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Warm Up to These Heating Troubleshooting Tips

Jan 10, 2017

Cartoon of a CroppMetcalfe technician troubleshooting a heating furnace in the basement of a family home.

Has your heat ever quit working while the weather outside was frightful? Maybe it’s working now, but not as well as you’d like. Either way, an unreliable heating system poses big problems on a cold Washington, D.C. night. Save money by trying some of these troubleshooting tips before calling the HVAC repair company.

Change the furnace filter

Filters clean the air going in and out of the furnace. A clogged filter makes your furnace work harder. This can cause the furnace to overheat and shut down. Check your furnace filter for dust and dirt, and replace it if it’s dirty. After replacing the filter, mark it on your calendar to do again in a month or two.

Check the thermostat

If your thermostat uses batteries, replace them. Also, check your settings, making sure the thermostat is set to heat. It may seem obvious, but you could have bumped the switch by accident. It’s worth checking before paying for a service call.

Give it power

Check your breaker panel to make sure the circuit that controls the furnace isn’t in the off position. Not sure which circuit controls your furnace? Just look for any switch that is in a different position than the others. Find the furnace switch, which looks like a regular light switch, on your furnace or a nearby wall. Make sure it’s switched on. Press the reset button on your furnace. If nothing changes, wait 30 minutes, and try again. Make sure your gas valve is turned on.

Dust off the owner’s manual

Your owner’s manual may have some troubleshooting tips specific to your furnace, including how to light the pilot light. If your furnace is making loud squealing noises, you may need to realign the belt. Look for the instructions in your manual. Many major manufacturers have the owner’s manuals on their websites, so check there if you can’t find yours.

However, if the belt is worn or frayed, leave the replacement to a trained HVAC professional

Clean your unit

If your furnace vents to the outside of your house, clean the intake or exhaust vents of leaves and debris. If you have a heat pump, clear leaves, grass and debris away from the fins of the outdoor compressor unit.

Call in the reinforcements

After exhausting these DIY troubleshooting measures, call an experienced HVAC technician to get your heat back in business. When it comes to your home’s heating system, keep your safety in mind, and never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Our trained HVAC technicians at CroppMetcalfe service and repair all types and brands of home comfort systems.

Prevent future HVAC problems

Planned preventive maintenance on your HVAC system can stop problems before they happen. Annual maintenance gives your HVAC company a chance to inspect your entire heating system, clean and oil moving parts and tighten electrical connections. This extends the life of your equipment and increases its efficiency.

CroppMetcalfe has service agreements that include planned maintenance inspections, discounts on repairs and priority emergency service. Contact us today for the peace of mind of knowing you won’t be left in the cold.


What Our Customers Say...

"I've been a CroppMetcalfe customer for 9 years and you have always provided outstanding service. I just had my semi-annual maintenance done, and I wanted to thank George for the truly outstanding service, professionalism, and excellent advice. He is definitely one of the best 5-Star Technicians I've had! Thank you CroppMetcalfe!"

Bill H