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Heater Troubleshooting

Heater Troubleshooting

An upset customer on the phone with her heating technician.

With the cold Michigan winters here, it's time to brush up on your heater's troubleshooting tips! Your system might decide to give up on you one night, so you want to be prepared.

Before calling in the professionals, there are many tips on how you can troubleshoot your heater.

Set Your Thermostat to “Heat”

Often overlooked, your thermostat can sometimes be the problem. With the various types of thermostats in the market today, some require manual interference, and others are programmed to switch when the weather hits a specific temperature. The switches on your thermostat can also easily be altered during day-to-day activities, such as cleaning.

If your thermostat was set to heat, and it still didn't work, try setting the temperature to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so will prevent your heater from turning on and off repeatedly while attempting to troubleshoot it.

Clean Your Filters

Another main reason your heater may be experiencing issues could be a dirty filter. Clogged filters can cause your unit to fail and cost operating expenses. The clogging of dust and dirt in your filters can cause your heat exchanger to overheat and shut off unexpectantly, which can also cause soot buildup. It will also cause your heater to run less efficiently.

Many newer models of heaters and furnaces are sensitive to this problem and will shut down before a dirty filter causes more trouble. Other furnaces will still run but with less heat output and efficiency.

Check Your Gas Valve

Although it isn’t easy to find your gas valve turned off, sometimes that can help do the trick! Trace the gas line from your heater back to the meter, and check your handle. If the handle is perpendicular to your gas pipe, turn it to make it parallel. If you have an older heater, it likely has a pilot light. If so, remove the front panel and the burner cover to check if it's lit.

Clean Your Chimney Exhaust Flue

Over time, the buildup of debris in your chimney exhaust can cause your heater not to function correctly.

You can check for debris safely by:

  1. Turning off your furnace and thermostat down.

  2. Dismantling the duct and checking for debris.

  3. Reassembling the sections in the same order and direction you used to dismantle them.

  4. Cleaning any leaves or debris found on your exhaust vents.

You can also check if your heater's vents are located near the side of the house, where leaves or debris can easily block your intake or exhaust.

Flush Out Your Drain Lines

During the heating season, it is essential to check if your drain lines are clean. If they are filled with sediment or mold growth, they will not work as they should. If you find your drain hose dirty, remove it and fill it with a mixture of bleach and water, then flush it out.

Check for Blocked Ducts Which Restrict Airflow

If you notice that one of your rooms is cold while another is not, your ductwork might be the problem. Asses your ductwork and check if you can find any gaps between the sections or branching points.

Let Us Help You

Although you can aim to fix your heating problem, try us to help you! Our team at Vander Hyde Services is available 24/7 with our emergency service to serve you. Our specialists in Grand Rapids install only top quality, energy-efficient, reliable heating systems. Schedule with us by submitting a contact form online or calling (616) 319-2125 today!