8 Tips to Help You Avoid an Emergency Heating Repair

An unexpected heating system problem can cause a lot of stress and unexpected expense. We want to help you avoid having to make that emergency repair call this winter!

Follow these tips so you can avoid an emergency heating repair:

Open Closed Vents

Especially in Maine where we pride ourselves on being tough and thrifty, it’s a common practice to close air vents in unused areas to save on heating costs. Contrary to this popular belief, it’s actually not a good idea to close vents in unused rooms. Rather than saving energy, this can actually make your heating system run less efficiently, work harder, and lead to more problems.

Change the Air Filter (and Keep Doing It All Winter!)

We give this advice a lot. It’s a pretty easy chore that is super important, and most homeowners still don’t do it regularly. If you have a furnace using a basic fiberglass filter, you should be changing it at least once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters not only cause serious indoor air quality issues, but also makes your unit work harder and run less efficiently.

Check Your Thermostat Battery

We occasionally get a distress call from customers who suddenly don’t have heat and are panicking. Sometimes we show up to find that it’s simply their thermostat battery. Thermostat batteries typically last 3-4 years. If it’s been longer than that (or you can’t remember when you ever changed the battery), go ahead and get a new battery now to avoid problems this winter.

Know How To Use Your Thermostat

Those thermostats can be pesky! After a dead battery, another common heating system “crisis” can be a thermostat that the homeowner simply doesn’t know how to use. Today’s programmable thermostats can take some getting used to. It’s important for you to learn how to use it properly to avoid heating issues, and so you will be as comfortable as possible.

If you find your furnace won’t shut off or is blowing air that doesn’t seem warm, the problem may be in your thermostat settings. You may have the fan set to “on” versus “auto”. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • ON – the fan is always running, even if the furnace isn’t heating at the moment. The fan will still be blowing air through vents and will not feel very warm.
  • AUTO – the furnace fan will only turn on when your furnace is called to heat the air. When the furnace reaches temperature and shuts off, so will the fan.

Program Your Thermostat

If you spend your time at home constantly adjusting the thermostat, it’s time to get a programmable one and use it. The more you turn your heating system on and off, the more pressure you’re putting on the overall unit. You’re also wasting energy. By programming your thermostat, your system will work more efficiently and have less wear and tear.

Maintain a More Consistent Temperature

Along with programming your thermostat, you should also not have huge swings of temperatures throughout the day. Many people believe if they turn their thermostat way back during the day when they are not home, they will save money. However, if you then come home and crank it up 15 degrees, it’s making your system work that much harder to get the temperature up. If you maintain a more moderate temperature all the time, it’s easier on your heating system.

Heed Warning Signs

Heating systems often show signs of problems before a complete breakdown occurs. You may be able to avoid an emergency repair call if you keep an eye (and nose and ear) out for signs of trouble:

  • Unpleasant Odors
  • Loud or Unusual Noises
  • Weakened Airflow
  • Cold Air Coming Through the Vents
  • Hot and Cold Spots
  • Frequent On/Off Cycling
  • Increasing Energy Bills

If your heating system develops any of these problems, call your heating service professional. Keeping up with repairs can prevent a more expensive and urgent repair job.

Keep Up With Annual Maintenance

One of the most important tasks you can do for your heating system is to keep up with an annual inspection and maintenance. Preventive maintenance always saves money in the long run. It will also ensure you and your family is safe.

At Warm Waters, we inspect and maintain all components of hot air, forced hot water, and heat pump heating systems to prevent an emergency heating repair. Contact us if you think you may have a heating system issue and for regular maintenance.

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