You simply aren't crazy about paying for someone to come into your home and do what you can probably fix yourself. But the problem is that you have no knowledge whatsoever about furnaces. So what do you need to know? How efficient is your furnace? Signs it’s time for a service call will show up sooner or later. It's important to learn what signaling a furnace makes when it is in need of repair or replacement.
First, a thermostat status needs to be done. Find the selector switch and see if it's set to the heat position and not air. You will be able to find it at the underside of the thermoregulator to the left if you have a forced air furnace. If rooms are getting too hot, it could mean trouble with ducts or the thermostat, but it can also tell you that the furnace is nonfunctional.
Next, make sure to check the emergency shut-off switch. This looks just like an electrical switch for lights. Usually this light stays off by accident. If the light is working but the fan does not work, check your electric box. Also, go to your electrical control board and make certain that the fuses work properly. Look to see if the breaker is on. If there is a problem with a fuse blowing or the circuit breaker continues actuating, or if there is power going to the furnace, but there is not any heat, call for help.
Having said that, if the furnace is over 12 years old, it may need to be replaced no matter how many repairs it has had. Because it is not working properly, it may cost more to run it. Go look at heating systems and price them, ask about payment plans, and check out warranties for the top brands. This will be the safest way to find a newer furnace. And don't forget to ask your electricians for their opinion.
Particular types of furnaces will have different, specific demands. A natural gas furnace will have an indicator lamp, so make certain it is lit and that there's plenty of fuel. It is uncommon that a fuel matter will come about unless the entire vicinity also has a problem. If so, call the natural gas company immediately.
An oil-fired furnace needs an exhaustive once-over to check for any problems. Make sure there is always oil in your tank. Never, ever let the oil tank get too low on heating oil. A lot of deposits, water, and rubble all gunk up the bottom of the tank; if the gook gets absorbed into the furnace, this can lead to troubles.
A propane furnace needs also needs to be checked. Check to see that the pilot light is on and make sure that any tanks are full of fuel. Also check that the outside valves are still intact.
Finally, if you keep spending money for repairs, it is a good idea to get a new furnace. The models keep getting better each year, leaving the older ones to malfunction and run in such a way to cost you even more.
If there are still problems and you have no heat, do contact a reputable contractor to fix the difficulties. How efficient is your furnace? Signs it is time for a service call are there for the finding when they happen. It is best to start looking at investing in a new furnace if yours needs too many repairs.
Stacy Gianakura writes for Heating Oil Shopper, a leading source of information on a range of heating oil topics for homeowners, including comparisons for finding the best Rhode Island (RI) heating oil prices.