You notice the house is feeling cool and you turn up the thermostat. When you hold your hand over the registers, no air flow! Now what? Here are a few things you can check on your own before calling for service, depending on the type of heat you have.
- Do you have power? Check breakers, fuses, and switches at the thermostat.
- Does your digital thermostat have a blank screen? Check to see if it needs new batteries.
- Is your filter dirty? If you say, “What filter?” You better give us a call! Seriously, an extremely dirty filter can cause your furnace to overheat due to lack of air flow and cause safeties to engage, which won’t allow your furnace to operate. As well, if your system uses a flimsy 1″ fiberglass filter and it gets clogged, the blower can actually suck in the filter and make a horrible racket or destroy your blower motor.
- Do you have fuel oil or propane? Yes, we get a few calls a year where tanks were empty. Even with natural gas, if temperatures are sustained in the single digits for very long, gas supply has dwindled whereby the gas flow diminished and safeties kicked in to shut down the furnace so be sure there aren’t problems in your neighborhood with the natural gas supply.
- Are your flues blocked for any reason? We have found flues blocked with ice, snow, heavy spider webs, wasps nests , and even toys and rocks (those grandkids!). If the flue gases can’t be vented, safeties will operate to shut off your furnace.
- For oil furnaces, could your oil filter or nozzle be clogged, or possibly could you have air in the line? Often, when oil is delivered, any sediment in the tank is agitated and can be drawn into the oil line and then clog the nozzle and filter or, when the last bit of oil was used, air was drawn into the line and it now needs bled.
- Is your outdoor heat pump making an odd noise or steaming? If steaming, it could just be in defrost cycle and you have simply not previously witnessed it. It can look like it is ready to take off like a rocket! But, that is normal if it discontinues after several minutes. If making an odd noise, ice could be building up on the fan blades if freezing rain is falling or you have a gutter dripping onto your unit and the water is then freezing on the blades. Simply pour a bucket or two of warm (not boiling) water over the fan blade area to free them of ice. Hopefully they haven’t cracked and you will be then be noise free but don’t forget to fix the gutter!
Maybe these suggestions will save you money in the future and get you up and running quickly; however, if you can’t safely perform these minor repairs or they don’t get you fixed, please don’t hesitate to call.