Heating System Troubleshooting - Save Money and Stay Warm with These Simple Tips
P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling has been servicing just about every kind of heating system for the better part of a century—spanning four generations of the Wadsworth family. Our goal is to have happy customers, and sometimes that means providing tips that will help them diagnose and solve problems themselves.
Here are some basic items to check before turning to a professional to repair your heating system:
- Make sure the thermostat is set correctly.
Both the temperature and heat/cool/off system setting will determine if a system kicks on. Remember to give your air conditioning system a few minutes to react to the proper setting. There may be built-in delays to protect the equipment from cycling too rapidly.
- Be sure the time on thermostat is proper.
An inaccurate thermostat time is most likely the result of a time change or a power outage. Check your thermostat like any other clock in your home and make sure it’s set to the correct time.
- Check and change thermostat batteries regularly.
Many thermostats (though not all) require batteries and low batteries can affect performance, so it’s best to change them every six to 12 months. If you’re unsure how, ask a professional to show you during your next regular service appointment. When the batteries are near replacement, check the battery icon in the display.
- Close all your windows.
Fall and winter in Greater Cleveland can be cold, and sometimes unwanted cold air comes from a forgotten open window. This often happens when the weather is transitional and windows get opened to air the house out.
- Make sure your system’s breathing well.
If you notice less airflow, make sure your air ducts are sealed and cleaned. Check to make sure that the system filter is clear and not clogged with dirt.
- Check your fuse box.
Sometimes a reset breaker is all you need to get up and running. If a breaker goes out repeatedly, be sure to call us to make sure your system is running correctly. Repeatedly tripping a breaker also will weaken it. This should be avoided by addressing the root cause. Weak breakers always must be replaced.
- Check the outdoor temperature.
Extreme temperatures can leave even the best systems struggling to keep up. For example, most furnaces are designed to heat the home fully only at the average low outdoor temperature for a given area. If the weather is unusual, the furnace may struggle to keep up.
- Turn off your programmable thermostat during record-setting weather.
During extreme weather, it’s too difficult to recover from the setback temperature setting on a programmable thermostat. It’s just too hard to make up the difference. Turn off the setback until normal temperature patterns return.
- Check for blockages in furnace vents.
High-efficiency heating units often vent out the side of a building via plastic pipes. If these vents become obstructed by ice, snow or landscaping materials, your furnace operation can be affected. Be sure these vents are clear.
"The technician, Eric, was courteous and efficient. During a yearly hot air furnace checkup, Eric noticed that the induction motor was noisy and should be replaced. He arranged for a replacement under warranty, showed up at the appointed time, installed the replacement and checked out the system. He was neat, courteous and efficient."