Winter is upon us, and it is time to make sure that the heater is working and in good order. If a heater in is good shape, it will operate safely and efficiently. Therefore, before the cold weather sets in permanently, it is time to think about reviewing your heater’s condition.
There are some things the homeowner can do, such as changing the heater filter every month. This requires knowing the size of the filter and how to correctly change it. For a lot of other maintenance issues, it pays to have your local HVAC professional check the health of the heater.
Problems with heaters can originate from several sources. One can be the power source. One can be the fuel source. One can be the ignition. One can be the fan or distribution system. There might also be a faulty thermostat.
While a homeowner might be tempted to work with the heater, any time you are working with electricity or gas, and heaters involve both, it is better to have a professional do the work of checking. He knows how to do it safely, efficiently, and thoroughly. If necessary, he will look for blown fuses or circuit breakers that have been tripped. There may be a separate box for the heater than for the rest of the house. There may be a reset button that needs to be pressed. There may be a thermostat that needs to be set properly.
For gas, the gas supply must be on. The pilot must be lit. And, it must be that there are no leaks in the gas supply line from the main source at the road going to the individual residence. If oil runs the heater, there needs to be enough oil to burn.
Again, all this is something, which for safety reasons, should be done by a professional. Before working on a heater, the main electrical panel must be turned off. Or a fuse may need to be removed. If the fuse has repeatedly blown a professional must find what is wrong.
If you smell gas in the house, immediately leave the house, and call the gas company or fire department to report the leak. Turning lights on and off, using a cell phone, or lighting a lighter to get some visibility can cause an explosion that is fatal. Don’t do any of these things.
If your heating system is serviced once a year, preferably during the off-season, it can help you have consistent, safe heat all winter. A professional can check your heating system, as well as clean it so that it runs better and more efficiently.