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If Your Heating System Dies in the Winter

Serving Families Throughout Dallas

If your heating system malfunctions in cold weather, your first reactions may be panicking and a rushing to call a repairman.

Before you do, however, you might want to take several minutes to check a few things that could be causing your problem. They are simple fixes that could end up saving you a lot of time and money. About one-fourth of all service calls can be avoided if people would check these problem areas. Here they are:

  1. Check the thermostat.
    Your problem might not be with the furnace at all. It could be something as simple as having the wrong setting on the thermostat. Make sure it is set to “heat” not “cool.” Then check the temperature. Make sure the thermostat temperature is higher than the room temperature. Then see if it kicks in. Also, make sure you have the correct day, time and a.m. or p.m. setting on the thermostat.Check the thermostat wires going to the furnace. It is possible there might be a break in the wires. If there is, splice them together and seal it with electrical tape. Make sure the thermostat itself is level and fastened securely to the wall. Finally, check the thermostat battery.
  2. Check switches and breakers.
    Every furnace has an on/off switch. And the problem could be as simple as a switch that is turned off. Also, check your fuse box to make sure the circuit breakers are set properly. Also, check the cover to the blower motor in the furnace to make sure it is on properly. The cover depresses a switch and if the switch is not pushed in, the furnace will not work.
  3. Check your furnace filter.
    Filters that are dirty and get clogged can cause the furnace to shut down. When a filter becomes clogged, the heat exchanger overheats and shuts off before it should. If the blower is sending out air, but it’s not warm, the problem could be the air filter. Flat filters should be changed each month and pleated filters once every three months.
  4. Check the gas.
    Another possibility is that the gas valve was turned off at some point and not turned back on. Follow the gas line from the furnace to the meter to make sure it is in good shape. At the meter, you will see a handle – the valve. If it is perpendicular to the gas line, turn it so that it is parallel.
  5. Check drain lines.
    These lines carry away water produced by the furnace, sometimes several gallons a day. If they become clogged, the furnace will shut down. So, they need to be flushed out.
  6. Check ducts and vents.
    There might be gaps in the ducts or something blocking the vents.

    If you need expert service for your heating system this winter, Rescue Air and Plumbing is the place to call. You may reach us at (972) 201-3253. We can handle any job promptly and professionally.