Georgia winters get cold, so you rely on your heating system to keep you warm and cozy all winter long. When the warm days of summer give way to the cooler days of fall and finally to the cold of winter, you want to know that your furnace is up to the task at hand.
When you crank up the thermostat, you expect to be greeted by a rush of warm air, and in most cases that is exactly what you will get. But what do you do when you turn up the heat and nothing happens? Do you pick up the phone and call for emergency service, or do you follow some simple troubleshooting steps first?
Knowing how to troubleshoot your own furnace can save you both time and money, so it is a good idea to acquire those skills. You do not have to be professional handyman, or even all that handy, to check your furnace. All you need are some simple tools, a little bit of knowledge and some time. Here are some troubleshooting tips you can use before you pick up the phone and call for emergency service.
Check the Condition of the Filter
A clogged or dirty furnace filter will make your heating system run less efficiently, driving up your energy costs and making it more expensive to keep your home and family warm and comfortable. In extreme cases, a clogged filter could even cause your furnace to fail altogether, so checking the filter should be your first step.
In most furnaces, checking the filter is a simple matter. Always refer to the documentation that came with your heating system for the proper procedures, and make sure you have a supply of extra filters on hand.
Double-Check the Thermostat
It may seem obvious, but it is important to check your thermostat and make sure it is set to “Heat.” Some programmable thermostats are hard to read, and a simple mistake could make you think your furnace is not working properly.
Verify that the thermostat is at the right setting, then set the temperature again and wait a few minutes. If the heat still does not come on, check to see if the thermostat uses batteries. While many thermostats are hard-wired into the home’s electrical system, others rely on batteries to run. Open the thermostat, or check the manual, to see if it is battery powered.
Check the Breaker
If the furnace is still not running, you will want to reset the breaker before you call for service. Making sure the furnace has not simply tripped the breaker could help you avoid an unnecessary repair bill or an unneeded repair.
If all these troubleshooting steps do not get your furnace back online, it is time to pick up the phone and call for service. No one looks forward to making that service call, but it will be worth it when your home is warm and comfortable once again.