirt and mold growth over time. When operating in heating mode, your system may drain several gallons of water, so it is essential to keep the lines clear. Check the drain hose, if you notice dirt, you should thoroughly rinse the lines with water and bleach.

Before rinsing it with clean water, let the mixture of bleach sit for a couple of minutes for better cleaning efficiency.

5. Inspect Vents And Ducts

If your system is not working, and you are wondering how to fix a heater, check the vents and ducts.

There is a chance that debris may be blocking the vents. Sometimes the pipe can also become blocked by ice. In these cases, thoroughly clean the vents from excess dirt. In addition, if your pipes are covered with screen mesh, it makes sense to replace it with half-inch mesh hardware cloth.

Another place to check is the air ducts. Blocked ducts restrict airflow. This problem can often be identified if some of your rooms or areas in the house are not heating up properly. In addition, leakage can sometimes be a problem. Leaks in ducts can be solved by sealing the cracks with metal duct tape (do not use standard cloth duct tape).

6. Check The Circuit Breaker

Sometimes the problem may be in switches. Therefore, one more component to check besides the thermostat is the circuit breaker. Your system must be on its own circuit, and the breaker must be labeled.

If the breaker is tripped, you should turn off the switch in the system. Then, reset the breaker and turn on the system's power switch.

If everything works after these steps, you may need to do additional troubleshooting. However, if the problem is in the breaker and you are unable to solve it, then you should call technical specialists as soon as possible to repair the system.

7. Check For Overheating

Due to the accumulation of dirt and dust, the blower motor may overheat. This causes the heating system to turn off.

If your problem is related to overheating, then you should turn it off for a while and let it cool. Then, you can try to turn it on again. Sometimes you may need to turn the system on/off again, but if you have already made the 4th attempt and there is no result, then you should call the professionals.

Also, pay attention to the indicators. When operating, the indicators should flash green. If instead, you can see red flashing lights or your heater's indicators are not flashing at all, then the problem could most likely be with the blower motor, condenser, or control board.

What Should I Do If There Is Still A Problem With The Heater?

If you have tried different options for troubleshooting, but the system does not work, or you do not have the necessary knowledge and skills regarding how to fix the heater in the house, the only right solution is to call a team of specialists.

It is important to do this as soon as possible for several reasons. First of all, being in a cold house at low temperatures in winter is not only not very pleasant, but may have health risks. Second, most problems are best addressed promptly, as ignoring them will likely lead to more expensive and complex repairs in the future.

It's worth inspecting your heating system from time to time and reacting to oddities and failures to avoid situations where potential issues become real issues.

Contact HVAC systems experts today. Call +1 (818) 642-5278 or fill out an online form to enjoy quick service at the best price

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