With the Richmond, VA winter in full swing, your heating system will work harder than ever. So if the furnace stops running or starts blowing cold air, you’ll want to have it repaired as soon as possible. However, there are a few steps you should take before you make that call. You may end up solving your heating problem without the cost and inconvenience of a service visit.
1) Check The Air Filter
A dirty filter can block the return airflow, causing your heating system to work harder trying to blow less cold air into your house. The heat exchanger may overheat, and the furnace will automatically shut down. A dirty filter causes soot to build up in the heat exchanger, affecting the efficiency of the heating system and reducing its lifespan. Make it a habit to check the air filter every one to three months, and change it when needed.
REMEMBER: Before you change the air filter, shut off the furnace and thermostat.
2) Check The Thermostat
Before you call a repairman, make sure the thermostat is set to heat and not cool-you never know who might have changed the setting. Then set the thermostat 5 degrees more than room temperature to see if the furnace comes on. If it doesn’t, try replacing the batteries. Open the panel of the thermostat and gently remove any dust or debris.
3) Check The Blower Motor Panel
Make sure the blower motor panel is shut, if it was opened to do a repair it might not have been shut properly and the safety device may prevent the furnace from running.
4) Check The Air Ducts
Check to make sure the ducts are fully open. If they are open and some rooms are still cold, there may be cracks, gaps, or holes in the ducts allowing the hot air to escape. Find and seal the leaks with a mastic sealant.
5) Check The Gas Valve
It is possible that someone shut off the gas valve when doing a repair and forget to turn on. Simply turn it back on.