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What You Should Check Before You Make A Service Call

What You Should Check Before You Make A Service Call

Posted by
Ed Miller on Tue, Jan 20, 2015

Having a knowledgeable heating and air conditioning service provider to help you out when you have problems with your HVAC unit is important as a homeowner. After all, your heat and air keep you comfortable throughout the year.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to reach for the phone every single time something goes wrong with your heating and air conditioning system or something just generally seems amiss with your HVAC unit. In some cases, you may be able to fix the problem yourself without having to pay a technician to come to your home and do it for you.

You may not be able to fix every single problem, but it’s absolutely worth the minimal effort. Keep reading to learn some of the common reasons that your heating or air conditioning system could seem like it’s on the fritz and how you can repair them on your own without hiring an HVAC technician.

Inspect Your Breaker and Fuse Box

If your heater or air conditioner just isn’t coming on at all, you could have a minor power problem. To check this, you need to locate the breaker that controls your heating and air conditioning system and make sure none of the switches have flipped to the off position.

In many cases, you’ll find the breaker to your HVAC system outside, though some newer homes have a separate breaker system inside the house to control things like lights, heating and air conditioning. If you find that a breaker that belongs to your heating or air conditioning system has flipped to the off position, simply pushing it back into the on position and checking your HVAC system again may be all that’s necessary.

Another consideration if your HVAC system isn’t working properly is that you may have a blown a fuse somewhere in your fuse box. Checking this should be relatively simple as well as long as you know where the fuse box is and can identify a cracked or burned out fuse. Burned out fuses will generally be black in color with a broken filament inside, making them easy to identify, even with the naked eye. Replace the fuse and test your HVAC system again if you find damaged fuses.

Check the Air Filter

Your air filter may not seem like a reason for your heating or air conditioning system to not be working properly, but in some cases, it can be. In fact, some systems can even shut themselves off when you have a blocked air filter or one that badly needs to be replaced.

The reason the air filter may be causing your system not to work is relatively simple – it’s dirty and needs to be swapped out for a new one. If the system is just sluggish, you may need to replace the air filter and let it run for a few hours before you notice any change. If that doesn’t work, you may need to call for service.

How’s the Fuel Supply?

If your heating system relies on tank fuel to produce heat, checking the supply of tank fuel that you have should seem fairly obvious. However, most homeowners don’t replace tank fuel very often, so the idea of running out seems a bit strange.

With the unit turned off you should be able to check your supply of tank fuel by following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re too low or you’ve run out, adding more tank fuel and allowing the system to run for a while may be all that’s needed.

If you’re not sure how to replace the tank fuel in your heater, call for a technician to help you with the job the first time.

Look at Your Thermostat

It might seem a bit too basic to inspect your thermostat when your heating or air conditioning system isn’t working right, but believe it or not, many of the service calls that don’t go anywhere and end up just being a waste of money for the customer are thermostat related. To start, make sure your system is set to come on at a reasonable temperature – not one that’s 10-degrees higher or lower than what it feels like in your home.

After that, changing the controls on the thermostat can help diagnose a problem. If you notice a sluggish reaction time or your system just isn’t responding properly, you may need a battery replacement if you have that type of thermostat.

If your thermostat does not need a battery but doesn’t seem to be functioning right, swapping it out with a new model may be beneficial. If you aren’t already using a programmable thermostat, this could be a good time to make the upgrade to a newer model.

Do You Have An Emergency Shut-Off Switch?

Many newer homes have an emergency shut-off switch for the HVAC unit in case of problems. This is often done because heating elements may use natural gas, which can be very hazardous if a fire breaks out in your home.

It might seem like a long shot, but people sometimes mistake their emergency shut-off switch for a light switch or something else inside their home. Locate yours and make sure it hasn’t been used to cut the power to the HVAC system.

Being able to diagnose some basic problems your HVAC system may have can help you save money and keep a more efficient heating and air conditioning system. However, not all problems can be solved on your own and some can even be dangerous to try and do yourself.

If you need help fixing your heating and air conditioning system after none of the quick fixes and diagnostic tips here work, contact Snyder Heating and Air. We will happily help you with all of your HVAC issues.


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