What should you do when you turn on the heat and nothing happens? Or if the heat’s been working just fine, only now it isn’t? Well, one choice is to reach for the phone and call us.
But wouldn’t you rather do some simple troubleshooting first? It may just be that something quite minor has gone wrong, something that you could easily fix yourself – and if you fix it, you won’t incur the costs associated with having to call the technician out.
So what are those minor things, and how do you correct them?
- Do you have fuel? Many people who call for their fuel deliveries forget to do so until they run out…and often they only know they ran out because they have no heat.
- Check that your thermostat is working and that it’s on the correct setting. Many thermostats have multiple options: Heat, Cool, Fan, and ‘auto’ or ‘on.’ For heat your thermostat should be set to ‘Heat’ and ‘auto’. Also, as well as being hard-wired, some thermostats also require batteries, typically AAA. If those are dead, the thermostat will not work, so you should change the batteries regularly.
3. Is power reaching the heating unit?
a. Check your electrical panel to be sure the breaker hasn’t tripped.
b. Check that the boiler/furnace switch is in the on position; it’s on the side of the unit and looks like a light switch. If you have a gas-powered system and it is still not running correctly, now is the time to call our 24-hours service at 603.964.6703.
If you have an oil-powered system, continue to:
c. Check the burner emergency switch (usually located at the top of the basement stairs) – it’s easy to hit this switch accidentally when reaching for the basement light switch.
4. Once you’ve checked the fuel, the thermostat, the breaker and both the switches, go to the front of the heating unit, where you will see the burner – a large motor sticking out from the heating system. On the burner is a black box with a bright red button – this is the ‘reset button’. Press the reset button once and hold it for a few seconds. If the burner fires, release and go enjoy the heat. If it doesn’t fire, it’s time to call our 24-hour service at 603.964.6703. Don’t try the reset button more than once – each time you hit the button the pump adds oil to the firing chamber. When the unit is finally fired there is a risk of a kick back (explosion) as the excess fuel ignites all at once. This can cause physical harm. If for any reason the reset button has been hit multiple times, be sure to tell the technician when they come out.